Developer: Infinite Int.
Release Date: 8/12/2010
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The first Puzzle Quest was amazing and it just had a lot of charm, a great story, and good characters, and there was just something magical about that game. Puzzle Quest 2 is a disappointment. The core gameplay is still intact, but it’s repetitive, has a toss-away story, and just lacks the charm of the first game.
You play as a generic character who is trying to free the town from the evil Orcs and Goblins and whatnot and it’s not very interesting at all. The first game had a nice overhead map you moved around on, but you walk around with stiff two-frame animations and it’s not as appealing as the first game. Even the dialog is uninteresting and just feels like unnecessary filler.
The puzzle part is the best part of the game and it’s still the same. You can use your weapon to attack but you must get the first gems and reach the amount the attack requires. There are different colored gems and matching three adds to the amount the magic spell requires. Getting four-of-a-kind grants you another turn, and five-of-a-kind as well but lands a wild card. Skulls are used to attack the enemy, and there are great depth and strategy involved and it’s highly addictive still. Trying to find the right combination of spells will make you unstoppable, but there isn’t a huge selection, and unlocking the spells can take forever.
You can level up (thus the RPG elements), but it never feels like it does much because of how unbalanced the game is. You’ll have a regular foe with 184 HP than a boss with only 72. It’s weird, but you keep coming back for the addictive puzzling. Another downfall is there are hardly any useful items in the game. Finding stronger armor, weapons, and shields should increase in quality as you progress, but halfway through the game, you’re still finding stuff from the beginning. There isn’t a large variety either and using mana potions and health potions is almost useless since just playing through the puzzle board is good enough.
There are some new ideas thrown in such as “mini-games” these vary from looting treasure, picking locks, breaking down doors, etc. Looting is really fun since there are only four types of symbols. Getting treasure is fun since you can drop matches so many times and match rare chests that give you “rare” items, but they don’t seem rare at all. Breaking down doors requires you to match door icons, picking locks seems a bit overcomplicated and I could never figure it out, but they are a nice touch
Despite the charm being gone Puzzle Quest 2 manages to be good only by the puzzle game it was created from, but even hours into the game you will get sick of it, and may not even finish the story. The game just feels half-baked and I know it could have been so much better. However, if you loved the first game, or just love puzzle games, this is a great game for anyone.