National Treasure Puzzle Quest Review

Your money is guaranteed to be better spent elsewhere.

National Treasure Puzzle Quest, which is loosely based on the movie National Treasure, is a series of minigames. As you complete the minigames, they reveal clues that provide you with the location of the next puzzle. Although there is a brief story, and you progress through it until you discover the "most fabulous treasure of all time," the theme has little bearing on the actual gameplay elements, which are, at best, tedious and simple. The three minigames include a jigsaw puzzle, a cipher text game, and a tilting game with falling blocks. The latter two minigames are unique, albeit easy; but, unfortunately, the bulk of the gameplay consists of the jigsaw puzzles (of which there are three). If there's one thing that you will take away from National Treasure Puzzle Quest, it's that you haven't been truly bored until you've assembled a jigsaw puzzle on a cell phone.

The promise of the most fabulous treasure ever is still not worth it.
The promise of the most fabulous treasure ever is still not worth it.

National Treasure Puzzle Quest takes you to some of the same locations and historical documents that you see in the movie, such as the Liberty Bell and the Declaration of Independence. The premise is based on the idea that there are conspiracy theories throughout history that show how famous events are all suspiciously tied into one another. While the movie was interesting in that respect, the game does not represent that enthusiasm well. Instead, you're stuck with boring and easy minigames that are tied together with a story that doesn't matter in this format.

The two main modes are story mode and free play. In story mode, you play five minigames, and each one reveals a clue that simply unlocks the next one, until finally you uncover the "national treasure." Free play allows you to take on any of these five puzzles without having to go through the story mode, if, for some reason, you're interested in playing them again. The three jigsaw puzzles are easy, medium, and hard, which also denotes their size and number of puzzle pieces that you must assemble. You're presented with an empty square, sized to the puzzle, and a splattering of the pieces all over the board. One button press will switch the pieces so that only the edge pieces are showing, which is helpful to use first. You can then bring back the center pieces when you're done with the edges. This works well to ensure that the puzzle is not too difficult on the hardest level, because there are many difficult aspects of the game's execution--such as the limited view of the phone, the fact that the pieces are splayed all over the screen, and it's tedious to pick them up and separate them. Therefore, puzzles that you would be able to solve in five minutes if they were physically in front of you take nearly 20 on the phone because of what's required to put them together.

The cipher text game fares a little better, although it's quite easy. There are three numbers, each of which corresponds to a line, word on the line, and letter in the word on the Declaration of Independence. Once you've found all the correct letters, you then unscramble them to win. The final puzzle is a large empty triangle that smaller triangles of multiple colors fall into. You must tilt the larger triangle so that the smaller pieces clump into uniform colors. You can then select a group of at least three of the same-colored pieces to make them disappear. The objective is to hold out and not let the larger triangle fill up until the game is over.

Cell phones will never need a jigsaw puzzle game…ever.
Cell phones will never need a jigsaw puzzle game…ever.

Although the presentation is fairly consistent with National Treasure, the few clips that do show characters don't show any of the screens from the movie. The graphics on the LG VX7000 are limited mostly because it's a puzzle game, but even still, the text is too small and thin, and the text boxes are bland. The music on the main menu is catchy and well done, but the sound effects are loud and intrusive. The sound might effectively represent what's going on, but it would have been nicer if it had been a little more subtle, especially given the repetitive nature of some of the tasks you're performing.

National Treasure Puzzle Quest is a bad idea that is poorly executed. The license is merely an encasement for three shoddy minigames, the worst of which is the most prolific. Your money is guaranteed to be better spent elsewhere.

  • View Comments (0)
    The Good
    Two minigames are sort of unique
    The Bad
    The jigsaw puzzle is HORRIBLE
    The sounds are intrusive
    The license is worthless
    The text is hard to read
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    National Treasure Puzzle Quest More Info

  • First Released
    • Mobile
    Your money is guaranteed to be better spent elsewhere.
    Developed by:
    Pronto Games
    Published by:
    Action, Platformer, 2D