Time for another review ... Puzzle Quest: The Challenge of the Warlords

February 14 2008

I have not done a review in a while, so I figured I would talk about my favorite new game. Puzzle Quest: The Challenge of the Warlords might be the best game I have played in years. Here is something about the game, how you can play it, and why it rocks:


Image:Time for another review ... Puzzle Quest: The Challenge of the Warlords


About Puzzle Quest:

Here is the official word on the game:

Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords is a brand new, genre-bending title that ups the ante on traditional puzzle games by incorporating strategy, role-playing elements and a persistent storyline. Set in the Warlords universe, the game challenges players to save the land of Etheria from evil Lord Bane as gamers engage in battles fought by means of competitive, head-to-head "match-three" style puzzle games in one of three gameplay modes: Single-player, Instant Action or Multiplayer. Victory will advance a player's customisable hero, magical arsenal, creature companions and more—ultimately rewarding gamers at nearly every turn and deepening their immersion into the richly diverse world. The game's remarkable mix of classic puzzle gameplay and an abundant suite of characters, customisations, spells, companions, tameable monsters and more provides a fresh take on the puzzle genre that offers endless hours of replayability. Designed specifically for handheld gaming systems, Puzzle Quest can be enjoyed in long or short doses, cultivating a casual but deeply satisfying and compelling gameplay experience.

Key Features

    * Innovative Gameplay Style - Strategy and role-playing elements that function harmoniously in the puzzle gameboard setting offer a refreshing twist on classic puzzle gameplay, fostering an exceptional depth of investment and enjoyment.
    * Head-to-Head Gameplay Mechanism - Competitive, turn-based gameplay encourages you to plan, think and strategize against opponents instead of just react like most traditional puzzle games; game difficulty and progression are related to outsmarting your enemies as opposed to difficulty increasing solely through level progression.
    * No Penalty for Losing - If you experience defeat, you are still awarded experience points as well as partial gold and then encouraged to try again; this allows constant progression and avoids any feelings that invested play time is wasted.
    * Continuous Reward System - At every turn, you will acquire helpful companions, collect or cast powerful magic spells, gather informational "rumors," and obtain items like weapons, armor and money to advance your hero.
    * Short or Long-term Play Sessions - Play in long or short doses since the depth of the game does not waver according to the length of a gameplay session; each battle ranges from 3-10 minutes.
    * Three Distinct Gameplay Modes Offer Unparalleled Replayability -
          o Single-player: Battle against the computer AI as you embark on more than 150 challenging quests
          o Instant Action: Jump in and immediately play continuous battles to level up your character without participating in quests
          o Multiplayer: Battle live opponents via wireless connectivity on both the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system and the Nintendo DS handheld system
    * Create and Build a Hero - Choose from two male and two female avatars in each of the four character classes-Druid, Knight, Warrior and Wizard-to create, develop and customize your ultimate hero.
    * Build Your Own Empire - Build an empire as you capture cities, build castles and gain a party of companions that will aid you in battle.


Image:Time for another review ... Puzzle Quest: The Challenge of the Warlords


The best way to think of this game is a puzzle game like Bejeweled combined with a role playing game like the Bard's Tale or Ultima. I find myself playing it in small bits ... or for hours. You can play a match, save the game, and do what you need to. Since I play it on my Nintendo DS, I can play it when I am traveling on a plane,

(Almost) Everyone can play:

What is amazing about this game is the number of platforms it is available on. Here is the list:
  • Nintendo DS
  • Sony PSP
  • PC
  • Mobile
  • XBox 360 as a Live downloadable game
  • Nintendo Wii
  • PS2

Notice something missing? Yeah, me too.

What is even better than it being available on all those platforms is that the game is tailored to each device and platform. On the Nintendo DS, the stylus does all the work, with the top screen showing you, your spells, and your character. Using the flipper buttons, the top and bottom screen swap. On the 360, you get achievements and lots more. On the PC, you can customize the keys just like you expect.

Why it rocks:

I typically am not a fan of puzzle games. They get boring and tedious. Why is Puzzle Quest so different? It takes the basic puzzle game and totally blows it out of the water. In basic combat with monsters, you match 4 colors and 3 special types. You can use up to 7 different spells to attack your opponent or change the puzzle board. But, when creating items or researching spells, you play the puzzle game to match a number of pieces. Capture opponents? You play preset puzzle patterns. Level your mount? Fight against the mount with a time limit. The same puzzle game is changed in multiple ways. I never tire of this game!

Plus, something I can play while on the plane, in the hot tub, or when I have a few minutes in a cab ... it just rocks. Play Puzzle Quest. You will love it, but do not blame me if you become addicted!