Puzzle Quest nearly destroyed me.
I must have spent hundreds of hours matching those gems and skulls when I should have been working, feeding my pet and paying attention to my increasingly bitter girlfriend. Quite honestly, Infinite Interactive's puzzle/RPG hybrid gets my vote for being a perfect game. It's perfectly capable of enslaving its hapless players, at least.
So it's high time I shone the spotlight on the iOS version... and smack it down for being one of the shoddiest mobile ports I've ever seen throughout my gaming career.
It's likely that you've already played it to death, so just humour me while I go over the basics. Puzzle Quest takes the tried-and-tested 'Match Three" mechanics from PopCap's Bejeweled series and turns it into the combat system for a massive, soaring RPG. Matching lines of skulls deals direct damage to your opponent, whilst matching coloured gems adds to mana reserves that can be used to trigger powerful spells and abilities.
This is addictive enough in and of itself, but an enormous overworld map and dozens of cities brim with sidequests and opportunities for adventure. You can capture enemies to learn their spells. Take over cities for tribute. Train magical mounts to travel faster and learn new abilities. Each and every battle grants you persistent experience points that turn your character into a bona fide badass... and each individual class provides a unique experience and set of skills.
Gaming's two most addictive and dissimilar genres fuse together into a single glorious whole that I simply can't rave about positively enough.
Apart from when it's on the iPhone. You see, TransGaming's iOS version was a complete botch job from start to finish. The touchscreen controls are poorly implemented, making for loads of incorrect matches that fail to register. The menus are too small and frequently impossible to execute. Bugs and glitches abound. Even the name selection dialogue box doesn't fit onto the screen properly, meaning that you can't name your character!
I've provided a screenshot in case you're interested. As you can plainly see, the typing blowout overlays the confirm button. TransGaming, congratulations for the most ridiculous display of ineptitude and lack of quality assurance.
Poor, poor Puzzle Quest. You deserved better. At least the HD iPad version is a vast improvement.
- An exceptional blend of two genres
- Hundreds of hours of content
- As addictive as Bejeweled and Diablo... combined
Summary: You need to play Puzzle Quest. But not on the iPhone. If you have a DS, PSP, PC, PS3, Xbox 360, iPad or pretty much anything with a screen and power supply (hell, a toaster would probably do), be sure to grab that version instead.
Developer: Infinite Interactive
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
Price: £2.99 - App Store