Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, is a unique hybrid of two game genres, combinging gem-matching puzzle mechanics with turned-based RPG gameplay. Starting off, players choose to be a warrior, knight, druid, or wizard, and then set off on a quest to defend their kingdom. A gem-matching puzzle game serves as the combat system, and throughout the game players must “battle” monsters using this mechanic. The goal is to swap around the position of adjacent gems to match sets of three or more colors. Once a match is complete, players gain “mana,” which is used to issue attacks or improve defense. Matching four gems or more earns an extra turn, while matching skull gems will damage the enemy immediately. This game has an extended story, presented entirely through text, so good reading skills are needed to follow along with the plot and understand the game’s complex mechanics. Due to the level of difficulty, mild violence and language, the game is recommended to players ages 10 and up.
Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals.
Players have unlimited time to decide how to switch around gems, allowing them to plan each move carefully. Gems disappear when matched, causing new ones fall into place. This allows players to create "chain reactions." Since matching four gems in a row earns an extra turn, it offers a great strategic advantage. However, such matches are hard to find, and players must often use chain reactions to achieve them. For instance, matching three blue gems vertically might allow two more yellow gems to fall to a lower part of the board and connect with two other yellow gems, giving the player another match. Opponents will take advantage of these opportunities too, so players needs to plan ahead. If they rely only on just basic matches, the computer will quickly gain an advantage.
Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.
During battle, there are many factors to concentrate on beyond matching gems. First off, players must monitor their opponents mana in order to prevent them from gaining the mana they need. This is easily done by "stealing" gems -- making matches with the blocks that the enemy needs. Additionally, players will want to keep skulls away from the enemy, avoiding any moves that position skulls ready for a match on the enemy turn. Other important factors to focus on include the health bar, the elemental weaknesses of the enemy, and how to cast spells that exploit that weakness. To just make matches without rhyme or reason will allow the opponent to secure important gems needed for spells. Without monitoring all of these important factors at all times, players run the risk of opening up oppurtunities fo rthe opponent to exploit.
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