So am I the only person that still whips out Puzzle Quest every couple of months to beat it all over again? I’m working on my 4th run through now, this time with the last character I haven’t tried – the Knight. There’s something incredibly fun and addictive about the game that never gets old even though I know the whole storyline. Let’s look at the features I love:
- Multiple character types to select from, each with unique powers and several possible choices for gender/looks.
- Addicting and clever battle system based on Bejeweled.
- Decent storyline, a bit stereotypical and overdone, but the unique battle system makes it feel fresh somehow.
- Lots of side quests and activities outside of the main quest – build up your citadel, gather Runes, forge Rune Items, capture and train Mounts, capture enemies and research their spells, and conquer cities to add to your empire.
- Leveling system for the player, with standard RPG stats and such. It’s addictive like crack. Just… one… more… level!!!…
- Tons of pre-made items to purchase and equip, though I generally find I stick with the same kinds no matter what my character is.
- No death condition. Instead you just retry battles
I could have added that there is a multiplayer element to the game – you can battle other people with the character you have created – but I’m not really fond of it. It feels like it was tacked on because they could. I suppose that’s better than excluding it since I’m sure there are others out there who enjoy that part of the game, but I am not one of them.
I think the DS version is my favorite. I’ve played it on Xbox 360, PC, and DS, and by far the DS version was the most fun because I could take it with me. Puzzle Quest is perfect when I have 5 min waiting at a restaurant for my friends to arrive or when I’m in sitting at the doctor’s office for my appointment. The ability for the DS to pause the game and hibernate by shutting the lid without losing progress is invaluable. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve been engrossed in the middle of a battle when I hear my named called and have to instantly flip the lid down to greet someone or go do what I was there for in the first place. Man that would piss me off if I lost my progress whenever that happened.
I am a huge fan of both casual and hardcore games. I like casual games because they are usually more forgiving on time-requirements – I can play for 5 minutes or 5 hours, and either the gameplay sessions are individually small enough that I can complete them in that time or it’s easy to save and come back later. I like hardcore games because I’m constantly searching for that immersive experience in which to emotionally invest myself. Puzzle Quest satisfies both of these urges for me. It’s also a great introduction into hardcore games for any casual players you know. My sister LOVES Bejeweled, and while she normally has no interest in video games (which for some reason she doesn’t count Bejeweled as one) she was really interested in Puzzle Quest when she saw me in a battle. It makes a great gift for a birthday or holiday – the game is priced very reasonably so you could buy several copies for the price of a regular hardcore game.
Overall, the game is clean, fun, and really expansive given its premise. Puzzle Quest is addictive and unique and polished, which is probably why I still play it a year after I bought it. Kudos to Infinite Interactive and D3 for making a brilliant game I can’t put down!