Puzzle Quest 2 (PC) Review
A Brutal Gamer review
Bejeweled, we all know about it and most likely played it; one of the most popular games of all time, selling over a staggering 50 million units worldwide, across 11 different platforms ranging from iPhone to Xbox Live. What would happen if Bejeweled and a bunch of basic RPG elements had some weird orgy? Puzzle Quest [series] would be its messed up love child.
Puzzle Quest 2 was developed by Infinite Interactive and published by D3 and is set in the magical town of Verloren, inhabited by mythical creatures of all shapes and sizes. The evil demon Gorgon has emerged from the depths of hell and has the innocent town in his sinister grasp, it’s your job to fight off the creature with whichever class you choose at the start of the game. The class you choose will not affect the story, however you’ll only be have the choice of certain skills, spells and equipment.
The four classes which are available are all your generic, run of the mill fantasy characters; Sorcerer, Barbarian, Assassin and Templar, each having a special set of spells, moves and class-specific weapons. You’ll also deal with all the normal RPG elements, equipping armour and whenever you level up, spending an upgrade point on Strength, Stamina, Intelligence, Agility and Morale; effecting different things depending on the class you’re playing, such as Strength being better for Barbarians and Intelligence for Sorcerers.
Even though there is a very basic RPG feel to the game when it comes to stats, equipment and talking to people within the town to get new quests, the main part of the game is the battles, which is where the Bejeweled style game play comes into it. It revolves around the addictive 3-gem match up whom we all love in Bejeweled; each of the 5 colours represents a certain set of mana. For every gem you destroy, you will receive mana which is used to cast spells to hurt your enemy in a variety of different ways from straight up damage spells to curses which will weaken or slowly remove his health.
After the battle has finished, you’ll receive the traditional reward we’ve came to love in RPG games, it can be anything from items (raw materials) but you’ll always get exp and money which you can spend to purchase new armour and weapons, or to upgrade the items you currently own using the raw materials which are collected from battles.
If you’re coming into Puzzle Quest 2 thinking you’re going to be playing an in-depth RPG with a story line which will keep you on the edge of your seat, you’re going to be seriously disappointed. The quests which you’re set from the town’s people and random friendly orcs and trolls, always involve you heading to a certain area and either collecting an item or killing a “boss” enemy, which can be an utter pain in the arse due to them being cheating bastards. The amount of times I was killed in the first turn due to the computer pulling of some ridiculously over the top combo of spells is beyond a joke; constantly having to turn down the difficulty for just a single battle.
As well as the games addictive single player “story” experience, numerous mini games are available straight away from the single player load screen. The quick battle option, as you can imagine, lets you jump straight into a game against a random opponent and earn a quick bit of money and exp. Endurance mode lets you compete against a selection of enemies, gradually becoming stronger and harder, sticking with the whole “endurance” theme, you aren’t able to save after each battle, having to start from the beginning every time, meaning you’d need to fight all 16 battles in a row – now that’s dedication.
Puzzle Quest 2 is one of the most addictive games I’ve ever played, on the same level as games like Peggle and Bejeweled (…surprisingly). It’s such a simple idea, Bejeweled with mana, yet it turns something which is addictive as hell into something which you never want to put down, until that cheating mother-fucking computer makes you rage quit because it does something which isn’t humanly possible.