The Legend Returns is a sound investment on Switch

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This game under no circumstances ends (and I am okay with that!)

I forgot just how absorbing Puzzle Quest can be when it is accomplished proper. A couple of battles right here, a couple of spell upgrades there, and subsequent point you know, you have been matching colour-coded tiles for hours on finish.

Right after a couple of missteps, the when-beloved match-three series lives on with an enhanced port for Nintendo Switch named Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns, out tomorrow on the eShop for a pretty affordable $14.99. The package assembles Challenge of the Warlords, Revenge of the Plague Lord, and a new-for-Switch expansion, Attack of the Golem Lord, for a combined total of much more than 240 quests.

This is not necessarily anything I am ever going to beat, but gosh, what a brilliant notion.

Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns map screen

There is no shortage of match-three games, but what sets Puzzle Quest apart is every little thing surrounding the familiar puzzle hook: all these sweet RPG mechanics. This game has truthful-to-god character builds.

You are going to start off out as a humble adventurer in a relatively generic fantasy globe, and as you win battles against skeletons, ogres, and all manner of beasts, you can find out spells and kit oneself out with capability-enhancing gear. There are a ton of classes to choose from like the newcomers Blood Mage, Priest, Monk, Paladin, and Elementalist and your spells will inform your excellent puzzle-matching tactic.

How does Puzzle Quest play? The gist is that red, yellow, blue, and green gems correspond to various varieties of mana, although coins earn you gold, purple pieces award XP, and skulls hurt your opponent. Whoever runs out of HP 1st loses. If you make a match of 4 or greater, your turn is extended, and spells are fueled by mana. Lesser spells like Sneak Attack take 4 green and 4 blue mana to cast, whereas anything effective like Assassinate needs saving up mana across all 4 categories.

Players take turns producing matches, nearly like they are in a giant, cascading game of Connect 4. The thought is to set oneself up for good results in the quick- and extended-term although also denying the competitors a opportunity to make difficult-hitting moves. Luck plays a issue, of course, but the AI generally is not unreasonable.

For instance, I’ve constructed out Belithas my beloved, randomly-named, cantankerous-as-hell elderly Paladin in such a way that I ought to prioritize yellow, blue, and green gems, and then go for red. Rather of matching skull tiles for effortless harm, in most situations, I favor to create up my mana reserves early and then go all-out with a wave of offensive spells to close out the battle. Specific foes will force you to adjust, although, and that is component of the exciting of strategizing, grinding, and fine-tuning your create.

With my present setup, my overall health is topped up every single turn if I have sufficient blue mana, so that is the 1st order of organization. Then, I can use back-to-back complementary spells to transform most of the board into yellow gems, make a large chained match for an influx of mana, and cast a yellow-gem-powered attack spell a number of instances more than to swiftly melt the enemy’s HP away. It took some grinding to get right here.

You require a base appreciation for match-three games to get something out of Puzzle Quest, but the RPG components truly flesh out the encounter. They are fairly the motivator. Capturing monsters to find out their spells, taking more than cities to accrue passive earnings, forging products, coaching mounts – the list goes on. The primary story is beefy sufficient on its personal, and there are tons of side quests and distractions, as well.

Capturing a spider in Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns

If I have any criticisms, they are largely technical. There is a tendency for large matches to outcome in short-term hitching/stuttering as the game struggles to hold up with itself. It is a noticeable blemish, but it does not final extended. As such, I sort of just got made use of to it more than time. I also lost interest in the storyline (not that I set out to play Puzzle Quest for its narrative). It is there if you want it otherwise, absolutely nothing is stopping you from skipping more than dialog and cutscenes in favor of pure puzzling action.

Though there are fairly a couple of menus to pore more than, particularly as The Legend Returns begins to open up, I located the interface, controls, and text size to all be on-point when playing my Switch in handheld mode. I a lot favor utilizing the two analog sticks (a single for cursor movement, a single for active gem swapping), but the Switch’s touch-screen controls are fine right here. Also, if for what ever explanation you happen to be worried about prospective load instances, do not be – this game is conducive to transportable play sessions.

Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns deserves a spot on your household menu, plain and basic. If you missed this series the 1st time about, go for it. This is an superb rendition. If you happen to be currently hooked and have been for years, come back for seconds anyway. It is Puzzle Quest as it ought to be.

[This impressions piece is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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