So, lately I’ve been playing a lot of Puzzle Quest 2. I can’t think of any better way of putting it than ‘Bejewelled – the Role Playing Game’. Essentially, you play a character who, in typical RPG style, locates a village and has to (for no good reason) save it from the baddies. You do this by fighting off various monsters. However, in place of a conventional battle system, you play bejewelled against an opponent. Your character earns mana from matching colours and uses it to cast spells, most of which alter the board state in some way.
When you’ve killed the monster, you might find a chest to loot! To do this, you play bejewelled, matching up various chests and crowns and coins instead of gems. You may come across a locked door on your adventure! To open it, you can bash it down with bejewelled power, or cast a spell of opening using your bejewelled magic, or pick the lock with bejewelled lock picks. You might have to search a room for a clue, or disarm a trap. I’m sure you can guess how….
Despite being very repetitive, PQ2 is a good game. It does exactly what you expect. It lets you play bejewelled, but makes it slightly more interesting. The abilities and spells your characters get are a great addition to the game and make it very interesting. Being able to turn half the gems on the board purple, then destroying all the purple gems for MASSIVE DAMAGE! is great fun.
There are a few kinks, and the levelling and mini-games systems I think especially need some more work. For instance, it’s just as easy to use a spell to unlock a door as it is to bash it down, whether you’re a berserker or a sorcerer. It would be nice if this was altered to be more appropriate.
All in all though, if you’re looking for a casual game to sink a few hours into (I’ve lost nearly thirty so far), Puzzle Quest 2 is an excellent candidate. It’s available on Steam and a very reasonable price, so really there’s no reason not to buy it! (Unless you have a particularly addictive personality. Then it might not be such a great idea)