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Puzzle Quest 2

March 16th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Games like “Bejeweled” are fine, but often lack the oomph I need when I’m in the mood for something deeper.  “Puzzle Quest 2” is a game I play off and on, but often doesn’t remain on my play list for extended periods of time due to one major issue: it’s unfair as hell.  Before I touch on that, let’s briefly touch on what I did like about the game.

Puzzle Quest 2

Puzzle Quest 2 (PC, Nintendo DS, XBox 360, iPhone, Android)

The main menu allows the player to play single or multiplayer, participate in mini-games and tournament modes, and adjust game options.  The options menu will give you the option to adjust the resolution, toggle fullscreen mode, change your sound levels, and enable / disable various gameplay prompts.  The mini-games are nice, as they’ll help you to get used to the battles that you’ll encounter in-game.  They all revolve around a match-three theme, but each of them have slightly different goals that often have a time / turn limit associated with them.  Tournaments allow players to select a team or lineup and duke it out over the long haul.

The single player campaign is where you’ll be spending most of your time, and it has a surprising amount of content and gameplay elements for you to consider as you play.  There are RPG elements involved, allowing you to equip gear, level up attributes, assign skills / spells to your active battle list, and etc.  Players will be able to choose between different classes as well, giving them access to different spells and abilities that they can utilize during a battle.  There are even three different difficulty levels, though easy is still a bit unfair in my opinion…more on that in a moment.

Puzzle Quest 2

You can customize your spell list for future battles.

The gameplay is fairly straightforward: accept a quest, follow the arrows to the quest area, fight battles or engage in mini-games along the way, complete the quest, turn it in for rewards, manage your character’s new stuff, and repeat.  I really do enjoy this aspect of the game as there is so much that you’ll be able to customize.  I turned my paladin into a heavy shield user that relies on the use of purple gems to attack and defend during a match.  There’s a lot of strategies that one can employ, and this is where the game truly shines.

When it comes time to actually battle however, I find myself getting frustrated.  I love being able to cast spells with the gems I match and being able to perform actions with the gear I have equipped.  I like the idea of my opponent and me having a health pool, along with our own individual spells to make use of instead of making a match.  That all goes away however when randomness takes a front seat, which often works against me.  Imagine if you will a scenario where you’ve made an awesome chain on the board and after the smoke cleared, it was your opponent’s turn.  The new gems that fall from the top of the board to replace what was matched are completely random, and heaven help you if +5 Skull gems (direct damage gems) fall in a way that set your opponent up perfectly for a massive attack.  It can be frustrating to play as strategically as you can and still lose due to the way the gems fell.

Puzzle Quest 2

Match skulls, use items, or cast spells to reduce your opponent’s health to zero.

“Puzzle Quest 2” has a lot to offer and is an incredible game, and if it weren’t for the way luck can kick you when you’re down, I’d recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone I came across.  The game is a bit more tolerable when I avoid risky plays where a lot of gems could come into play, even if it meant I was passing on some great plays.  Still, I shouldn’t have to do that.  Besides this luck issue, I really commend the game for its depth and the amount of customization options you’ll have when developing your character.  It’s still worth the $9.99 (PC), in my opinion…just have a stress ball nearby when a battle goes south despite your best efforts.  I own the game for the Nintendo DS as well, and while it is a bit more expensive for that platform, it’s a great way to pass the time…win or lose.

Final Verdict: 8/10

You can learn more about and purchase the game by visiting the following websites:

http://www.puzzle-quest.com/

http://store.steampowered.com/app/47540/

You can view video play sessions here:

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