- Three years ago, in March of 2007, I first read about Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords on Penny Arcade. Described as an RPG crossed with Bejeweled, it sounded like a great mix of casual and hardcore gaming. Thirty eight months after buying the game for my Nintendo DS, I have finally completed the main campaign.
- PQ was exactly what I was looking for in a puzzle game: something I could pick up and play for a few minutes, then not look at it again for 45 days. Okay, maybe that's not how it wants you to play, but it worked just fine doing that. With a standard RPG, if you come back after so long a break, you're better off starting over. That was never an issue here.
- What was an issue was how unfair the puzzle fights felt at times. I would choose my little three gem combo and count myself lucky to have any options at all. Then the opponent would run several four gem combos in a row (since each grants an extra turn) and have several three skull combos drop whole onto the board. I can't accuse the game of cheating per se, because I usually won most battles anyway. It just felt terribly unfair.
- Just as amusing to me was the hint arrow that comes up. If you take to long to make a move, the arrow pops up to point out an option you not see. Several times, I noticed that making that move would set the AI up to either damage me or get a multiple gem combo again. Again, I can't say that it was cheating, but I learned never to assume the arrow was there to help me.
- I'm glad I played this on the DS. The portability and persistence helped a lot. I also purchased it through Steam, but lost my save game every time I switched computers. Bah. I found it amusing that Puzzle Quest 2 was recently announced. I finished just in time.
© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.