Friday, February 12, 2010

Video game number forty one: Puzzlegeddon

Game review number forty one in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Puzzlegeddon".

This game combines your basic "Match the colors" puzzle game with a very weak fighting game. It's similar to games like Puzzle Fighter, but without the instant gratification those games give you.

Your main objective is to match multicolored blocks up, and when you do....you'll power up your weapons. Blue blocks give you "power ups", red blocks give you attacks, green is defense and yellow blocks give you the "fuck your opponent" power.

The number of blocks you can match will give you a little more of each power. There are three levels for each one. When you get to the first star, you can fire or block a basic attack, boost one thing or pull one trick on your opponent. Matching more blocks will give you the two star powers...and if you continue to save up, you'll eventually get the 3-star powers.

The powers are pretty cool, and I did enjoy experimenting with them. Your attacks are all missles. One star shoots one, two star shoots three at the same time....and the three star missle is a giant nuke that will take most of your opponents life away. Your defensive powers start out with "counter missiles" (Patriots I suppose), and can also give you shields or two big fists that will knock the opposing projectiles right out of the sky. The blue "boost" powers make all of these things more powerful.

The yellow "fuck you" power I mentioned before is pretty fun. Launching this will lock your opponents ability to match colors (either vertically or horizontally) for a few seconds. They can still use their attacks, but if you use this right after they've spent their money....they're effectively helpless. You can also stick a wormhole right next to them, and it will swallow any missles they might send your way. It's fun, and I imagine it makes for great multiplayer.

I've read other reviews of this game, and they've implied that if you don't like it, you probably don't "get it". I've heard the same thing about country music, ballet, cigarettes and hipster fashion, but that doesn't change my opinion of those either.

This game is easy to pick up, but hard to master. I don't mind this, but in a puzzle game, if you're going to have the ramp up period....it's always more fun against real people. Unfortunately for me, no one out there plays Puzzlegeddon. I searched for multiplayer matches and couldn't find anyone to play with. It's only been released for a few months, but I guess it never caught on.

Playing against the computer isn't a lot of fun. They get their power ups more quickly than you do, and they use them with enough frequency that you have to play really defensively. Killing them takes a LONG time (you can fire 10 or 15 little missles before they're ready to die). It ends up being pretty repetitive and I got bored rather quickly.

There's a quest mode, but it centers around achieving very specific combos, some of which I couldn't understand. There's no tutorial, no web guide and no forums I could find to give more insight into what each of these combos is and how to unlock them, so after about level 9, I got stuck and lost all my lives.

Overall, this game isn't terrible, but it isn't good either. I can imagine it's probably a lot of fun to play against other people online (instead of the crazy bots that are built into the game), but apparently...that's not something I'm going to be able to find out. No one seems to own this one, and every forum I visited had only a handful of posts even acknowledging its existence.

Overall: 4/10 I might have rated it higher if it wasn't strictly an offline experience. Imagine playing Bejeweled against 3 computer opponents who are better than you...and you can get the basic idea here.

I unlocked one achievement, from the tutorial.

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