It would be hard to imagine that most gamers haven’t tried, or simply heard about, any “match 3” tile games in their lifetime. One of the first to arrive on the scene that mixed tile-matching with RPG elements was Puzzle Quest: Challenge Of The Warlords. The original game was initially released way back in 2007 on Nintendo DS and the PSP (Playstation Portable). Since then the formula has been used as the foundation for additional popular licensed games in the series. For instance, games like Marvel Puzzle Quest and Magic: The Gathering – Puzzle Quest. Fast forward to present day and we find that publisher D3 GO! and developer Infinity Plus Two (originally known as Infinite Interactive) have brought this game to the Nintendo Switch. This is our Nintendo Switch review of Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns (PQTLR)!
What Is Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns?
Ironically publisher D3 GO! is the same publisher of the excellent Marvel Puzzle Quest and Magic: The Gathering – Puzzle Quest games. PQTLR is a Nintendo Switch exclusive. The game features a remastered version of the original Puzzle Quest: Challenge Of The Warlords, and adds in the expansion Revenge Of The Plague Lord. The development team didn’t stop there though as they added in a bunch of new quests, classes, spells, and items created exclusively for this new chapter in the Puzzle Quest series.
If you’re new to the Puzzle Quest series PQTLR is based on a series of playing turn-based matches on tile boards. During each match, players take turns moving coloured jewels to match three-in-a-row. Doing so applies damage to your opponent. The last person standing with health above 0 wins the match. PQTLR mixes up the formula by adding RPG elements to the fold all in a fantasy-based setting.
They Put The “Role” Into “RPG”
To start off you get to pick a class-based hero for your avatar. You’ll choose from a pool of mostly typical fantasy-based classes each with different strengths and difficulty levels. I went with a Druid figuring I’d have some healing spells in my satchel in case I got into trouble.
Right from the onset you’re given a short tutorial via some quests and introduced to the world map where you move from city-to-city to tackle quests (i.e. take on an NPC in a match).
Along the way, you’re pulled into a sometimes campy, but a well-written story told with hand-drawn artwork. You’ll gain levels which will allocate skill points so you can invest in a mastery tree. Investing points in a given mastery will open up additional “spells” and passives along that line. You’re allowed to work on four quests at a time, which for a veteran MMO player, seemed to be a bit stringent. Especially if you’re the type like me that likes to click on “Accept” for each side quest.
As you start a match you can also adjust the difficulty for that match, where “Normal” is the default, and “Hard” yields better rewards. The game supports online multiplayer as well, but good luck in finding a game to join.
There are other RPG elements embedded along the way like “rumours”. If you visit a tavern once in a while (no not to get drunk as the game humorously tells us) you’ll find out about other people and events that open up other questlines.
What About The Mini-Games?
Along the way, as you accrue gold you can buy buildings, e.g. a “Mage Tower”. I did this early on but had no idea what advantage this gave me until later on in the game. Eventually, I discovered that PQTLR also has wrapped in it, mini-games. Thes mini-games include being able to “capture” a creature, to use as a mount, and capture an NPC. When you capture an NPC you can do things like research and learn their skills which leads to another match-based mini-game. You need to invest in the building of your kingdom though to open up such mini-games.
Mounts once captured can also imbue you with passives which is a nice touch. This gives you the incentive to find and capture better mounts along the way.
The great thing about all of this is you can play undocked with touchscreen functionality while sitting on your couch watching TV, etc. If you prefer docked mode I found controller usage to be simplistic and non-frustrating. Just move the large reticule over a jewel, select A to swap. It felt very natural and responsive.
Remastered With Love
Just in case you Puzzle Quest: Challenge Of The Warlords veterans are worried that this all seems redundant, never you mind. To assuage your fears, the development team hasn’t merely done “just” a port of the original Puzzle Quest: Challenge Of The Warlords. The team has performed what they call “Remastered With Love”. This Nintendo Switch version contains improvements based on player feedback and requests. Take, for instance, expanded questlines including over 100 new quests, new gear, improved enemy AI, vastly improved tooltip text, and removing arcane penalties for invalid moves. The team also added five brand-new new character classes (Blood Mage, Priest, Monk, Paladin, and Elementalist) to level-up and master, which along with the new gear allows for different playstyles and builds. They’ve also added new monsters, bosses, and those aforementioned unique puzzle mini-games.
Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns is a perfect “match” for the Nintendo Switch, especially for players on the go! The only unanswered question left is, and I don’t want to seem like I’m begging but, when will D3 GO! bring Marvel Puzzle Quest and Magic: The Gathering – Puzzle Quest to the Nintendo Switch? If they want to also throw in Puzzle Quest: Galactrix and Puzzle Quest 2 we won’t complain!
- Puzzle Quest: Challenge Of The Warlords
- Marvel Puzzle Quest
Note: This game was reviewed with a download code from PR.