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Puzzle Quest Is Incredible

Decoy Octopus

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A week ago I had never even heard of this game. And then Penny Arcade ran a comic that hit my funny bone something hard. I started reading about Puzzle Quest after that to see what the hell it was. I was shocked to find it was, basically, Bejeweled RPG. All the reviews for the game were fairly glowing... except for an inept critique from Nintendo Power. It sounded like fun so I went and picked it up Wednesday afternoon. And I pretty much haven't stopped playing it since.

It's a great blend of RPG and puzzle elements. The battle system is nothing more than competitive Bejeweled but there is a lot of strategy and options to consider depending on who you're fighting and the items you have equipped.

You can also tell that the game was influenced, especially in its presentation, by Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics.

The music is also excellent.

Hell, I'm trying to rattle this post out so that I can go back to playing the game. Just wanted to see if anyone else has purchased this game (in either DS or PSP form) and is enjoying it as much as I am. Is anyone not like it..?

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I was really addicted to this game recently. It's pretty hot. I want the full version but I'm really broke.

What in particular is bad with the DS version? Just the graphics?

The graphics aren't bad... they just aren't at the same level as the PSP.

And the stylus controls are mandatory and can be touchy from time to time. You end up making a mistake every once and awhile during a "battle". This is about my biggest criticism of the game. If only they could have included optional d-pad controls. But, really, it hasn't affected how much I enjoy the game.

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Another concern that I had upon buying the DS version was that unlike the PC version (who knows when the demo sitting on our computers will fully blossom) it doesn't feature Wi-Fi play, only ad-hoc. Other than that, the graphic differences don't make much of change and stylus control is preferred as an analog to mouse control. I've yet to run out of things to do in this game. I've scoured my area for runes (and have yet to collect all available to me). I've trained my mount to be faster and stronger than before. I've even tried my darndest to lay siege to the neighboring cities. It may just be Bejeweled RPG but heck it it isn't an awesome Bejeweled RPG. And if you don't like fantasy RPG settings, wait until a bit later when they release the space RPG version. Something for everyone.

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Yeah, I find that about 70% of the time, the suggestion feature is certainly not the best play you could make. 20% of the time, it's a 4-in-a-row that you may or may not have noticed. 10% of the time, it's the only move you can make.

Even in the demo, I can spend tons of time on it. I've been trying to amass exciting combinations of spells and equipment so that I can do things like wipe three columns at once and maybe set off a heroic effort. I've played through with several classes so far and had some different experiences, which are a little skewed by my learning more about the game's incredibly deep engine as I go along:

Knights have some nice moves (Thrust seems kind of useless at first but I've been missing it since using other classes; it's especially useful against skeletons after they use Wake the Dead) and they have a nice combination of power and magic that makes them pretty good at winning all the time. I made it through the entire story and all the side-quests in the demo and only lost once (on the "Bats in the Belfry" quest) on my first playthrough. I forget what it's called, but they have one really, really good move - it gives you extra turns for cheap, so that you can set up even more extra turns, and it does damage too. Perfect for slaughtering the enemy when things look grim.

Sorcerers are a little boring to play at first. Their most worthwhile spells are just straight-up damage, which is kind of disappointing. You can play a nasty strategy, though, just taking every available opportunity to match skulls and spending the remaining turns either building up mana or just casting damage spells, so you're hitting for actual damage about 2-3 times as often as your opponent.

Druids are the most fun I've had yet. They get some really neat abilities that let you mess with the board (Entangle, Call Lightning) and they tend to spend a lot of time setting up single, massive turns or strings thereof. At least, that's how I play them.

Getting abilities off of enemies is fun, too, though so far I've only been able to capture a Skeleton. I love to stock up on mana and then combine Entangle, Wake the Dead, and Call Lightning with a little luck to basically wipe a third of the board without my opponent getting a turn in edgewise.

Is it just me, though, or is gold sort of a lot more scarce than experience in the demo? Maybe just because EXP is worthless after level 7, but it feels like I always hit level 7 before I manage to save up enough money to buy even one or two buildings or pieces of equipment that I really want.

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I imagine UE already plugged it in another thread somewhere, but if you haven't seen it, you can check out an excellent Puzzle Quest interview that he did here.

In short, yes, Puzzle Quest is amazing. All DS owners (haven't played the PSP version, I'm sure it's good too) need to go give it a try.

I don't post here anymore, but I wanted to pop in and say thanks for plugging this for me my friend.

Also, if you're intrigued about the game but the fantasy setting turns you off, pretty soon Infinite Interactive is releasing a new sci-fi take on the puzzle/RPG genre (for the PSP, DS, XBLA, and PC).

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I've been playing the demo a lot, and I hate it. I hate it because most of it is poorly conceived and infuriating...


I mean, come on! RPG and simple puzzle?! Those are the two biggest hooks in gaming! I will not rest until I or someone else makes an excellent version of this type of game.

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