Back in 2007, Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords on Nintendo DS was an revolutionary blend of match-three and RPG mechanics which produced an completely new take on the puzzle genre and went on to influence a swathe of hybrids in a comparable vein. Publishers D3 Go! have now announced that original developer Infinity Plus two is bringing a 1080p remaster with new content material to Switch on 19th September in the type of Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns, and any one who enjoys stretching the ol’ grey matter and matching 3 gems collectively should really be pretty excited certainly.
As you can see from the trailer above, you discover the kingdom of Etheria generating close friends (and enemies) along the way. In combat (hey, relationships can go sour quickly!) match-three mechanics are employed to obtain mana and battle as 1 of a variety of classes, and this remaster brings a clutch of new quests, spells, classes and a lot more to Switch, cleaning up the original game with some higher-definition 2019 polish.
We not too long ago had the opportunity to ask Puzzle Quest creator Steve Fawkner about the new game, the history behind it and the challenges of updating the DS original for a contemporary audience on Switch.
NL: There’ll be lots of Switch owners who played the original Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords on Nintendo DS or 1 of the residence console ports, but there’ll also be some coming to the series for the 1st time. Inform us a small about the game and what tends to make it special.
Steve Fawkner, Puzzle Quest creator: Puzzle Quest was the original mashup of a match-three puzzle with an RPG, and I nevertheless really feel it nevertheless has a beautiful balance in between the puzzle and RPG gameplay. No matter whether you are moving by means of the globe on a quest, chatting with allies, or fighting enemies in puzzle-battles, the gameplay moves good and smoothly in between the RPG and puzzle components. I’ve normally felt the secret sauce of the game wasn’t so significantly that it was a mashup, but rather that it was a puzzle AND an RPG in a single box. You had all the epic quests, hero advancement and customization (even mounts!), NPCs and conversations you’d anticipate in an RPG, but alongside that there is an extremely straightforward and deep match-three puzzle exactly where you fight your battles, craft weapons, capture enemies, and find out spells.
The fusion of match-three puzzle mechanics with components from techniques and RPG games felt remarkably fresh back in 2007. Initially, how did you hit upon combining these two genres?
I’m a massive RPG fan, but I also appreciate a lot of other genres of games. A single that I had not too long ago found in 2005 when we began Puzzle Quest was Bejeweled – the classic match-three I’m confident we’ve all played by now! I’d just been functioning on turn-primarily based approach and RTS games for the final 15 years at that point, so I was hungry to attempt some thing new. I truly just took two genres I enjoyed and attempt to glue them collectively with some mechanics that have been inspired by Magic: The Gathering. Inside a couple of weeks, we had a prototype, and we knew it was going to be enjoyable.
Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns is launching exclusively on Switch. How extended has the game been in improvement? What’s behind the choice to concentrate on Nintendo’s console?
We’ve been functioning on this version for pretty much a year, and it is been constructed from the ground up. It is nevertheless the exact same Puzzle Quest we know and adore, but we’ve rebuilt all the screens to bring the practical experience up to a typical anticipated by gamers these days. The Nintendo Switch is a good option for Puzzle Quest – the mixture of touch screen and joy-con style inputs operates truly nicely (we assistance each!), but a lot more importantly this has normally been a game you can snack on for 5 minutes, or dive into for 5 hours, and the special portability of the Switch lends itself to these varied play patterns truly nicely.
In spite of Puzzle Quest appearing on a lot of other platforms, in our minds it feels ‘at home’ on the DS as a touchscreen puzzler. How are you translating and updating the core practical experience in The Legend Returns for Switch?
I agree! Nintendo DS is exactly where all of Puzzle Quest’s results started, so it feels like residence to us as well.
We’ve been pretty cautious not to break the feeling of the original game, so it includes all the exact same characteristics and quests as the 1st version, but also involves the 1st expansion, Revenge of the Plaguelord, which was not released on DS, and a entire new expansion, Attack of the Golem Lord, written particularly for this release. Pair that with a entire new bunch of Hero Classes, and you have got tons of new content material.
We didn’t want to cease with content material although, so we went by means of and reworked just about every screen in the game with new art and layouts to make it the greatest practical experience feasible. The original Puzzle Quest game is displaying its age a small these days, but Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns is an absolute joy to play.
Will The Legend Returns have any new content material or make use of Switch’s special characteristics?
As talked about previously, we have two expansions by no means observed ahead of on Nintendo Switch – in reality the Attack of the Golem Lord expansion was written particularly for this release! There are some good new Hero Classes such as the Blood Mage and the Paladin, lots of new Enemies and Quests, and a ton of highly effective new Magic Things to gather.
As far as Switch characteristics go, we concentrated on what we felt was the core of the Switch – seamless movement in between touch screen and joy-con input, and regional multiplayer assistance for when you just want to prove you are much better at smashing match-three puzzles than your close friends!
What would you say has been the largest challenge you have faced more than the course of creating the game?
Historically, the largest challenge we had was obtaining a publisher for the game. It was rather a new notion back in 2006 and 2007 when we have been functioning on it, and a lot of publishers believed it was a bit as well risky. Luckily, the great group at D3 Publisher (which now goes by D3 Go!) stepped up and took a opportunity with it, and Puzzle Quest (in all its a lot of types) has been increasing ever due to the fact.
As for challenges in Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns itself, I feel obtaining the game to perform seamlessly with each touch screen and joy-con, so you could move in between them at will, was a surprising technical hurdle. We felt it was crucial to the game although, so we spent a extended time reworking our input systems to manage it.
The game spawned sequels that constructed upon the notion of the original. Was it normally the strategy to remaster the 1st game rather than Galactrix or Puzzle Quest two?
I wouldn’t say we had a extended-term strategy to particularly remaster the 1st game, but when the chance to perform on Switch came up, remastering the 1st game felt like a all-natural option. I nevertheless really feel it has the greatest balance of puzzle and RPG out of any of the sequels. That type of synergy is timeless, and if you can just tweak the look and usability to meet contemporary requirements of gameplay, I really feel that a entire new generation of men and women will come across some thing right here to adore.
Puzzle Quest is set in the bigger Warlords RPG universe. We’ve observed some classics of the genre return on Switch, with the console becoming some thing of a haven for remasters and rereleases – are there any plans to bring the Warlords series or other Puzzle Quest games to the program?
We do not have something to announce at the moment about other Puzzle Quest games or Warlords games coming to the Switch, but I can say that the group right here enjoyed functioning on the Nintendo Switch immensely (and nevertheless do, with our existing F2P title Gems of War).
We’ll undoubtedly be sitting right here, with our fingers crossed, hoping that Puzzle Quest finds its audience once more. And if it does, I feel we’d relish the chance to bring some of our other titles up-to-date with a truly powerful remastering on Nintendo Switch, like we’ve accomplished with Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns.
Lastly, are there any Switch games the group has been specifically enjoying not too long ago?
Personally, I’ve been playing Fire Emblem: 3 Homes just about every evening for weeks (as have a lot of the group right here), though Diablo three and Carcassonne are my most-played games on Switch. Other notable favorites in the workplace appropriate now are Celeste, Pokemon: Let’s Go, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dragon Quest Builders two, Hyrule Warriors, and Hollow Knight.
Our thanks to Steve for taking the time to answer our queries. Have you played the Nintendo DS original? Intrigued by this Switch remake? The Switch has some definitely cracking puzzlers currently, but if this is as half as great as the original game, we’re particular when once more to drop a lot of hours to Puzzle Quest when it launches on 19th September. Let us know if you happen to be in the exact same boat beneath.