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This game is very similar to the Puzzle Quest titles, and like them it can become boring if played for too long. For those willing to play in short bursts, though, Puzzle Kingdoms provides hours of fun.
If you're willing to ignore the production values, you'll find an addictive adventure worthy of the "from the creators of Puzzle Quest" moniker that is so proudly displayed on the Puzzle Kingdoms box art.
If you're not a fan of puzzle games, you won't like this one. If you have only a passing interest in puzzle games, you might find Puzzle Kingdoms more frustrating than fun. If you love puzzle games, are suffering from withdrawal and desperately need your fix, Puzzle Kingdoms should provide a good experience despite its obvious flaws.
If you don't mind some trial and error, or don't mind working through the game until you figure out what to do, there is fun to be had with Puzzle Kingdoms. The game seems like more of an evolution of the genre than Puzzle Quest: Galactrix did, I just don't think most people will stick around long enough to see it.
I had fun playing Puzzle Kingdoms on the Nintendo DS because the core mechanics are rock solid. The problems come from the sloppy production values, most likely due to the bargain basement development budget. If you can overlook the awkwardness of the elements outside of the core challenge then you've got yourself a decent timesuck. But for DS standards the game definitely needs work.
I was slightly disappointed by Puzzle Kingdoms - not because I expected a blockbuster game - but because I expected more variety, or at least more polish on the one included puzzle. Basing an entire game around one puzzle game is not a bad idea if that puzzle is deep, challenging, and thought-provoking. Unfortunately, I didn't get any of those impressions from the main puzzle game in Puzzle Kingdoms. That said, it is an interesting endeavor, and there is enough of an RPG flair to the game that you might very well get hooked. I'd recommend this title only to those who absolutely love puzzle games and strategy-RPGs. And even then, I'd be hesitant to recommend it.
The Review Busters
For a game that brags about being like Puzzle Quest you will start to wonder if the asking price is trying to tell you something. I have been on a puzzle kick lately with my Nintendo DS so I thought spending $20 on a game like this would be a swell idea. It turns out Puzzle Kingdoms is no more than a budget game that will continue to drop in price until the entire stock is either in customers hands or companies will toss it in the desert with all of the other bad games we’ve seen.