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Platform

PSP

 

Genre

Puzzle

 

Publisher

Agetec

 

Developer

Agetec

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

February 27, 2008

 

 

- Matching diagonal shapes is a bit different from the norm

- Strange mascot decorating quest

 

 

- Hard to pick up and play without having a head for puzzle games

- Sterile presentation

 

 

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Puzzle Guzzle

Score: 6.0 / 10

 

Puzzle Guzzle is the next in the long line of portable puzzle games. Developed by Irem and published by Agetec, it's a new take on an old formula. Like any similar Tetris-like game, blocks from the sky, and it's your job to make them disappear. Each block has a triangle on it, and you need to connect them to create a single, diagonal shape. Naturally, the larger the shape, the more points you score. The edges of the playing field can also be used to round off the edges of shapes, making it the easiest score on the bottom and sides of the screen.

 

puzzle guzzle          puzzle guzzle

 

There are three basic game modes. The crux of the game is the Drop Puzzle, where pieces fall down like Tetris blocks. Although you can play this in alone, it's more fun to bring in a challenger, either with a second player or with a CPU

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- Puzzle Game Reviews

opponent. These duels are similar to Puyo Puyo or Super Puzzle Fighter, where creating a combo will drop blocks on your opponent's side, hampering their progress. You can rid the playing field of these blocks if you create a combo next to them, which will also send more blocks over to your opponent. If you or your opponent's screen fills up, they lose.

 

The other two modes don't have as much 

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substance, but are fun anyway. The Stuffit Puzzke mode fills the screen with puzzle pieces, and challenges you to create as many combos in a short time span. You can also play this with a competitor as they try to match combos alongside you, which makes these stages quite chaotic. The Quiz Puzzle mode presents you with a small preset puzzle, and challenges you to clear all of the pieces at once. You can also create your own Quiz Puzzles if you like.

 

The standard modes are a bit dull, but bringing out a competitor gives the action a bit more life. You begin the game playing as a strange block with facial features, who must challenge number of similar-looking blocks, dubbed "mascots". Once you beat a mascot, you can steal something from them, whether it be their shape, texture, eyes, nose or mouth. You can also steal their special attacks, which is a bit more useful. Strangely, your selections will end up replacing whatever you already have equipped, so you can't customize your mascot at will. It's a strange way to breath some life in the game, but the weird anthromorphic shapes are simultaneously endearing and creepy. And despite their friendly demeanor and cutesy voices, some of these mascots are tough bastards. Even the earlier ones will put up quite a fight, barely giving you a chance to learn how to play.

 

And that's ultimately the biggest issue with Puzzle Guzzle. Most puzzles games should be easy to pick up and play, yet hard to master. But Puzzle Guzzle forces you to think diagonally, which can be a bit mind bending. It becomes easier once you figure out how to assemble the most basic shapes, but trying to link them all together into more complicated shapes is pretty difficult, especially when you're scrambling against the clock. For that reason, this is the type of game that's really only recommended for diehard puzzle game enthusiasts, as more casual gamers would probably be just happier with Lumenis. The graphics are sterile and lifeless, and the soundtrack would feel at home in a Sudoku game, which does little else to endear the player to it. Like most budget puzzle games, it's really not bad for the price, but it's hardly recommended.

 

- Kurt Kalata

(May 2, 2008)

 

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