Monday, June 25, 2007

Puzzle Quest

Developer: Infinite Interactive
: D3 Publisher
Release Date:
March 20, 2007
DS (reviewed), PSP
Official Web site

In a nutshell:
Match jewels to get mana, use mana to cast spells, use spells to kill enemies. Repeat.

0:01 I love the random fantasy name generator they seem to use for your character. Sanimin? Enaniel? I finally settle on Feramina, a well-balanced Wizard.
0:02 Another great name: Queen Qwendholyn. Gwendolyn was just too common, eh?
0:04 My character think her dead grandfather was crazy because he said on his death bed that he was battling skeletons. Why is that crazy? Because skeletons haven't been seen in Agaria for centuries. Not because, y'know, living skeletons are NOT REAL or anything crazy like that.
0:06 The non-attacking training dummy is defeated. I like the triumphant music and the "You are victorious!" message. Uh, the thing doesn't attack. I would hope I'd be victorious.
0:12 I show how bad I am at these games by losing the second training battle. My moves always seem to set up the opponent for something much better. I should pay attention to that.
0:17 I play a little more strategically this time, looking for damage-causing skulls and only casting spells when I have no better options. I Am Victorious, and the game proclaims it so.
0:18 There's quite the wide array of level up options. I choose fire and battle as specialties.
0:21 A battle with a thief is over all too quickly. I'm not that impressed with my new spell, "Channel Fire." Changes 9 other mana into 5 fire mana. Whoo.
0:23 "Lord Bane, the dark horsemen of death." Why aren't the bad guys ever named Smith or Jones?
0:25 Seems a cult is raising skeletons from the dead. That'll teach my character to be skeptical.
0:26 Channel Fire actually comes in handy when a dearth of red orbs comes up. That'll teach me to be skeptical.
0:29 The touch controls are a little too sensitive. I keep making accidental moves. Also, the music is like a dirge. Where's the uplifting battle theme?
0:30 Another victory. They're handing out skill points like candy.
0:35 I can't figure out how to figure out what my new spells do.
0:38 Figured it out. The help button is actually helpful.
0:39 I get slain by a lowly skeleton who KEEPS LUCKING INTO FREAKING FOUR-IN-A-ROW EXTRA TURNS ARGGHHHH! Not that I'm bitter.
0:40 Not that losing seems to matter... I get experience and try again. Hooray for forgiving game design.
0:42 I lose again... even quicker than before. That skeleton always seems to find the chains. Maybe I should stop just picking the first match I find.
0:46 Loving the new Haste spell. Four-in-a-row gets me an extra turn plus damage? Yes please.
0:47 I finally win by focusing exclusively on the skulls. The strategy is beginning to clarify a bit.
0:51 The Giant Zombie's only attack is "Eat Skulls." Accurate!
0:53 The zombie just got 5 turns in a row. Freakin' A!
0:55 The opposing action moves so fast, it's hard to keep track of what's going on on both screens. Meanwhile: "Eat Skulls does just what it advertises," by removing the skulls from the board. There goes my strategy.
0:57 I get the skeleton down to one hit point, then he finishes me off with a killer barrage. ARGH!

Would I play this game for more than an hour: Maybe.
Why? Great design, intriguing strategy and colorful graphics. But I suck!

This review is based on a retail version of the game borrowed from a friend.


Jay (Jakanden) said...

Puzzle Quest is a great game once you get into it. However, you are not doing anything to cause the computer to nail combos in crazy succession. It happens pretty often and is a common complaint about the game.

Dan said...

Everybody sucks for the first hour. I strongly recommend you try it again and keep going, because it's a real blast to play as you develop your character. said...

Why aren't the bad guys ever named Smith or Jones?

Hmm, have you ever heard of an obscure movie called 'The Matrix'? :D

Kyle said...

Good point re: the Matrix, but I meant in sword and sorcery fantasy specifically.