by William Thompson
reviewed on NDS
Not just matching gems
As was the case with the original, it is not just the fall (and matching) of the gems that can decide a battle. Throughout the game, the player can craft or purchase different weapons or inventory items. These act in a similar way to how spells worked in Challenge of the Warlords. Weapons such as lasers can be added to your spaceship to attack an enemy when no Attacking gems are unavailable. Also, other inventory items such as shields can reduce damage dealt by an opponent.
Apart from the battles, there are a number of other puzzle types to keep the game interesting. All the games use the same game board, but have differing objectives and gem types. Winning a haggling puzzle results in goods being cheaper. Crafting enables the gamer to produce new inventory items, whilst Mining puzzles enable the gamer to mine items for sale or for use in crafting.
One puzzle that gamers will see plenty of, involves Hacking Leapgates. The Leapgates are used to travel between connected systems in the galaxy. Unfortunately, these Leapgates have been affected by a computer virus and require the gamer to match a certain number of gems in a short period of time in order to open the Leapgate. Once Leapgates are open, the gamer has the ability to travel to other systems throughout the galaxy as needed.
Sliding the pieces
Control is completely stylus-based. During the puzzle portion of the game, swapping a gem is just a matter of selecting the required gem and sliding it in the required direction so that it switches position with another gem. This works suitably for the most part, but just make certain there is no-one around to bump you. I had one or two incidents where an errant bump resulted in a false move causing a loss of turn. Not the fault of the game, but something gamers should be wary of.
A worthy sequel
Puzzle Quest: Galactrix has dozens of quests to perform and this combined with the various puzzle types (crafting, haggling, Leapgates, searching for rumours, mining) will have the gamer playing for hours. The visuals aren’t overly impressive, but that can be forgiven due to the fact that the game is a puzzle game at its core. I have a minor issue with the game constantly saving (which takes longer than most games), but apart from that and the annoying bad luck in gem drops, Puzzle Quest Galactrix is one of those games that makes you want to keep going until you finish it.
No Pros and Cons at this time