Drop everything and download: Puzzle Fighter

Hadouken gems when you're away from your arcade stick

Street Fighter and Columns: two of the greatest franchises of the 16-bit era - or at least they were if you were a Sega fanboy.

Combining the two back in the mid-nineties was an act of sheer genius on Capcom's part - and now we're getting a reimagined version just for mobile.

The updated Puzzle Fighter is still a gem-matching puzzler at its heart, only with chibi Capcom characters duking it out above the playing area instead of a score counter. It's cute, it's chaotic, and it's well worth a download.

What's new?

The hand-drawn pixel sprites of the original game are out, replaced with animated 3D avatars of Ryu, Chun-Li, M. Bison and the rest of the Street Fighter cast. It's more like a who's who of Capcom's back catalogue this time around, though, with DarkStalkers, Resident Evil, Dead Rising, Final Fight and Devil May Cry characters all making an appearance.

Rather than battle solo, you now create a team of three characters. Two characters sit back in support, waiting while you match gems - create the right patterns and they'll come flying onscreen, landing a devastating power move on your opponent.

It's a battle, y'see - you've got to drain your opponent's health bar to win, not rack up a massive score. Each hit you land drops garbage gems into your enemy's playing area, making it harder for them to mount a comeback, and when you've matched enough gems, you can pull off a screen-filling super move to end the game.

You can play solo or climb the ranked leaderboards by playing other gamers online, winning new characters and abilities with every victory.

Any downsides?

Pretty much the same thing that's wrong with every free-to-play mobile game right now: in-app purchases.

With only three single-player missions available to play every eight hours, and the prize pool for winning online matches drying up after a handful of wins, you're encouraged to spend your cash on resetting the timer so you can play again right away.

Treasure chests that reward you with new characters, upgrade cards and more cash to spend are available for your real-world quarters, too. Street Fighter started in the arcades, after all, and is no stranger to sapping your cash reserves.

Where can I get it?

Capcom dragged its heels in rolling Puzzle Fighter out across the globe, but this week finally saw the rest of us able to join in the fun. Just in time to run up against a horde of Aussies that have been playing for weeks now.

Don't let that Down Under blunder put you off, though - you can grab it right now, for free, from the iOS app store for your iPhone or iPad, and from Google Play for your Android device.