Friday, April 23, 2010

Video game number one hundred and nine: Puzzle Chronicles

Video game review number one hundred and nine in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is"Puzzle Chronicles".

One of the classic "snaps" from the 80's involved asking someone how tall they were, and then replying to whatever measurement they gave you with "I didn't know they stacked shit that high". I don't really have a way to work that into my review of this game, but suffice it to say...this game is a pretty big pile.

In a nutshell, this game is a shitty RPG combined with a shitty jewel matching puzzle game. Think Puzzle Quest, but take away most of the fun...and you'll get the basic idea.

Puzzle Quest is fun because at it's core, it's a good puzzle game. The folks who made that game stacked a little RPG on top of that, and the result was a puzzle game with a little bit of a story to it. You didn't really have to worry about the story, but if you wanted to pay attention to it, it was there and it wasn't terrible.

The folks who made this game were apparently big fans of Puzzle Quest, but they forgot to add in any of the stuff that made that game fun. The puzzle game? It's ass. You match gems, but sideways instead of horizontally. There's no gameplay benefit to this, it seems they just turned the puzzle board on its side to avoid being sued by any of the other similar games out there for stealing their ideas.

The graphics in this game look like the drawings you might find on the binder of someone who was a really big fan of the "Heavy Metal" style of art in high school. It's the kind of art that makes you say "I could probably draw something better than that" (when in reality, you probably couldn't). Still....most video game artists can and have produced better art than this, as these are some of the worst graphics I've ever seen in a modern video game.

I played this game through the tutorial and well into the second act before I realized I wasn't going to get anymore achievements without playing a LOT more of it. The quests are never-ending. You'll walk a step or two on the map, fight a monster (fighting involves playing the shitty puzzle game), then you'll walk another step and fight another monster. The puzzle game never becomes more fun, so you're just stuck playing it over and over until the computer decides that you've had enough and gives you the victory. So long as you can match three colors, it's tough to lose.

Overall score? 2/10. What a boring, stupid, ugly game. Don't buy it.
Achievements? Here's the one I got. Will I ever play again? Doubtful.

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