(http://www.puzzle-quest.com/) Rated E for Everyone 10+ by ESRB. All Role-playing game and puzzle game fans listen up! Puzzle Quest is back! In 2007, Infinite Interactive had managed to blow every gamer’s mind with the release of the Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords. They have successfully twisted Bejeweled into one of the most addictive battle of all. And here it comes the second one, Puzzle Quest 2 with a brand new story and new characters. Will this perfect fusion of adventures and bejeweled once again captured the heart of players? Let’s find out!

 
 Puzzlequest 2 Box Art  

(http://www.puzzle-quest.com/) Rated E for Everyone 10+ by ESRB. All Role-playing game and puzzle game fans listen up! Puzzle Quest is back! In 2007, Infinite Interactive had managed to blow every gamer’s mind with the release of the Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords. They have successfully twisted Bejeweled into one of the most addictive battle of all. And here it comes the second one, Puzzle Quest 2 with a brand new story and new characters. Will this perfect fusion of adventures and bejeweled once again captured the heart of players? Let’s find out!

Presentation:
The plot is rather straight forward. Player as a hero kicks some bad guy butts and finally saves the town from evil. For real RPG lovers, it is sad to say that the story is a slight disappointment. Regardless of that, it shines as a RPG and puzzle game. The biggest adjustment in Puzzle Quest 2 is that players no longer travel on the world map from town to town. This second installment instead brings players right into the towns and dungeons. This enhances the player’s RPG experience as he or she knows exactly where you are going and who you are talking to, with a range of NPC from races of human, goblin and orc waiting for your help.

For pure puzzle lovers, you won’t be frustrated by the whole story telling and path finding of RPGs because Infinite Interactive has taken care of that. Maps with symbols are available indicating all details of where to go and who to talk to. It saves a lot of time for those who are not exactly the exploring-type though you will never know what kind of treasures you may have missed.

       

Graphic:
Comparing to the first game, Puzzle Quest 2 is advanced in term of graphic quality. All graphics are still presented in a 2D western comic style. However, since Infinite Interactive have raised the bar from world map traveling to bringing players straight into the dungeons, we would not be satisfied by the repetitive background found in old Disney cartoons. And Infinite Interactive knows exactly what we needed. Variety of environments is presented; such as the snow grounds, abandoned church and graveyards. With numerous different elements such as floating candles and giant-crack-opened cage, every detail is added to create an intense atmosphere for the gameplay.

For the battle screen, Infinite Interactive has given most of the setting including all the gems and the player’s status display a makeover. Dropping the mystical black, a pleasing gold is used for the side bars and menus, which helps to lighten up the overall appearance. Pithy animation is shown while an attack or a magic is casted. As absent of fancy graphic might be a disappointment for RPG players, the game moving into intensive and rapid battles frequently to keep it satisfying.

Sound:
Original sound track provides you the decent mood of different environment. While you might not be paying attention to the background music as you are thrilled to encounter an enemy, the blasting sounds of gems are probably more unforgettable to players. Seeing gems dropping, hearing the chained popping and the bursting sound are the most exciting moments of playing Puzzle Quest, even though you might have no idea what is happening.

       

Gameplay:
The core battle system of Puzzle Quest is Bejeweled, which players need to move gems to create a roll of 3 or more same color gems in order to erase those gems from the map. Simples as you might think, the game becomes much more complicated with the element of RPG. Gems are simply mana. Every time you erase a set of gems, it turns up into your mana pool. In order to use any attack or magic, you have to use a specific combination of mana. The gameplay is extremely adaptable thanks to the bejeweled game style and the variety of skills that open up many different strategies of gameplay behind this simple game. So you are not only trying to match 3 of a kind, but are also considering what types of mana you or your opponent need.

As Puzzle Quest is the fusion of RPG and puzzle, it also contains all classic elements of RPG. As an adventurer, there are four classes to choose from (War Mage, Inquisitor, Barbarian or Assassin). Different classes provide you with different starting stats, skills and battle strategy. For instant, Assassin has a skill that allows him to change different color germs to purple which in turn helps him make chain combos. After leveling up or helping certain NPCs, new skills open up, adding more customizable play styles for your character. As you can only equip 6 skills and 2 weapons a time, mixing and choosing the right skill is always challenging and interesting. Besides skills, just like other RPG games, character can wear different items to improve his defense or enhance play style.

Get tired of battle? Puzzle Quest 2 provide several mini-games such as busting through a door, disabling traps or searching the room. Even though the mini-games are still bejeweled related, the changed objectives require you to take a step back and think twice before you act.

       

Innovation:
The combination of RPG and puzzle really brings light to the industry and all gamers. Puzzle Quest 2 improved the balance between the two genres even more by making equipment and dungeon crawling available. The combination of the two makes the simple bejeweled game extremely hard to master, yet you will never get tired of it.

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