I first picked up Puzzle Quest on the iPhone because of a posting I came across on Twitter from Daniel Perez (username xBBx.) The post was for a free download of Puzzle Quest for one day only. Little did I know that I’d be sucked into a world full of puzzle solving and questing the lands full of mythical creatures similar to that of a Lord of the Rings book.
Before I knew it, there was an announcement that Puzzle Quest 2 was going to be released soon for the Nintendo DS and on Xbox Live. Splurging the 1200 points for the download the day it came out, I’ve been sucked into the game for hours on end since. But there are definitely some differences from the first Puzzle Quest.
The first noticeable difference is the missing map. No longer does one just wander the map from point to point engaging with character and enemies at certain points. Instead, your character wanders through villages and dungeons conversing with non-playable characters (NPCs,) fighting enemies, and solving mini-games in the form of puzzles. These mini-games include bashing doors in, picking locks, searching rooms, disarming traps, and finding loot. The other noticeable difference is the usage of items within the puzzle battle. One can use a weapon, shield, potion, or poison which is activated by matching the fists in the puzzle. This alone makes a WORLD of difference in how one plays the game.
If you’ve played the first one, beware; the moves are slightly different on here. I played as an assassin in both and the stealth move is very different than in the first. On the other hand, if the enemy resists your spell, you don’t lose the mana like in the first game, just the turn. The puzzles can be addicting as they come in various sizes. I’m playing it on normal and about ¾ of the way through. Most puzzles look like the one pictured but some are larger. The Xbox Live version also comes with a multiplayer component but I’ve yet to play that.
Infinite Interactive obviously put in quite a bit of work into this sequel and I definitely recommend this to the avid puzzle gamer who are looking for something a bit more than Bejeweled. While the story is kind of lackluster and the dungeons are mostly reminiscent of a tactical RPG, the character art is drawn and colored well. With four different characters, the replay value is pretty worthwhile. I doubt the game will change your life but I’d bet that it’d entertain you at best.