Indsendt: 19. september 2014
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.