Skip to content

Why Forced Hints in Match-Three Games Are Annoying

Forced Hints Are Annoying featured image. A basic match-three grid is shown.

I Didn’t Ask For Help

Match-three games love to give hints. In this post, I am going to explain why these hints are annoying when forced. I will explain how to fix this issue.

Forced Hints Are Not That Helpful

The hints in most match-three games don’t help too much. If there is some sort of logic here, I don’t see it. Often it seems as if the game is simply recommending any random match possible.

Games tend to prioritize showing you matches that create powerups. I suppose this is useful sometimes.

But sometimes games recommend making powerups over winning the level or better matches. You can end up following hint matches until you lose a level.

I suppose in situations where there is only one match being shown where it saves time. But overall, I find being shown a random match to not be much help.

A Candy Crush Soda Saga hint. This match creates a wrapped candy.
Screenshot from Candy Crush Soda Saga Android game.

Random Hints Are Distracting

Games often go out of their way to highlight a hint when they show one. It is very distracting. I often will glance at the hint and consider it as a move before anything else.

The game is influencing my next decision before I even had a chance to think or plan what I would want to do.

Forced Hints Don’t Allow Me to Win Without Help

Forced hints stop me from playing match-three games how I want to. That statement might seem a bit dramatic. But I think it is quite true.

Forced hints take away chances for me to solve the puzzle on my own.

The whole reason I love match-three games so much is that I like figuring things out. I don’t want help. I want to feel smart, make matches, and win!

So I rather not have distracting forced hints showing up every three seconds.

The AndroidGamingFox is angry and looks annoyed.

How to Fix This Issue

The first solution is to have hints be an option toggle. Let the players turn hints on or off as they please. I remember playing a match-three game in the past that you let you do this. Give the players options. I don’t why mobile game developers never give players options for anything. Give me something else I can switch other than sound, please.

Another solution is to have a hint button. So when players want a hint, they press it and get the help they desire.

I can’t think of any match-three games that have an option like this. But Wordament has something like this. I think this option would work great in match-three games.

A screenshot of a single player Wordament level.
Screenshot of Wordament Android game.