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Score: 7.0 / 10
First, have to admit that I actually didnít
play the first Puzzle Quest game (I do own it, I just never got around
to giving it a try) which may be a good thing for someone coming into
this series with a fresh set of eyes.
First of all, I was impressed with the overall concept of a game that
blends the true tried and tested match three concept puzzler with a full
blown RPG twist. Thatís what makes this game work so well. What keeps it
from reaching stellar proportions (pardon the pun) is a lack of
presentation polish and an over reliance
on chance to have you either win or lose
battles in space.
The game immerses you in a story where you are required to help out
before your training is complete. You move through space on a grid and
then battle your way through various missions by completing rounds in
the puzzle mode. The various colors have you fill up certain meters. As
gain new items you can use them based on where your meters are. Getting
ďattack combosĒ however, is often left to chance and you might find that
you lose more often than you would expect to based on the luck of the
As you play you gain experience points which can then be applied to
power up yourself in the areas as you see fit. Overall your pilot will
also level up like a traditional RPG game, enabling upgrades for your
ship like new weapons and additional defensive capabilities.
The game concept is solid enough and works as intended. The game starts
to lose a few points however when it comes to presentation. The graphics
are certainly suitable for this type of game although I felt there was
just that slight lack of polish. The most troublesome part for me was
the lack of sensitivity when it comes to taps. I actually thought at
first something was wrong with my DS, but it turns out this game just
doesnít always register taps when you are going on missions and such. It
works fine during the actual gameplay, so this control issue amounts to
a minor annoyance but itís quite frustrating to think you are telling
the game to go on the next mission and it thinks youíve done nothing or
decides to send your ship off the another planet.
The audio could also use some work.
Although I wasnít expecting a huge library of background music, I found
that it repeated far too often and I ended up listening to my iPod while
playing the game rather than the included music tracks.
Overall, the game is quite addictive. I found it slightly frustrating to
lose some battles that were completely because of chance and not for
lack of skill (at least, thatís what I kept telling myself) but at least
I found that I kept going back to the game to progress. The way the
story keeps moving forward with different twists on the standard
gameplay model, for example, were much appreciated. Cracking codes
through limited time matches is just one way the developer took the
match three system and put a fresh coat of paint on it.
If you like the match three concept and RPGís too, there is no question
you are going to love this game. If youíre a bit dicey on both then Iíd
suggest you try before you buy. This game has taken two separate
ingredients and brought them together in a lovely intergalactic recipe.
The only question that remains is what is for dessert?
- Syd Bolton
(June 18, 2009)
Syd Bolton surrounds himself in classic
games at the Personal Computer Museum (www.pcmuseum.ca)
in Brantford, Ontario, Canada.