A fun combination of Bejeweled and RPG gameplay.

User Rating: 8.5 | Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords DS
Puzzle Quest caught my interest quickly when I saw it on the shelf. "I'm a fan of puzzles," I thought, "and I love RPG's too..." To be honest I had assumed it would be a sub-par game; generic puzzle gameplay with an RPG story of terrible fare; A world in danger, a princess needing saving, and a chosen-by-fate hero (you) who is the last hope to save the world. Thankfully I was wrong. The story does have some standard qualities to it, but the RPG gameplay is extremely evident even in battles. The puzzles are Bejeweled style -matching similar 'gems' on the board to clear them- but with a twist. The entire battle is played in turns, alternating moves on the same board between you and your opponent.Instead of simply scoring points to beat your opponent, the RPG gmeplay has you attacking your opponent by matching three or more skulls or by casting spells. Matching red, green, blue, or yellow gems will store up mana for your spells, which will do anything from changing the color of gems on the board, healing damage from yourself, or dealing various amounts of damage to your opponent. Matching three or more stacks of coins will add some gold to your coffers, which can be spent on new items or used to upgrade your Citadel, allowing you to learn new spells or capture and train a mount. Matching three or more purple stars gets you experience, which will obviously add to your character's level.

As you progress through the story you meet special individuals called Companions. After you complete their initial questline the companion will follow you throughout your journey, and provide a bonus to your battles like dealing an immediate 10 points of damage to an Undead enemy right at the start of combat, or the chance to backstab an enemy for 20 damage. Alongside the Companions are Awards, which you get for completing difficult quests, and which give you permanent bonuses such as a bonus to a skill such as Morale or Battle, or a bonus to the mastery of an element(which lets you collect more of that color mana).

All in all this game is amazing, I've spent a lot of time playing the DS version alone, and I would definitely say this game is addicting. This is a must-buy for puzzle fanatics, but even casual puzzlers or RPG fans might want to give this one a look.