Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords Review
You could call Puzzle Quest a puzzle game with RPG elements, but describing it that way would be selling it short. There’s a surprising depth of strategy to the game’s battles which are fought out on its puzzle boards, and you’ll find that the game possesses that magical quality that makes it very hard to shut down until you’ve played just one more battle.
Like most RPGs, the game is set in a sword and sorcerers fantasy world and features a full storyline that evolves over the course of the game. You begin by creating a character and choosing a class such as a warrior or sorcerer and then set off into the world to complete quests and slay evil. The game’s world simply provides a place for you to move between various Points As and Bs, and there’s not a lot to this part of the game’s RPG aspect. That’s OK, though, because that’s not what we’re here for, slaying monsters by beating them a competitive puzzle play.
Whenever you encounter an enemy in the game the battle takes the form of a puzzle game in which you alternate turns with your opponent. The puzzle consists of a grid of various colored orbs and icons, and the goal is to eliminate them by matching three or more of them horizontally or vertically. You do this by swapping the positions of two adjacent gems, which in turn causes the matching gems to vanish. The gems above will then fall into the newly created gap, potentially setting off chain reactions as matching gems fall into place.
So far this sounds like a standard puzzle game and up to this point it is, but there’s more to it. Each set of matching gems bestows some form of benefit on the player. The colored gems come in four colors, each representing a different form of magic. Matching a c row or column of these gems will generate the corresponding type of mana for your character. This mana is used to power your spells, and each spell in your book requires a certain number of one or more of the colors of mana. The game has a pretty large and diverse spell book, with spells that change gems on the puzzle board, damage your opponent, or bestow bonuses to your character. Also on the board are icons which reward you with bonus gold and experience, and special skulls which cause damage to your opponent.