Puzzle Quest 3 review, plus top 5 puzzle adventures

the original Puzzle Quest, from 2007, is one of those games whose genius is evident in the title. It contains puzzles, and you go on a mission. Its creators had a simple idea and they implemented it well: use a bejeweledA 3D matching puzzle game as a role-playing adventure game engine, where you fight enemies, level up and follow a story. This blend of Australian studio Infinite Interactive, designed by Steve Fawkner, has been more inspiring for its asymmetrical clash and salted caramel than two flavors: play in its most casual, abstract, and compact form, blended for a long time. The genre of storytelling known for its depth and complexity. You just succeeded.

This was followed by a flood—well, maybe a stream—of imitators, then slowed down a bit, before drying up completely. world progress. There is still a chemo brilliance to Fawkner’s discovery, but the subgenre has fallen out of fashion, as subgenres often do. Puzzle Quest We arrived too early to make hay on smartphones, as GungHo can be played for free Puzzle and dragons It cleaned up after a few years – but even this game is no longer available in the iOS App Store.

All made the latest version of Puzzle Quest 3 Curiosity – not to mention a beacon of hope for people, like me, who love matching colors and watching numbers grow. But, I am sad to report, in the intervening 15 years, Puzzle Quest has lost its way.

Photo: Infinity Plus 2/505 Games

Puzzle Quest 3Available on Steam, iOS and Android, it can’t find magic in the same simple connection to gems and stats anymore. It’s a polished game, with smoothly animated 3D characters that unleash flashy attacks on both sides of the game board. But the underlying action of match-3 is loose and basic, the pace of its interaction with the combat systems (you’re matching gems to charge spells of the same color) feels slow, the story is nice, and the many layers of RPGs outside of combat weigh it all down. It doesn’t help that it’s a free game, with the accompanying confusion of coins and resources to look suspiciously as you try to track it down, wondering when the other shoe will drop.

The feeling you play Puzzle Quest 3 is that designers are more interested in role-playing than puzzles (and more interested in monetization than either). It was designed from the wrong end. In a good puzzle RPG, the puzzle gameplay is where the action takes place; The RPG is a superstructure that invests in puzzles with meaning and stakes, and gives shape to your experience. But if puzzling is boring – and it does exist Puzzle Quest 3 The rest of the game will be too.

If you want to get a shot of simple match three puzzles with a stalker of big numbers flashing on the screen, I’d recommend the most immediately satisfying Puzzle and dragons Rather, which has a decent enough New Nintendo Switch Edition. But this subgenre has moved to more interesting places in the last 15 years. Here are five of the best RPGs that you can play today.

gyromancer

Blast on a puzzle board with monsters on both sides

Photo: PopCap Games / Square Enix

one of the first Puzzle Quest Clones of Traps This was the unlikely 2009 collaboration between Square Enix and beagle Developer PopCap. It takes play from PopCap Jeweled Twist It adds a set of creatures and settlement along with ornate artwork and a typical Japanese RPG story. The smarter aspect of the game is an elegant battle mechanic that draws all of its tension and sense of danger from trying to solve the board without wasting moves, rather than waiting for a computer opponent to take a turn.

Puzzle Quest 3 is available at PC (steamfree demo available) and X-Box (The Xbox 360 version is backward compatible).

Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes

Color-coded fantasy warrior units fight on a puzzle board

Photo: Capybara Games / Ubisoft

For my money, capybara Clash of Heroes – which debuted on the Nintendo DS in 2009, then in a definitive “HD” version for PC and consoles in 2011 – is the greatest RPG ever made. It might be more accurate to call it puzzle tactics or puzzle strategy game, as its battle system can easily rival the likes of advanced wars to develop. The simple concept of stacking and combining color-coded units is extrapolated through a beautifully balanced network of bases across five factions and a large 30-hour campaign. It’s a shame Ubisoft is unlikely to give this full re-release treatment, because it’s a cold classic.

Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes Available on PC (steamfree demo available) and X-Box (The Xbox 360 version is backward compatible). Note: Some PC gamers said that the game does not run well on Windows 10/11.

You should build a boat

Cross section you should build a boat

Image: Eighty Games

If you fancy something smaller and hectic, EightyEightGames is the 2015 sequel to the hit mobile hit. 10,000,000 It’s a tile-matched dungeon crawl that’s been stripped down to its very basics (with a bit of an endless runner). Your character runs left to right, facing monsters and chests, as you frantically scroll between lines of tiles trying to line up the sequences to form attacks, switches, or buffs. You can’t lose, but you can be pushed away from the screen, at which point you’re back on your boat to upgrade and reassemble. You should build a boat He’s funny, fast-paced, and tougher.

You should build a boat Available in PC (steam), iOS And the Android.

grindstone

A warrior chains through the yellow monsters on the puzzle board

Photo: capybara games

Developer Capybara has once again proven his mastery of form, and his genius for original puzzle mechanics, with this stunning color-matching dungeon dive since 2019. As in gyromanceryour real opponent is yourself: in a great game of risk and reward, you try to link together longer chains of color-coded monsters, while also winning grinding stones, making the longer chains possible. grindstone Admittedly, it’s light on the RPG side of things, although it does feature a comprehensive item crafting system to help you bend and break its rules, plus daily challenges, meta challenges, a boss dash mode, and more. The art and animation are oddly funny, and the design is unwavering. Nobody is better at this than Cappie.

grindstone Available on iOS and Apple TV via Apple ArcadePC (epic), And the Nintendo Switch.

old enemy

Characters face off in a solitaire layout in a card battle

Photo: Gray Alien Games

Gray Alien Games are true third-party artists, former unofficial game developers who have successfully made an unexpected move to Steam with their dazzling Jane Austen-inspired waster, Regency Solitaire. old enemyThe impressive dark fantasy theme isn’t too glamorous. But it makes up for it by developing a sophisticated RPG system that’s finely balanced around the simple process of winding up groups of cards, using a solitaire dealt hand for dice rolls. It wouldn’t count as much if the tactile fun of clicking cards, which Jake Burkett of Gray Alien has refined over many years and gaming, wasn’t irresistible in itself.

old enemy Available on PC (steamAnd the epicAnd the Gog).

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