28 July 2008

Puzzle Hero

Puzzle Hero is a casual game published by Genimo Interactive. You play a warrior girl looking for her brother Tristan who has been kidnapped. You battle monsters along the way by playing a match-3 game. Different actions play out on the top half of the screen depending on what type of item you match. Sound familiar?

It is difficult not to call Puzzle Hero a simplified version of Puzzle Quest because that is what it feels like. Some areas benefit from being pared down. For instance, I understand my powers and my opponent's powers more easily in Puzzle Hero. There is only one kind of mana in this game, instead of the four different types in Puzzle Quest. Collect enough mana and cast a spell -- easy as pie. I also like actually seeing my character attack the opponent instead of having a static headshot in the corner.

There are downsides to a simple game, as well. There isn't much of a story. I played for an hour and after about 15 minutes I forgot that I was supposed to be searching for my brother. I just felt like I was battling monsters. There is a salon and shop in Puzzle Hero, but the salon doesn't have that many choices and isn't really worth visiting. The shop has some items that increase your defenses but I didn't feel like my character was much stronger after I bought them.

I would say that if you have never played Puzzle Quest, you might enjoy Puzzle Hero. Unlike me when I was her age, C2 actually finishes video games and she does it rather quickly. She likes playing variations on a theme, as well. I can see her running through Puzzle Hero and then wanting to try more of the same, so then I can hand her Puzzle Quest. As for me, Puzzle Hero started feeling like Diner Dash or some of those other casual games. I will drop in when I have a craving for Bejeweled-style action, but I don't feel compelled to finish it.

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