|By Andrew Raub||Wednesday, 30 May 2007|
What makes a game addictive? Is it fast paced, short term game play? Or is it long term game play with rewards to draw the gamer in? Puzzle games and RPGs… I don’t think anyone every really thought they belonged together in a big way. But here we are, face to face with this addictive fusion.
Let me get this out of the way first: every thing about this game is mediocre at best.
Graphically, Puzzle Quest is nothing special, but then again it doesn’t really need to be. The over world is pretty bland and the enemies and characters are about as generic as can be.
In the sound department there is even less sparkle. The sound effects are quiet and lame, and the music is repetative and boring. But, this actually came as a good thing to me, because it gave me reason to listen to listen to albums that I needed to catch up on while playing games.
Being an RPG, there must be some sort of story, right? Well, there is, and like the graphics, it’s all generic. You’ll find knights, dwarves, orcs, sorcerers, castles, wolves, and pretty much anything else you would expect to find in an RPG.
The enemies are limited, but it’s not like it really matters, because you won’t really notice the difference between enemies in battle, except when they use a move that actually does some damage. Be prepared to fight lots and lots of orcs and wolves…
Now that I’ve trashed just about every aspect of the game, let me move on to why the game doesn’t suck one bit.
The battles in Puzzle Quests are simply addictive. Based on the Bejeweled game play style, the battles are simple on the surface but really require some sharp tactics at times. Most of it is luck, but paying attention to the best moves and gaining a knack for predicting upcoming moves really helps. The battles do get a bit repetative, but only because of the initial board. If you change up what moves you start with, so will the computer opponents. Spells provide a means to really blast your enemies, but a good bit of planning is involved. Several spells work together nicely, so rounding out your mana reserves, although challenging, provides great rewards.
Winning battles provides experience and gold, both of which will be vital to your success. Levelling up allows you to improve various statistics from health and damage to different mana strenghts. Gold will help to buy items as well as build up your main city to grant you abilities ranging from learning enemy spells to paying gold to improve stats.
There is plenty to do in Puzzle Quests. As I said, you can build up your city for several nice abilities, you can search for runes to create items, and you can take cities under siege to make them your own. Plus there is always multiplayer combat to pit your warrior against a friend’s.
When it comes down to it, despite the fact that just about everything on the game’s surface sucks, the core game play is so damned addictive that it is impossible to give Puzzle Quests a bad rating. There is plenty to do and it makes a perfect portable game that takes as little as 5 minutes to play. If you are looking for something that will be long lasting, but also not require a huge time investment, look no further, because it is here.