Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords

Key events

Puzzle Chronicles to arrive next month

It's the new one from the Puzzle Quest lot.

Konami has announced that Puzzle Chronicles will be released for DS and PSP on 18th February. A downloadable version will follow via PSN and XBLA.

Wallace and Sonic on XBLA tomorrow

Also, Puzzle Quest discounted for Goldies.

Major Nelson has confirmed that tomorrow's Xbox Live Arcade releases will be Wallace & Gromit Episode 2 and Sonic & Knuckles. Ampersand city.

POP Classic and Novastrike on PSN

PSP owners get Puzzle Quest.

Prince of Persia Classic and Novastrike arrived on the PS3's PlayStation Store this week, while PSP owners were invited to buy previously UMD-only titles Puzzle Quest and Practical IQ and nostalgic owners of both systems can glory in memories of, er, Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped.

Puzzle Quest bound for iPhone

There goes every journey ever. Again.

D3Publisher has announced plans to bring Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords to iPhone and iPod Touch this autumn.

Bejeweled is most popular this century

25 million sold, 6 billion hours played.

PopCap Games has claimed that Bejeweled is the most popular casual series of the century, with Bejeweled and Bejeweled 2 collectively selling over 25 million units since early 2000.

Xbox 360 DLC Roundup

Xbox 360 DLC Roundup

Ninja Gaiden 2, Halo 3, Army of Two, Lost Odyssey, Puzzle Quest, N+, Rock Band, GH III.

It's been a while since we last did this - just over four months in fact - so it seems like a good time to dip back into Microsoft's Game Store to see if anything of interest has been added. This won't be a complete list of every new bit of downloadable content released since April, but rather a closer look at the bits and pieces that caught our eye - whether it's for all the right, or all the wrong, reasons.

As always, we'll be breaking down the cost of each item in real money so you can gauge the relative value of your precious Microsoft Points, and also giving you the lowdown on what you get for your outlay and whether it's worth the effort.

Ninja Gaiden 2

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Puzzle Quest expansion on Live tomorrow

Puzzle Quest expansion on Live tomorrow

Revenge of the Plague Lord begins.

D3Publisher is releasing a Puzzle Quest add-on called Revenge of the Plague Lord on Xbox Live tomorrow.

The price is 700 Points (GBP 5.95 / EUR 8.40) and there are plenty of new toys to play with.

There are four new hero professions in the shape of bard, rogue, ranger and warlock, for example, along with 25 new quests, 50 extra spells and 40 magical items.

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Puzzle Quest XBLA to get expansion

Puzzle Quest XBLA to get expansion

And you can help name it.

D3Publisher has promised a ginormous expansion for Puzzle Quest on Live Arcade this spring.

The publisher wants help naming it, too; starting today and ending on Friday you can submit ideas via the official website. Rather a frustating site, that.

Fresh additions are professions Bard, Rogue, Ranger and Warlock, as well as an undiscovered area containing 25 quests.

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And another thing: I hate the way the sun always gets in my eyes in winter. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is against me; it did last night when I glided unaware through some dog mess. Got right in the tread. Will probably need a toothbrush to get that out - I hope my flatmate doesn't mind. Still, when you run yourself a hot bath and sink into a cosy bed you can almost forgive the biting cold and animals - escaping the winter is what makes it memorable.

Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords

Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords

Even more heroic effort.

Wine in a box, eBay, shower radios, Worcester sauce crisps. We can all think of at least one thing we wish we'd thought up first. Puzzle Quest is another one. Take the puzzle mechanic of Bejeweled and make it the basis of a turn-based RPG. Genius.

It works like this: when you go into battle, you and your enemy take turns to try and make lines of three or more gems, coins, stars or skulls by selecting and swapping adjacent tiles. These then disappear in time-honoured fashion so that the gems, coins, stars or skulls above them can slide down to fill the gaps.

Gems come in four colours, which correspond to a particular type of elemental magic - earth, fire, etc. - and making lines of these puts magic in the bank for use later in the fight. Making lines of coins gives you cash to spend at shops, and stars give you experience points. Creating lines of skulls inflicts damage on your opponent.

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Puzzle Quest on XBLA tomorrow

Petition for national holiday.

Microsoft has confirmed that Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords will be available on Live Arcade tomorrow for a mighty 1200 points (GBP 10.20 / EUR 13.96).

Puzzle Quest for Wii/PS2/PC

All due out this year.

D3Publisher has confirmed the upcoming Wii version of Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords and promised PS2 and PC versions in the same timeframe.

Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords

When has never been a problem (5pm) and neither has where (behind the bike sheds), but Man, as befits a creature so indecisive that he invented TiVo, has never really made up his mind about how to settle differences between his brothers and sisters. Thousands of years ago, right up until someone had an eye out, it was swords. Then there was chess, baccarat, happy slapping, parking tickets and flicking rubber bands. Puzzle Quest, in many respects a bog-standard fantasy RPG, doesn't bother with any of that. Instead you swap tiles until someone dies. Punching rats has never been so B&Q.

Playing as one of four characters (druid, wizard, knight, warrior), you're thrust into battles against skeletons, sorcerers, ogres and worse, but instead of smashing each other to bits with the range of swords, clubs and other items that make up your inventory, you take turns to pick your way through rows of different-coloured orbs in search of combinations. Like Bejeweled or Zoo Keeper, the idea is to find two adjacent tiles so that, when swapped, at least one of them contributes to a line of three matching tiles, which then disappear, allowing others to fall into the gap and potentially chain.

By connecting Puzzle Quest's lines of skulls, you can land basic blows that sap your enemy's health. Other tiles are coloured (red, yellow, green and blue) representing mana, which builds up as you match the coloured tiles and allows you to cast spells - some violent, some buffing, some poisonous, some healing, and so on. Experience tiles (purple stars) add to the experience points you pick up after the fight, while gold tiles earn money. This being an RPG, XP and cash help you toward hit points, big tools and wicked hats, and in a neat touch even a lost battle nets you some experience.

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