When it comes right down to it most of us play games for the exact same reason: They're fun. I don't care if you're into sports games, heavy role-playing games, or one on one fighting, if you're a gamer chances are it's because you think it's a fun way to spend an afternoon. But while most games out there are fun, it takes a very special kind of experience to make something really addictive; the kind of addictive that makes you not want to put it down regardless of how many days, weeks or months you've been at it. D3's newest Nintendo DS game, Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, is that kind of addictive. Despite the fact that I've had the game on both the PSP and DS for several months now, I find myself looking forward to getting up everyday just to continue playing it.
Puzzle Quest is not an easy game to describe; it's the wacky combination of the puzzle game Bejeweled and a traditional turn-based role-playing game. That's right; this is a role-playing puzzle game, perhaps the strangest pairing since Final Lap Twin (the role-playing racing game). But while it may sound strange (and maybe not even appealing), Puzzle Quest manages to get every element just right and provides one of the very best video game experiences of the year. Forget Halo 3 and Grand Theft Auto IV, there will be no game this year that is more original and exciting than Puzzle Quest.
For the most part Puzzle Quest is played like a traditional role-playing game; you have a little guy who you must navigate through a large map and go from city to city talking to townspeople and accepting various quests. As you peruse the local castle you'll be able to stock up on items, upgrade your stats, buy new weapons/armor, and learn a little more about who you are and what you're doing there. It's not until you leave the castle, mission in hand, that you discover that this is no ordinary role-playing game ... this is something altogether different, something MUCH better.
Instead of traditional RPG battles, all of the combat is done using a Bejeweled-like puzzle game. When you enter a battle you will see a large board made up of 64 spaces (8 tall by 8 wide). In those 64 spaces you will see a number of different icons, including four different colored "mana" pieces, gold coins, purple experience point pieces, and human skulls. It's your job to find a way of connecting these pieces so that you can combine three of the same object. Each player takes turns connecting the items until somebody has lost all of their health.
The trick to Puzzle Quest is that all of the objects do something different. Early on the most important piece to connect are the skulls, because connecting three skulls together takes health away from your enemy. You can also connect the coins to earn more money or match the purple experience point pieces, both of which allow you to keep what you match even if you lose the battle.
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!