Puzzle Kingdoms challenges players to plan out strategic attacks in order to defeat their opponents. Order troops across the map, conquering cities through innovative puzzle gameplay. Players build and manage armies led by heroic commanders to save the world of Etheria from the brink of destruction.
User reviews: Mixed (124 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 16, 2009
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About This Game

Puzzle Kingdoms challenges players to plan out strategic attacks in order to defeat their opponents. Order troops across the map, conquering cities through innovative puzzle gameplay. Players build and manage armies led by heroic commanders to save the world of Etheria from the brink of destruction. By matching corresponding gems on the game board, players will both inflict damage on enemy forces while building mana that can be used to perform devastating attacks that will cripple their opponents.

System Requirements

    • Supported OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP or Vista
    • Processor: Pentium 4, 1.5GHz or better CPU
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: ANVidia 5 series or better, ATI 8 series or better
    • Sound: DirectSound compatible sound card
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB Hard Drive space
    • DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (Nov 2007 edition)
Helpful customer reviews
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
23.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
NOTE: I paid 90p for this game during a 90% sale a few years back, and my review is based on a price around that region. £10.99 is too steep, but 75% off or above is reasonable.

Puzzle Kingdoms takes a familiar match-three base and adds a little spin on it to make it feel fresh. Basic gameplay involves pushing tiles onto a grid of blocks, making the rest of the row or coloumn move along by one tile and hopefully making a line of 3. The spin comes from the player-built armies you take into each match.

From swordsmen up to dragons, you can take up to four units into a battle with you, and your opponent does the same. Each unit is “fuelled” by a different colour of tile on the game grid. Clearing a line of three adds one point of fuel to your unit, and combos add more. Once your unit is fully powered up you can unleash their attack on your opponent or wait for other units to be ready to attack which grants additional damage.

The added layer of strategy in building an efficient army changes Puzzle Kingdoms from a well made match-three into something much more interesting. You may have a powerful Green unit, but stacking your army full of only those not only means the other colours go to waste when you match them, but also you need to clear a lot of Green tiles to get any combo bonuses. You also need to pay attention to what colours your opponent is going for so you can try to get those lines yourself and prevent them attacking.

The story is kinda dull. There's a pretty interesting twist in the tail, but little reason to really care about it- so you should grab this for the Puzzle more than the Kingdoms. It's well worth sinking some time into if you can get it cheap.
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
An example of why you shouldn't mess with a successful formula. The dynamic match-3 battles of previous versions have somehow become dour, static matches which too often drift into tedious stalemates. The only good thing about this game is the music.
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0 of 4 people (0%) found this review helpful
47.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
no challenge. just a time waster. been waiting for it to get harder.
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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 13
Puzzles. Kingdoms. Heroes. Battles. Pure Win.

I've never been a fan of puzzle games, so when I saw this one's premise I thought that maybe this was a puzzle game for me: think of Bejeweled meets Heroes of Might and Magic and you'll be close of what this is.

You're a hero, and have hero stuff to do. In order to kick some ♥♥♥, you'll need to build an army. To do it, you'll engage on mighty battle against various villains, taking turns on a bewejeled-like game made to simulate battle... And works like a charm! I know how it sounds, I have to experience it to believe it.

Engaging gameplay, good art and a delicious twist to two well-known game mechanics make this one an instant thumbs up. I have a really long pending game list to go through, but I’ll play this one again for sure. If all this picked your interest, grab a couple of bucks and buy it, you'll get nice value for your money.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
29.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 11
This game came in a bundle I bought off Bundle Stars. After playing with other more promising games I decided to give this one a shot. I became instantly hooked and spent 30 hours on this little addictive gem. It's kind of like Candy Crush but much manlier, with characters like goblins and minotaurs and whatnot!
You have to rely on your sense of strategy and forethought, but also on luck since there's pretty random poisonous blocks out there.
I'd think 13,99€ is a bit pricey, so pick it up when on sale or if you stumble upon it in a bundle.

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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
19.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 19
I want to like this game, but it seems unbalanced and unfinished. The story is forgettable but that's no big deal. The battles are far too easy for the most part. I find the time-based puzzles (to unlock troops) frustrating. There are elements in the game (some of the kingdom stuff) that don't really do anything leading me to wonder if it was released undone. I'm a completionist so I'll probably try to finish it but I find the altar puzzles (which need to be completed to unlock the next kingdom) kinda boring so who knows.

I got it for a couple of bucks on sale. It was worth it I suppose for the time I've spent on it but the initial enjoyment gave way to disappointment so I can't really recommend it.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 19
When I bought Puzzle Kingdoms, it was on a 90% Steam sale and costed me a buck and a half. Unfortunately, money isn't the biggest concern when it comes to a game's actual worth, the real valuable resource we truly pay when playing games is time.

Puzzle Kingdoms is a Bejeweled-like puzzle game with some strategy RPG elements thrown in. Now if you're not farmiliar with those match the shapes kind of games that's been flooding the web for the past several years, you're not missing much. The activity consists of endlessly and effortlessly moving shapes around in one way or another to group them together, and when you do a nice little sound effect plays and the shapes disappear to make room for new ones, manipulating your brain with constant small benefits to drive you to keep playing.
While doing a good job at cloaking itself from the fact, Puzzle Kingdoms is much like those games. The game provides you with "troops" you can buy and use which can attack and deal damage to enemy troops after you have matched the same shape enough times, and later on gives you more kinds of troops and different items which give you slight benefits. At first one may think the game has a neat twist to the formula, but soon enough one will discover that the game is just covering it's one boring mechanic- moving shapes around to group them- with much more distraction and brain manipulations than the other games of it's type, rather than adding any new interesting mechanics.
The game is insultingly easy, giving you a staggering amout of money to endlessly fill up your board with troops while the opposition never attacks you with anything bigger than what you already have. It forces you into painfully slow paced puzzles that makes you roll an invisible dice over and over again until you win, all for the sake of a story that is so obviously ment to manipulate you into giving any context to matching shapes it's laughable. The choices made in this game- the kind of troops you buy and the items you equip- have zero implication egainst an opponent that literally can't beat you as long as you deny him a specific shape to group together.

The game as a whole can pretty much last forever, and that is a pretty big part of the problem- it manipulates you to play it endlessly and effortlessly and in turn do nothing but waste your precious time. If a game does that it should at least have a strong point (Prime examples are Allan Blomquist and Kyle Gabler's "Little Inferno" or Edmund Mcmillen's "AVGM") or have some really solid mechanics to go with it so the player will have to [god forbid] think about the game.
As much the gaming industry wants to dany it, "time spent divided by money spent" is not a healthy way to measure a game's value, because that implies your time is a bad thing you want to throw as much of it away as possible. This game is just not worth your time even if it costed you zero dollars.
Please, do something and play something meaningful and fulfilling with that time, because your time is limited and it is worth much more than this.
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
Match 3 games. Match farking 3 games. Match mother farking, h♥♥♥♥♥♥♥, throw-‘em-in-a-river-and-watch-them-die, 3 games. I’ve played them. You’ve played them. Hell, your 93 year old grandma has played them, and she’s been dead for a decade. Which one was it? Bejeweled, Candy Crush, one of the other 14 million clones out there? Did cool things happen when you matched more than 3 colors? Did lights and sparks and fancy graphics explode across the screen like blood from a gunshot wound? Did you feel proud of yourself, like you actually accomplished something, when you got the highs core? Did you spend real money on boosts, or power-ups, or weirdly specific cryptocurrencies? Did you actually enjoy any of it? Really?

There’s not much you can do with a match 3 game, other than take it out back, slit its throat, and chuck it in a ditch. You can dress them up differently, give them a nice coat of shiny graphical paint, and send them out to the market place hoping to become the next trillion dollar iPhone app, but in reality they’re all the same farking thing. You match 3 things, some shlitz happens, and then you match 3 more things. That’s what the game is, and ain’t shlitz going to change it. That is, until you play Puzzle Kingdoms. Then you’ll be all like, “Match 3 games aren’t so bad after all—maybe I just have anger issue and need to work them out with a therapist.”

Or something like that.

Yes, Puzzle Kingdoms is, at its heart, a match 3 game. You match 3 like shapes, some shlitz happens, and then you match 3 more shapes. The difference is this: Puzzle Kingdoms presents a CPU controlled adversary that tries its hardest to cripple your dlick. First, you build an army of knights, peasants, archers, etc., and march them through various kingdoms, conquering and killing on your way via the match 3 game. You gain experience and gold when you win, and death and humiliation when you lose. You can use the experience to level up, gain new abilities, and raise your offensive and defensive capabilities; you can use the humiliation to admit that you can actually enjoy a match 3 game; and you can use the gold to buy new recruits for your army, which you’ll need after realizing how hard and unforgiving the game can be. Your recruits will be dropping like flies unless you think tactically, and match those 3 shapes like a mother farking boss! BOSS!

In fact, the game is so hard (for me, anyway) that I couldn’t conquer the second kingdom. Of course, I generally suck at these types of games. A typical match goes as follows: I match 3 shapes, the computer matches 3 shapes, I match another 3 shapes, and then the computer chains together a massive combo that wipes out half my army and leaves me running away with my limp thingy in my hand. I just can’t see that many moves into the future, and the AI can, which is farking ♥♥♥♥♥♥litz. Fark that crunt. Occasionally I get lucky and use a spell or special move and manage to take out multiple enemies, but most times I’m matching shapes that give me health or magic points. It can get frustrating.

Let’s see, what else? The graphics are mediocre, but serviceable. Some of the character art is downright ugly, and the over-world maps lack detail and scale. The music and sound effects suit the action and generally enhance the gameplay. There are some nice sword clashes and arrow zings as you battle your way through each kingdom. All the other shlitz: it’s fine.

So there’s that.

When it comes down to it, I enjoyed Puzzle Kingdoms more than I hated it. I don’t know if that’s a recommendation or not, and I don’t care, so go screw. Even though it’s a match 3 game, which basically drops it to a zero-star game, the packaging around it is unique enough to bring it back up to a four star game (pro tip: all games are four star games). Go ahead and try it, buy it, fark it, suck it, or stick it up your sass, you’ve got my ringing and useless endorsement.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
24.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
Nice combination of puzzling and strategy by choosing the different types of elements. Shame its a bit less intresting after you completed the story
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
71.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
Not quite as good as Puzzlequest, but worthy of the name. I love the mechanics and have found myself playing it through twice so far.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
love this game
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 20
Pick up the great Puzzle Quest or even the mediocre Puzzle Quest 2, rather than this. The puzzle system is very boring and dull, based on luck and the AI has lots of "luck". Not recommended.
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2 of 6 people (33%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 16
This is a turn-based match 3 puzzle game with some RPG elements thrown in because why not. The game board seems to always be in favor of your opponent. You always seem to never have a match, allowing your opponent to make one after you waste your turn. The single biggest issue in the game by far is that once you lose a battle, you're screwed. You don't get your troops back. You're given the option to "lose half your gold and continue", but then you can't buy any new troops, so it's useless. Otherwise, you're kicked out to the start of the chapter, no matter how far you got. It's infuriating to say the least.
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2 of 7 people (29%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 21
This game is fun for a while, but not for long periods of time. 7/10
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22.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 31
A simple puzzle game, with interesting RPG elements. Not a major game, but can keep you well entertained if you have some time that needs to be killed.
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52.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
a simple and long game that resembles Bejeweled, block matching. gets boring quick with only three different types of block matching. perfect to kill a few hours, but not for everyone.
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5.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 16
I played Puzzle Quest first before this and was instantly hooked. Finished the game and replayed three times. When I saw this, I expected something similar and similar it was at best. I guess it is unfair to compare this game to its much newer cousin, but disappointed I was. You should play this THEN Puzzle Quest, not the other way round like I did
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0.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 8
If you are into “puzzle RPG’s” then this could be the game for you. Think of it as Bejeweled with a story and characters. You roam around a world map, pick fights with enemies, and win puzzle battles by matching symbols in order to save your Kingdom. Additionally, the game is colorful and it does have a decent art style.

Unfortunately, although I enjoyed Puzzle Quest very much, I found Puzzle Kingdoms very dull and lackluster in the gameplay department. Also, it just didn’t have that certain element that pushed me to play more. I felt that there was something missing. Honestly, this game actually made me feel like playing Puzzle Quest instead.

I would have to give this game a “Puzzle Quest > Puzzle Kingdoms” score. Money well spent if spent on “quests” instead.
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1.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 3
I sunk many an hour into the original Puzzle Quest, lured in with its simple match-3 mechanics and addictive leveling system. But after trying to get in to Puzzle Kingdoms twice, I've given up. Both times, I didn't get far enough to see some of the features it has to offer. The problem is that the actual puzzle gameplay is inferior to what other games in this genre bring to the table.

The issues I have with the gameplay are as follows:

- Whereas standard match-3 gameplay requires only a few seconds to scan the board and look for the best move, Puzzle Kingdoms, with its numerous possibilities based on the icons that can slide in and out of gameplay, requires more care. This slows down the game, increasing the amount of time one has to take between moves. Some may like this, but I miss the faster gameplay experience.

- “Dueling” match-3 games can sometimes be unfair based on what drops into play. Even though one knows the first icon that comes into a row or column in Puzzle Kingdoms, the need to only connect three or more (not three-in-a-row) tends to make things especially random. Simple matches often turn into devastating combos that are impossible to predict.

- This game is made for touch-screen controls. If you have one, great. If not, prepare for an awkward “click and drag” fest or the counter-intuitive “click the slide you want to slide the icon in on, not the side you want the icons to move out.” Controller support is non-existent, so don't expect an easy-to-use system like used in puzzle games similar to this one, such as Yoshi's Cookie on the consoles of yore.

This isn't a complete review of what the game has to offer, but it demonstrates how that the secret sauce for puzzle games like Puzzle Quest isn't in the metagame and story (which are what elevates them beyond Bejeweled), but the core puzzle mechanics. And in this case, Puzzle Kingdoms did not fit the bill for me and I have to move on to other gameplay experiences that are more to my liking.
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