Puzzle Quest 3 Review – More Puzzle, Less Quest

The original Puzzle Quest cleverly blends match-3 gameplay with a fantasy setting,

Transforming standard Candy Crush-style puzzles into a full-fledged adventure with cutscenes, turn-based combat, and special abilities. Puzzle Quest 2 continued this idea, adding cities and dungeons to explore. Multiple questlines, and expanding the turn-based match-3 system. Now, a decade later, Puzzle Quest 3 has arrived. Stripping away much of what made these games unique and offering a more streamlined experience. The result is a game that, while fun, quickly becomes tedious thanks to repetition. And repetitive gameplay with rudimentary RPG elements.

The core gameplay loop of Puzzle Quest 3 hasn’t changed from previous games:

Match colored gems to damage an enemy and gain energy to use to cast spells and abilities. There are multiple ways to play, including a huge 14 chapter story mode. Daily and weekly dungeons that give rewards. And a competitive multiplayer mode to test your characters against friends. As you progress through the story, companions have unlocked that offer special perks. Minions to help you open chests faster, and special events that can lead to rare gear. It all sounds like an extended adventure that fits perfectly with the Puzzle Quest motif. But when you look below the surface, you can find chinks in the armor.

One of the main problems with the game is that every battle in the game,

Whether it’s a story or a time-limited event, plays out the same way: an enemy approaches. You collect gems to attack, you get attacked, you go again, repeat. As in previous Puzzle Quest games, there are five colors of gems: red, blue, green, yellow, and purple, as well as a Skull gem that, when grouped with the other two. Serves as the most powerful attack on the enemy. board. However, there are fewer moves to make – using the 5×7 board instead of the 8×8 board in previous games makes the battles go faster. When an enemy is defeated, the next one simply enters the screen. To take the place of the fallen ones, and the process repeats. Compare this to Puzzle Quest 2, where you also guide your character through different areas, talking to NPCs and initiating battles yourself. It made you feel like a wandering warrior through the world. Whereas here you just feel like you’re playing a standard match-3 game. There are no changes in the gameplay here. No major changes change the situation even in one battle.

The story mode, due in part to its extreme length, is the biggest casualty of this repetition.

The enemies your hero’s faces are mostly regular goblins, orcs, and other standard fantasy enemies. Cool dragons or giants will appear from time to time, but there is nothing to worry about. The only real difference when choosing a story chapter is how many cutscenes will play. Either before the battle, or after, or both, or none at all. Otherwise, apart from brief dialogue, there is nothing that distinguishes the story mode from the daily or weekly events. Oh, and don’t expect much intrigue from these cutscenes. As the story transcends the familiar “why do dragons return to earth?” drum we’ve all heard before.

However, there are some light RPG elements in Puzzle Quest 3 that,

Unlike the combat system, harking back to previous Puzzle Quests. On their travels, the characters can find a dozen different types of equipment. From weapons to armor and accessories such as rings and necklaces. Each piece of armor can be upgraded with resources earned during the game. As can special spells that the character can equip and use after destroying a certain amount of gems of the corresponding color (blue gems for ice spells, red gems for fire spells, etc.). d.). ). However, the balance of some spells needs to be improved; Early in the game, I found an ice spell, Frostbolt. Which I started calling “victory button” as it killed in one hit almost every time I used it.

Upgrading this gear also increases the gear score,

Which you can then use to gauge your readiness for the next story mission. If the enemy has 200 points and you only have 150 points, you have two preparation options: Replay the story chapter in Skirmish mode. Or complete the daily or weekly dungeon to get better rewards. Skirmishes can be played endlessly but offer average rewards, while Daily/Weekly Dungeons have the best loot but can only be played twice a day for free and additional tokens are available in the event store. If this is starting to sound like a typical microtransaction system, it’s because there are plenty of them in this game.

Someone might hear “Puzzle Quest 3”

And “mobile” and assume that the game has a lot of microtransactions, and they’d be right. Crowns are the premium currency, but there are also gold coins, gems, event tokens for both daily and weekly events, keys to open chests, shards for each type of gear that are needed to upgrade that particular gear, food to upgrade companions – the list can go on and on. However, even with all that, the game is generous enough that I didn’t need to open my real wallet at all. I always had what I needed to continue even when my gear stat told me I would lose the next battle and I appreciate that. However, not opening my wallet means I’ve missed out on possibly the most egregious microtransaction system I’ve ever come across: limited-time upgrade packs for new companions.

As mentioned earlier,

Story progression adds new members to your team. These companions do not help during battle, but instead grant perks between missions, such as increased inventory space or the ability to craft random items. When a companion is first unlocked, the game immediately generates a set of items available only for a limited time. as well as can only be purchased with real currency. Although most of the set consists of currency such as gold coins, one of the items is unique to that character and is required to continue progressing at levels 5, 15, 25, 35, 45, and every level after 45.

Puzzle 3

The idea of ​​a character-specific set makes sense,

But the limited-time offer and the “real currency only” rule make this feel underhanded. The set immediately flashes on the screen when a new companion is unlocked, bombarding you with a one-time limited offer, and it looks like it will be essential for your journey…until you find out that every item in the set, including the “unique” one, can be earned in-game. It’s a tricky move disguised as a bargain that does serious damage to what is otherwise a fairly benign microtransaction system.

I don’t want to sound completely negative about Puzzle Quest 3, as what’s included in the game is a lot of fun. I really enjoyed juxtaposing wits with the match-3 game system, and there were moments when I snatched victory from the jaws of defeat that thrilled me. However, when compared to previous versions, this game does not bring anything new. It’s the same puzzle quest we’ve seen before, only now there are restrictions on certain modes, microtransactions, and a story that barely exists. Dropping things like explorable cities and non-linear world maps skew the balance between puzzle and role-play. It’s hard to relate to the “puzzle” part, making it feel less like an RPG that uses puzzles as a combat system and more like a typical match-3 game with RPG elements added last. I was hoping for a grand quest, but what I received only puzzled me.

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