Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Puzzle Quest - Gameplay Part 2 - Battles

Song of the Day

Background 1 - Marc Durell


Warning: I go a bit mental with pictures in this update...

So, last time we talked at length about the World Map and a little bit about the character, but it's now time to see what the meat and potatoes of the game is like: battles.

Usually when taking a quest from a city you'll have to go somewhere and fight a monster. Quest places are signalled by sparklies. Go to the sparkly place and click on it, a little menu will pop up. One of the choices will enter you in a battle. You can tell because a little animation will play and something like this will pop up:

Before every fight you will always get a little description of the enemy you're about to face, usually by telling you the spells it can do as well as it's strengths. If it is a special enemy then it will have a second paragraph detailing what is unique about it. In this case, it's stronger to fight and it has an additional spell in 'Rend' (which can damage you for five damage without ending his turn). Press 'FIGHT!' and you get to the actual battle screen...

The order of battle is decided by our 'Cunning' rating, whoever has the most gets to go first. In this case the Troll gets to go first. Now to people who are new to Puzzle Quest might think this looks like Bejewelled, but don't be fooled...it IS Bejewelled, just wrapped up differently. Your aim is to get at least three gems in a row. Do so and you can collect the gems power. There are eight different types of gem:

Green Mana

Red Mana

Yellow Mana

Blue Mana

These will act as your MP in this game, collecting enough of these will allow you to use your spells. No mana, no spells. You'll probably end up spending most of your battle time collecting these.

Although most of your levelling up will be done by completing quests and finishing off enemies, you can earn additional EXP by collecting three or more of these.

Like all RPGs, you need to earn gold in order to buy upgraded equipment and the like. You can earn extra gold by collecting these, though I tend to only collect these if there is nothing else.

These can act like any of the coloured gems. It can also be used to get four/five in a row (more on that later) and it gives you a multiplier. See one of these and use them immediately.

Collecting three or more of these and you will deal damage to your enemy. There is two kinds of skulls, this one that deals 1 damage, and a "glowing" skull that deals 5 points of damage and explodes all the gems surrounding it.

If you're good at Bejewelled, or just puzzle games in general, then you'll have no problems getting to grips with this game. However, there is a handy option for people with bad eyesight or just not very good:

If the game feels that you're struggling it will point out a match for you. This can be turned off in the options if you want. The only problem with it is that it doesn't always give you the best possible outcome, use it as a last resort if you can't see anything better.

It is possible to get four or even five in a row. Like this!

Getting these give you a bit more mana/coin/exp/damage while also giving you an extra turn to play with. Getting five in a row will also create a wildcard on the board, giving you a chance to earn mad mana with your extra turn.

So, now you know everything you need to know about battling...except the magic spells. Let's bring up the battle screen again:

Each spell costs a certain amount of mana, very rarely will it ever just be one type of mana either. You can carry six spells into battle that you've learned through levelling up and one spell from a captured enemy (in this case it's my mount, a Wolf...more on that in a future post). Since I'm a Warrior most of my spells deal in damage, for example 'Throw Axe' deals damage according to how many Skulls are in play, Cleave is the same but with Yellow gems, "Enrage" ups my 'Battle' skill etc. This Troll has two very annoying spells, Regeneration heals it by 4 points (but it doesn't end their turn) and Rend, which I mentioned before. 

I had intended to this battle to show off what would happen if I lost, considering I was struggling to beat it, however I managed to actually defeat it this time (the strategy? Hoard all the blue gems to prevent it from healing. "Wild Lore" also removes all the Yellow and Blue gems from the board). If you lose it doesn't really matter, you get whatever gold and experience you earned in the battle and you are kicked off to the map again, but you can try and try again until you succeed. There is no real penalty for losing a battle.

If you win however this pops up:

And when you finish a quest...

Now there is another battle mode, 'CAPTURE', but I feel this has gone on long enough. Next time I'll be wrapping up all the gameplay mechanics I've still to talk about. Until then, so long!

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