The Very first Puzzle Quest Is Nonetheless The Very best

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2007’s Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords combined tile-matching puzzles and function-playing game mechanics to generate an extremely compelling hybrid game that was close to not possible to place down. 1 sequel, a number of spin-offs, and numerous copycats later, the Switch version of the original Puzzle Quest is just as captivating as it was 12 years ago.

Launching on September 19, that Switch version is subtitled “The Legend Returns,” and for superior cause. The original game is certainly legendary, a fantastic marriage of match-3 mechanics and turn-primarily based fantasy RPG. Players and their foes take turns producing matches on a Bejeweled-style game board. Matching skulls does harm to their opponent. Matching coins harvests gold to buy products and gear. Matching purple stars grants players expertise points to raise character levels and discover new capabilities. Capabilities are activated applying mana, collected by matching colored orbs.

Every single battle is a one particular-on-one particular turn-primarily based RPG battle. The player has to gather the mana necessary to pull off their spells and skills whilst denying their enemies the very same. Do I match yellow gems so my bard character can sing a healing song, or do I gather red gems to retain my ogre enemy from applying its devastating “Thump!” capability? There’s a depth of technique to Puzzle Quest that belies its straightforward look. It is a mix of techniques, talent, and sheer luck that is intoxicating.

Even though the graphics have been sharpened for the Switch re-release and some of the mechanics re-tuned (players are no-longer penalized for attempting to make illegal moves), this revamp appears and feels significantly like the original. The impactful feeling when a match is produced, the tingling sound when 4 gems or a lot more are cleared, signaling an further turn, the way the music modifications when the player’s or the enemy’s hit points drop dangerously low—it’s all right here, only larger and brighter.

(This was one particular hell of a close battle.)

Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns combines the original game, created by Infinite Interactive as a spin-off to the Warlords series of turn-primarily based technique games, with its 2008 expansion Revenge of the Plague Lord and a brand-new storyline with a lot more than 100 new quests. There are new monsters, new bosses, new puzzle mini-games, and 4 new playable character classes.

It is pretty much also significantly Puzzle Quest. I spent 15 minutes flipping via character classes ahead of settling on an old favored, Revenge of the Plague Lord’s Bard. Every single class in the game plays drastically distinct from the other people, so whilst the quests are largely the very same in just about every playthrough, the way you have to vanquish your enemies varies wildly. With dozens of hours of questing essential to level just about every character class, I doubt I’ll ever be fully carried out with this game.

The Puzzle Quest series fell off a cliff soon after this 1st version. 2010’s Puzzle Quest two added a layer of complexity with attack and defense and statistics that, whilst not totally unwelcome, muddled the prosperous formula of its predecessor. 2009 sci-fi spin-off Puzzle Quest: Galactrix was super-difficult and extremely dense. The most current games in the series, Marvel Puzzle Quest, Magic the Gathering Puzzle Quest, and Adventure Time Puzzle Quest, are no cost-to-play games that are hollow licensed shells, lacking the depth of story and technique established in the original.

So this is one particular of these uncommon situations exactly where going back to the 1st game in a comparatively extended-operating series is not a matter of rolling back years of innovation and improvement. Puzzle Quest began in a really superior spot Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns requires me ideal back there.

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