Developer: Namco
Price: $9.99
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

After a long three years of waiting since the previous “true” Puzzle Quest game landed on portable platforms both far and wide, the sequel has finally made its way to the iOS. Thankfully for all of us, this time the game hasn’t been broken up into a chapter format, instead opting to offer the instant gratification of getting all of the game in a single purchase. So will this be the incremental step forward that justifies the wait, or are they playing it too safe?

As inconceivable as it may seem, when Infinite Interactive first released Puzzle Quest, there were very few games that could make a Bejeweled style match-three seem like anything more than mind numbing tedium. Their second outing picks up right where the original left off, delivering addictive puzzle mechanics with a strategic flare that only a tactical role playing game can provide. However, this doesn’t mean that everything is a mirror image of 2007.

Easily the most obvious difference in this outing is the way that the player navigates their environments. Where previously all that was visible was a glorified map, with castles and locations of interest signifying “gem throw-downs”, this iterations has a more zoomed in perspective, emphasizing character interaction with NPCs. While the change in viewpoint adds more of a personalized feel to the quest, this is still nothing more than fluff to buffer out time not intently engaged in battle. It also probably doesn’t help much that if a player wanted to only stick to the main storyline, without exploring side quests, all that these screens become is a race to find the next question mark onscreen, used to designate the next direction that needs to be traveled.

Those that are fans of sidequesting and overall exploration will begin to see issues when they are trying to click on pin-point locations on the screen. Though this may be a side effect of only playing the game on an iPhone 4, it was extremely difficult to interact with the proper items and characters, also rendering menu navigation to be an exercise in repetitious persistence.

If you can get past the traditional issues that have plagued touch based games since their inception, as well as the hefty $9.99 pricetag, Puzzle Quest 2 is a game that is very worthy of your purchase. Even though it is far from the game-changer that its exemplary predecessor was, the core mechanics are as entertaining as they have ever been, cementing it as a solid successor to the Puzzle Quest throne.

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