DS Review: Puzzle Quest – Challenge of the Warlords

Puzzle games aren’t really my style, but some how, Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords has managed to steal hours of my life – both on DS and PSP.

It’s a turn-based style of gameplay, similar to Bejewelled or the like, where you match rows or columns of gems. Puzzle Quest also has role-playing elements, where at the beginning of the game you pick a class (druid, knight, warrior, wizard) and gender and you can level up and gain spells as the game progresses. When battling opponents, the goal is reduce their health points (HP) to zero.

If you don’t think about what moves you’re going to make, the opponent is going to crush you and fast. That or I was just really crap when I first started playing. The game play itself isn’t hard to grasp – just match three or more gems either horizontally or vertically.

Basically there are 5 different types of tiles – coloured gems, experience stars, gold and skulls. There are four different coloured gems, and for each one destroyed you get one mana of that colour. They’re very important because the spells you cast use mana, and without spells it’s very, very hard to win. Experience tiles (purple gems) obviously give you experience, gold gives you gold and the oh-so-very important skulls do damage.

Getting 4-in-a-row and 5-in-a-row awards you with an extra turn and multiplier bonuses. When I first started playing, I was really bad at recognising 4 and 5-in-a-row opportunities and it put me at a huge disadvantage since if you miss it, the AI will take it. Sometimes it will lead to the AI getting four or more turns in a row, which gets so frustrating. However, since the opponents are challenging, it makes the game more fun to play – if it were easy it’d be boring.

The story is the typical fantasy, must-go-on-an-epic-quest-around-the-world-to-save-it type thing, nothing too impressive, but it has got a story if you decide to pay attention to it. You can also have companions that join you after completing missions or ones that tag along to progress through the story. They do give you bonuses, but the PSP version (which I’m playing now) actually has a huge glitch were the companions join, but you don’t get their special abilities. Argh! It also gets annoying when you don’t have the option to avoid enemies. I don’t particularly like fighting the same enemy over and over again, especially since the only way through them is to win and there isn’t a path around them.

If you’re a fan of games like Bejewelled, then Puzzle Quest is definitely for you, but if games like that bore you then don’t bother since the whole game revolves around that kind of gameplay. I, however, am quite pleased with this game, despite the fact that my companions do nothing to help me in the PSP version.

Now excuse me, I have to find some dragons…

About the Author

I'm just your regular gamer! Currently working in the game industry as an artist. I love all manner of things cute, colourful and crazy. I also love lemons quite a lot. c: