Puzzle Quest 3 is the latest in the long-running match-stuff RPG series. It’s had a decent polishing up, thrown in some not-too-egregious free to play mechanics and some swanky graphics. And, all-in-all, it’s still pretty good.
The game sees you matching gems to power-up spells, launch attacks and defend against incoming onslaughts. It’s an idea that’s been pretty well flogged over the last few years, and Puzzle Quest 3 is going to be instantly familiar to most mobile gamers because of that.
There’s a main story mode, side-quests and a variety of different multiplayer options here. You’ll have to work to get to them, though. There’s a definite grindiness to the action, which is pretty standard in free to play fare.
Things certainly look impressive. Your sword swipes and spells light up the screen, and the monsters you’re fighting against are all suitably grotesque. The compulsion to keep matching is strong as well, and it’s easy for a quick go to turn into a lost hour. It’s candy gaming at its finest.
You’ve got all manner of currencies, resources and other shiny things to pay attention to, whether you’re upgrading your heroes, your gear, your spells, your companions or the minions who unlock chests for you. Nothing is ever quite as simple as you want it to be.
And then you get back into the matching, and you can’t help but smile. There’s enough tactical nous to the experience to make it more than a blunt object, but not too much that you’re ever going to feel overwhelmed.
Puzzle Quest 3 has a very specific goal in mind, and for the most part it nails it. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but as a masterclass in free to play design it’s hard to match. Scrape too hard at the gorgeous shell, though, and you’ll find it’s essentially empty.