The creators of Puzzle Quest have now brought us Puzzle Kingdoms.
This puzzle game has a medieval storyline involving magic, famine,
drought, and a polytheistic belief system. The puzzle action has a grid
where blocks are inserted from the sides. All sides allow for entrance,
and the screen shows which block will be entering if touched. Make
troops, march them on opposing outposts and defeat them.
I appreciated a lot of the artwork in Puzzle Kingdoms. The contrasting colors of the different block types makes this an easy game to play visually. There are some disturbing images, and some female attire that will raise eyebrows. The violence is a much more mild than I was expecting. The monsters found in ruins are hideous.
Puzzle Kingdoms has some quiet music that I found to be enjoyable to listen to. The magical elements made me feel a little uneasy, and I know many of our readers will have a similar reaction. The polytheistic belief system by many of the characters in this game will also be drawn into question. I liked how the main character wanted to help others and questioned the direction adviser's told her to take.
Puzzle Kingdoms has a lot of replay value as long as you enjoy the puzzle action. There are multiple modes that I found to be enjoyable. The tavern mini game is part of the reason this is an E10+ game. Technically it is tavern in name only, but worth a minor mention. Some multi-player modes would have put this section over the top, but none were included.
The strategic game play found in Puzzle Kingdoms is exceptional. I did find it can be random, which means some towers were easier to defeat than others. If you are having problems in a level, just go back to your last save. Which brings up the role playing game concept of saving often. I had fun with Puzzle Kingdoms, and found it to be addictive at times.
Puzzle Kingdoms contains a lot of adult concepts that kids would not understand. Freeing people from oppressive rulers, fighting for what you believe in, and destroying evil are but a few. I would like to see a sequel to this DS game. I previously mentioned I liked how the main character questioned her advisers. I wish he/she would have gone a different direction at times, because he/she would battle reluctantly (but still battle).
Family Friendly Factor: 76%
System: Nintendo DS
Publisher: Zoo Games
Rating: 'E10+' for Everyone 10+
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