Sunday, March 1, 2009

Puzzle Quest: Galactrix

Puzzle Quest: Galactrix is Infinite Interactive's latest connect-three/role-playing game hybrid, a science fiction follow-up from their previous fantasy offering, Puzzle Quest: Quest of the Warlords.

Instead of a square board, the playing field has been redesigned with hexagonal gems, and the battle system is intended to simulate two ships having a dogfight in space. Different gems power various tech installed on your ship, with blue gems regenerating your Shield energy and mine gems representing direct attacks on the enemy ship. Play continues back and forth with you and the enemy ship alternating turns.

I've just installed it today on my HP notebook running Vista Home Premium, and so far, its working great. It does load a tad slow when you start the program, but maybe my box is to blame partly for that (or, more to the point, Vista is). So far, I've clocked in several hours' worth of play already; this game, like its fantasy predecessor, is quite addicting!

Other things to do include mining, where you attempt to connect a series of three resources before running out of moves; resources can then be sold at ports for money. Ports buy resources at different rates, so you have another "mini-game" trying to find where it is best to sell your Food, Isotope, or Gold cargo. And then there's the stargate hacking minigames, where you need to connect a sequence of gems before the timer runs out; stargates allow access to other star systems, which you'll need to have in order to move around and complete the game's various quests.

There's also several different factions in the game, and your quests and actions alter your score with each faction. Initially, there are four human mega-corporations, but soon enough, relationships with other races and factions, like the Pirates, will also be added and tracked. 

All in all, Galactrix is a solid science fiction RPG with a puzzle combat system, a game that's highly recommended whether you're an RPG fan and/or a puzzle fan, and whether you're a hardcore or a casual gamer.

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