I've found yet another reason to buy a DS Lite. I hope my meager finances can handle it. (Why are you so poor, Kenny?)
The PC Demo for Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords had me both addicted and a bit disappointed. Addicted because, well, it's a damn good pick-up game, perfect for casual gamers who can only squeeze in small amounts of time to play, or the consummate hardcore who can sit in front of his PC for inhuman lengths of time. Disappointed because the PC demo cannot be converted into a full version of the game! Aaargh. Right now, the publishers are focusing on the handheld console releases (DS and PSP).
The game is the latest following the trend of crossing puzzle games with RPG elements (if it can be called a "trend;" as far as I know, there's also Bookworm Adventures, which is another highly-recommendable game): this time, RPGs are crossed with a connect-3 puzzle (as seen in Bejeweled, Diamond Mine, and similar games) where you're presented with a grid of gems. You swap adjacent gems and if it connects a line of three or more similar gems, those gems are scored, taken off the board, and more gems fall into the empty spaces--pure, simple fun that'll siphon several hours of your day.
It's a fairly involved game from what's been hinted at in the demo:
You create your character from one of four classes, each with its own style and set of skills (Druid, Knight, Warrior, and Wizard). After a quick character creation part where you pick your character's class, picture, and name, you're then taken into the world, represented by a map with terrain and cities and roads connecting cities.
Central to the game are quests, that you can find in cities with marked with a "!". Green !'s denote side quests, while Red !'s indicate important quests that will advance the storyline.
Aside from questing, there's a lot of other things to do. You can build buildings that'll open up new abilities and minigames, capture monsters, lay siege to cities, and even forge items. I hope those features live up to expectations since you can barely try them out in the demo (you're limited to Level 7).
All in all, even if I do get this on the DS Lite, I'd still want it on my PC. I hope Infinite Interactive releases the full PC version soon.
Oh right, fans of the Warlords series of strategy games may feel right at home, as this game is set in the Warlords' world of Etheria.