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Monday, April 02, 2007

 

Suggested Move

This week I want to tell you about a new game I've started playing called Puzzle Quest. What that has to do with this week's cartoon will be revealed in time.

On the surface, Puzzle Quest might not get a second look from many gamers. The initial impression is that of an ordinary puzzle game wrapped in a fantasy setting. But that's just where things begin to get interesting. First of all, the puzzle game in itself is fun, but by itself it wouldn't keep player's interest for very long. That's where the "quest" part of the title comes in. Because Puzzle Quest is actually an RPG (role-playing game) where all actions from combat to research are accomplished with variations on the puzzle.

You fight monsters by lining up symbols in the puzzle grid that do damage to them. You forge magical items by trying to eliminate special symbols in your grid. Each variation of the puzzle offers slightly different gameplay and requires you to approach it a little differently.

The more that you accomplish, the better your character becomes and the more you can accomplish in your puzzles. But why read my review when you can try it for yourself? You can download a PC demo of the game (the game is currently available only on the Nintendo DS and PSP) here.

Now on to my gripes about the game. If you're stumped for a move, the game will suggest one for you. The only problem with this is that the computer's suggestions have an uncanny habit of setting up great moves for your opponent. It's kind of like when you play chess with your brother (see, I told you there was a reason behind the cartoon). Another problem is that some of the menus are poorly designed (especially in the citadel) and do not respond well to user input. And there have been a couple of times when I've tried to access the forge only to have my game go to an unresponsive black screen. This glitchiness is below the level of quality I'd expect from a game on my Nintendo DS. Fortunately, the game automatically saves your progress, so nothing is lost during these failures.

There you have it. If you have a portable device, I encourage you to try this game out. And if next week's post is late, you'll know the reason why.

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