iPad Game Review: Puzzle Quest HD Reviewed by Abisco / Abbass-Ali Siwjee
Long has there been a divide between RPG hardcore players and casual match-3 players. Each have their own properties and are interesting in their own way. Puzzle Quest, originally released for almost every console, including Nintendo DS, Xbox360, and even for the iPhone, has finally been released for the iPad, and it is the best iteration of the game yet.
For a game based around matching 3 gems of different colors together, you wouldn't expect much depth, but to assume that about Puzzle Quest is very, very wrong. This game has so much going on it'll baffle you in the beginning. But the elements of both RPG games and puzzle games comes together so well it?s amazing how no one thought of it before.
You start the game with creating your character, which includes 8 different classes as well as a character portrait and the name of your hero. To start off with, this iPad version is clearly more superior to the console counterparts by giving you an option of 8 classes instead of just 4 as seen on the consoles. On the consoles, you get 4 classes and the full main adventure for about $15. You then get the extended story DLC with 4 new classes for $5. The iPad version comes with all this included, giving even more bang for your buck.
In Puzzle Quest HD, you follow an epic story, travelling in a 2D map between battles, which include matching 3 gems of the same color to give yourself mana that you can use with spells to attack enemy and earn hit points. You and AI take turns attacking each other so it is required you think ahead before making your move in fear of setting up your opponent with some great advantage. All of this is just the core of the gameplay, but you have so many different enemies, spells, cities and features within the package it really is hard to look down upon this game.
The best feature of the iPad version is that the touch controls are so spot on. Everything is so much easier on the iPad then the Xbox version because of how your fingers were MADE for touching this game, instead of using a clunky controller to move around the interface. This makes the gameplay even faster, and with the option to speed up animations within the main menu, which is also not included on the Xbox version, another point goes to the iPad.
The game isn?t without any flaw. One problem with Puzzle Quest is the questionable enemy AI's battling tactics. It seems at times that they are able to chain together so many gems by either having ALOT of luck, or by "cheating", and being able to see more of the board than we can. This is a little thing, since really just leveling up and getting more health can help a lot, or just taking on side quests in general will make up the shortcomings.
Graphics & Sound
One problem with the iPhone version of this game was that everything was so small. Now this isn't the games fault, but rather the fact the device was so miniscule. The iPad on the other hand brings over all the beautiful Xbox graphics to the handheld gaming platform. Everything has obviously been put care into, and everything is equally just beautiful.
The soundtrack for this game is pretty epic, from the simple moving sounds to the very heroic battles, everything comes together really well. Though the voice actor for cut scenes sounds so out of place, but everything else is just fine.
Puzzle Quest HD is the game everyone has been waiting for the iPad. It has a very long campaign, fun easy elements to learn, and a lot of depth. There is so much to this game it is impossible to cover all of it, but trust me when I say, this will keep you entertained for a long, long time.
Gameplay video for the iPhone version:
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - Portraits are detailed, colors are clear and vibrant, everything just feels right when playing. Sound: - 4 - Amazing epic soundtrack, in the likes of Lord of the Rings, if only the voice actor was different for cutscenes would this be perfect. Controls: - 5 - Picking gems, or different towns is easy, everything works as you would expect it to, so running into a problem is near impossible. Gameplay: - 4.5 - Everything is great, this is a game you will want to keep playing and has so much content for the amount of money you play this game is simply a steal.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Doing side quests will give you some awesome companions, equipment, money and a lot of XP. They are essential to doing well later on in the game, and they are all fun in their own right. Don't be scared to fight and lose, if you do lose you still gain XP and money, so really the only thing that you lose is time. Keep retrying and eventually you will overcome the enemy. Finally, as soon as you can, improve your citadel to make sure you can capture opponents, then finally perform siege on every big building you can, once accomplished, you can visit them for money often, thus allowing you to have a near infinite amount of money, which is VERY useful for everything in the game.