Game: Puzzle Quest The Legend Returns
Genre: Puzzle RPG, Match 3
Developer|Publisher: D3Go|Infinite Interactive
Age Rating: EU: 7+| USA: Everyone
Price: €15,99| £13.99| $14.99
Release Date: 19th September 2019
No review code was provided, bought the game myself.
Puzzle Quest The Legend Returns is a totally remastered game and features the original Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, Puzzle Quest Revenge of the Plague Lord and a new expansion Attack Of the Golem Lord. The game comes with new quests, spells, classes and items created exclusively for this version on the Nintendo Switch.
The world of Etheria is besieged with Orc’s, Golems and other evil beings and in a typical RPG storyline it’s your mission to keep the peace and rid the world of monsters. You move around the map visiting cities and taking on different quests and earning XP and gold for your hero when a quest is completed.
Choose your hero and your abilities
Most people have heard of Puzzle Quest but for those that haven’t: it is a match 3 game with a full RPG campaign incorporated into the gameplay. You play it by matching coloured mana orbs together to increase your mana. Enough mana allows you the use of spells against your opponent (AI) to reduce their health to zero and win the match.
As Puzzle Quest starts you chose which profession or class of hero you would like. This is important, as classes also provide unique spells and abilities while also acting as difficulty settings.
You can take your pick from Knight, Rogue and Wizard. Or try one of the new classes of Blood Mage, Priest, Elementalist, Paladin or Monk, all of which have been added to this edition of the game.
Lets match those Skulls!
You fight all battles on a grid full of different coloured orbs, coins and skulls. Matching 3 or more of the same coloured orbs will earn you hero mana which can then be used for spells. These come in lots of different forms, from depleting some of your opponents mana to inflicting damage.
Matching 3 or more Skulls together inflicts a physical attack on your opponent using which ever weapon you have equipped on your hero. Matching 4 or more of anything earns you an extra turn.
Unlike the standard games in the match 3 genres there is more strategy involved in Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns. As you try to work out which move would benefit you the most or when to use your Spells thinking ahead is key. Of course, no one can do without a lot of luck too as you don’t know what colour orbs are going to drop from the top when you clear some of the grid. If the grid has no moves left it clears, a new grid appears and the mana you and your opponent have collected is reduced to zero.
How to make good use of an enemy
As your hero levels up you gain stat points. These can be used to increase your skills as you see fit. If you spend points ranking up your Battle skill the damage you can inflict with matched skulls increases. Raising your morale skill points will increases hit points and experience gained.
You can spend your earned gold on new weapons or armour. You can also use it to build up your Citadel in order to provide boosts such as the ability to capture and train enemies and learn spells from them. Let’s not forget there’s another use for captured enemies: use them as mounts!
It’s not just enemies that you encounter. Along the way you will meet companions who will help in battle by inflicting a certain amount of damage on an enemies at the start of a battle.
The AI isn’t all-knowing it seems
All of this gameplay is accompanied by a suitable fantasy soundtrack and very appropriate sound effects. I actually turned the music down so I could hear the sound effects better. They add to the gameplay as you’re trying to take down an opponent.
The game controls well, and you can choose to either play it with the joy-cons or via touchscreen.
There can be a slight slow down sometimes in the heat of battle when there are lots of orbs disappearing and dropping down from above. It isn’t anything off-putting and doesn’t take any pleasure away from playing the game though.
The AI opponents are fair and sometimes even they can miss the best move on the grid giving you the advantage!
All in all Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns is a great game. You will find you have many hours of gameplay with it to complete all the match 3 puzzles in this remastered version. The storyline isn’t anything to write home about as it doesn’t bring anything new to the genre. However the gameplay more than makes up for lack of a good storyline.
If your a fan of this style of game I see no reason why it shouldn’t have a spot on your Nintendo Switch.
The only issue I find (which is game-breaking) about Puzzle Quest : The legend returns on the Switch is a tiny mistake in the script that happens because of how the game was programmed in Unity. (The fault isn’t at the Engine, but at how the devs handles it for the Switch).
Simply put, the way the devs implemented the handling of the end of each matches have a high chance of “double-timing” an effect instantaneously during the AI turns because of a small issues of threading in the Switch CPU. (It doesn’t happen during the player’s because the AI caller is no initiated at that point).
When this happens, the following effects are possible :
1) AI matches 3 tiles results as if it was a 4 tiles match giving the AI an extra turn.
2) AI’s chance to stun (make the player miss a turn) doubles down. Making the AI with certain items gain an extra turn with chances to stun above 50% when matching skulls.
3) Raising the mana gained from the match. I have seen a match of 3 green resulting in +12 to the AI’s green at the beginning of the match.
The chances are especially high for those kind of bugs when the AI has many kind of “special” effect happening during the turn. (It’s as if the devs scripted the game to calculate all the effects in a single thread at once. This is a Unity’s common beginners’ mistake normally.) This means those issues are usually present during bosses fights are those have 2 to 5 special effect given by their equipment that happens many time (usually, when matching certain colors and such).
The devs are aware of those bugs, but refuse to acknowledge them because they lack the skills and ability to fix those. Even after all those games, they are unable to properly master the Unity’s Engine properly.
Does anyone know how charges work. I chose Monk and am at level 12, and even though my spells have enough mana (they light up as blue) when I try to use them the screen says “not enough charge”. It ALWAYS says that so I can’t seem to use spells. How does one get this mythical charge???