Puzzle Quest Review

August 10, 2009 at 5:43 pm | Posted in Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews | Leave a comment
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Link to review

Puzzle Quest

Published by: D3 Publisher
Developed by: Infinite Interactive
Genre: Puzzle
Number of Players: 1-2
Release Date:
UK: October 10, 2007
US: October 10, 2007
Also Available On: Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, PC, PlayStation 2, Wireless, Wii

Features: 480p Support, Xbox Live

Its on the Nintendo DS and PSP, and now its hitting our Arcades. Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords an epic battle between Good and Evil. It is deceiving by the screenshots. Not only is this puzzle game. Its an RPG as well. Confused? Well, here�s it more simply.

Imagine the puzzle-style action of Bejeweled 2, plus Hexic 2�s play against the computer element. Times that by a heavy dosage of leveling up, enemies, quests and a storyline with weird names and you have yourself �Puzzle Quest�

Now that may seem a little silly comparing it to games like that but this isn�t what I originally expected either. You start the game and you make and name your character, you can chose 4 different races and how your guy looks, though it doesn�t make much difference as it only appears in story sequences.

The game itself consists of a world where you complete quests by fighting enemies and other creatures in the quests and on your travels to them. These �battles� are carried out with the puzzle games.

To battle it out, you must piece together 3 or more of the same colored ring in order to collect Mana. This is more for your spells, which can be used to help your way through. But the main item both you and the computer are looking for are the skulls. Match up three or more and this applies damage to your opponent and he will lose HP. The first one to drain their opponents HP wins. As mentioned before, spells can be learned and used in the battle to sway the game in your favour, these vary from physical attacks to removing Mana rings from the grid. Each spell uses a certain amount of Mana to perform, which you must have by matching them up on the grid.

Reduced: 56% of original size [ 1280 x 800 ] – Click to view full image


Better use those skulls before the AI gets them first…

Other icons in on the grid are Purple stars, which if matches up give you more experience, this will aid in the leveling up of your character which earns you more health, better spells and more abilities on the way. The other icon on the grid is stacks of coins. This is matched up will give you money which you can later use to buy extra items or purchase other things you may need.

There is in fact a story to the game, but unfortunately it falls on deaf ears for me. I bought myself a puzzle game, and I want to play puzzles and games, I don�t want to have to read the text in the cut scenes just for me to end up playing another puzzle. I�m happy with the puzzles and then reading the general overviews of the quest at hand. Other�s with more time on their hands and patience may be more interested, sadly the plot is quite weak but for me its an arcade game, and story wasn�t really on my agenda.

The look of the game is very basic. Visually it doesn�t boast anything new or special, with the rare cut scenes, images of places or enemies being drawn pictures stuck in place, and the world map being a rather 2D map. The only part of the game which looks nice and shiny is the grid in which the puzzles take place on. But still, there nothing spectacular compared to other Puzzle games on the market.

Reduced: 56% of original size [ 1280 x 800 ] – Click to view full image


This world map doesnt boast much, but its pretty big, and gets you from A to B.

The game itself can be strangely addictive. The addition of having to do quests to play the puzzles give some sort of reason to doing it, and it makes it feel like less of an endless drone of matching colours in groups. The point you even get XP and gold mid game for matching those groups makes it less boring to play for long periods of time.

One problem with the way the game plays however is that a lot of the time, it feels like the games are based on luck. Sometimes you can get lots of combos which will defeat your enemy in no time, and at other times, you can sit and watch as all these things happen on the screen, and your handed your turn, with little to no health, and no decent combos to use at your advantage. Something else that can make the game a little tedious is the mid-travel battles. Sometimes when you�re on your way to an area an enemy will attack you and your forced to fight it, regardless of how powerful it may be. If you fail, you have to either find an alternate route (which isn�t always possible) which if you really just want to get on and finish the quest, can be very annoying, especially if the creature defeats you, because yep. You guessed it, you have to fight it again. Now, that doesn�t seem so bad, but if you spent the past 10 minutes seeing combo after combo go straight to the AI�s hands and own you, you really just don�t wanna give it another go. Very seldom however are you about to avoid these. Something that becomes slightly annoying mid battle is the sensitiveness of the moving of the gems. Usually, holding the A button would select your item and moving the Left stick in the direction you want it to move performs the act. With Puzzle Quest, A selects the item, but if you change your mind suddenly, you have to press A again to de-select it. Forgetting this often causes you to make an �illegal move� this takes up your turn and takes 5 hp from your health bar. At times, this really just adds to the pain whilst the AI will often steal the combo you were originally going for and turning it into a 5 string long combo which can sometimes put you out of the battle.

Sound wise, the music is old, repetitive, medieval and highly snore worthy, thankfully, the custom soundtracks let me bring a bit more Metal to those bronze ages. Or whatever you prefer. Other than that, the clinks, clanks and crumbles of your grid mid-puzzle all fit and aren�t out of time or place.

Reduced: 56% of original size [ 1280 x 800 ] – Click to view full image


These are the cutscenes, nothing major. But easy to skip.

The life of this game depends purely on the gamer. As it is an RPG, I find with RPG�s is that once you�ve maxed out your levels and done the quests, there really is no replayability in it unless you want to play it again through as some one else, though I highly doubt it would make a difference. The achievements are relatively easy to collect as most are �first time� awards, where you�re given the points for doing something for the first time e.g. capturing a town, researching a spell. The rest are milestone achievements for getting through the main story and your character reaching a high skill level.

The multiplayer side of the game probably wouldn�t bring much more life to it as most of it is exactly like the main game, which isn�t bad, but it soon becomes just like the main story and may not interest people enough to use the Xbox Live feature.

If you�re the kind of gamer who enjoys quite a good challenge at times, and your related to lady luck at other times, then by all means I recommend you Puzzle Quest, for the rest of you, it�s a very good arcade game, but it might be best to take a look at what else is on the market before spending 1,200 MS points. Trial it, and then make your decision.

Overall � 6.5

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