Review: Puzzle Quest 2

Susan Arendt | 13 Jul 2010 13:00
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Depending on how you felt about capturing creatures, training mounts, and laying siege to towns, you may or may not be happy to know that Puzzle Quest 2 comes with a completely new set of minigames, each giving you different gem-matching goals. Some, like bashing in a door, are relatively straightforward, simply requiring you to make enough matches before you run out of moves. For others, like to pick a lock or open a door with a spell, you'll have to be adept at manipulating the board to drop specific types of gems into a particular spot on the bottom line of the grid. While they're largely an improvement over the "beat the clock" tasks of the original game (the room-searching game notwithstanding), none of them quite have the finesse of Puzzle Quest's "clear the board" game. At least there's no announcer anymore telling you "You are victorious!" or lamenting that "You have suffered defeat."

With all that it improved, it's unfortunate that Puzzle Quest 2 got a few basic things wrong. When shopping for new gear, there's no easy way to compare the wares you're browsing with what you've already got equipped, turning trips to the market into a real chore. You won't have any idea what an upgrade will do to an item until you actually go through with it, which would be more acceptable if the upgrades weren't so pricey. You can assume that the item's stats will go up at least a point, and perhaps even more, but if you want half my gold and a big chunk of my resources, I'd like a little more info on what you're about to do to my gear.

Bottom Line: Puzzle Quest 2 isn't a huge departure from its predecessor, but brings some welcome freshness in the form of weaponry, new spells, and new minigames.

Recommendation: If you drained every last drop of fun out of the first Puzzle Quest, you may not find enough here to evade an overwhelming feeling of deja vu, but if you never caught the bug the first time around, definitely give this a shot. Yes, it's an absurd premise. Yes, the RPG elements are very shallow. Try it anyway. Just don't be surprised when you notice the sun coming up.

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Game: Puzzle Quest 2
Genre: Puzzle/RPG
Developer: Infinite Interactive
Publisher: D3Publisher
Release Date: June 30th, 2010
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PC, DS
Available from: Amazon

This review is based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.

Susan Arendt is very happy she never has to hear "You have suffered defeat" again, but kind of misses her rat mount.

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