Looking For Magic…

(Editor’s Note: …in all the wrong places? A�Okay, clever (?) title aside, here’s a TLDR. A�Do you like Magic? A�Do you like Puzzle Quest? A�If your answer is yes to both of these, then give the game a try.)

I’ve discussed the Puzzle Quest line of games on the page. A�For those of you who are new and don’t want to sift through other articles, I will offer a recap of my history with the games. A�I started with the titular game of the series on the XBox360 because it was being sold for 5 or 10 bucks. A�I don’t remember the exact price, but it was cheap enough that I didn’t hesitate to buy it. A�I’ve also discussed that I have the same problem when Steam has a sale. It didn’t hurt that I’m a sucker for the match-3 type puzzle games. A�Heck, I’ve been a fan of puzzle video games since I got Tetris with the Game Boy. A�The match-3 have the same appeal as Tetris without the marathon matches–unless you binge, as I sometimes will. A�Nevertheless, it is comforting to know that you can pick the game up, play a few rounds, and be done with it in less time than it takes you to—well, I’ll leave it at that and let your imagination take over.

It looks like a demon...on the toilet...playing Candy Crush...and he is on a higher level than I am.
It looks like a demon…on the toilet…playing Candy Crush…and he is on a higher level than I am.

I’ve played all of the big names. A�Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook, the original Puzzle Quest on the XBox360, and I even finally discovered Candy Crush a couple of years ago. A�That one has occupied my free time more than any other game over the last few months. A�It’s just the way that these games work. A�They feel dumb and easy. A�Then, the difficulty ramps up and you’re playing them as much as you can to get that “one more level”. A�They show you how your friends are doing and it ramps up the competitive spirit that much more. I’ve even done something that I never thought I’d do. A�I’ve spent real money on these games. A�Candy Crush, especially, hooks me with their weekend “deals” about once every two months. A�I have since found other games because I’m stuck on one of the Candy Crush “hard” levels and have been for as long as I can remember. A�I’m not going to spend money on extra levels or anything because I’ve learned that lesson. My high–or is that low–point came during my Marvel Puzzle Quest playing days. A�I spent more money on that game than I care to admit. A�What can I say? A�I’m a sucker for Marvel and have not thrown my money away on comics for the better part of a decade and a half. A�Might as well turn that good money into ultimately useless characters for this silly game because, #YOLO

Okay, Sam, I get the point.
Okay, Sam, I get the point.

Enough of that silliness. A�Time for some on topic silliness. A�The reason that I mention my history with puzzle games in general, and Puzzle Quest in particular, is that a new one has been released. A�Most likely several have been released. A�One, in particular, caught my attention. A�I’ve written about it before on the page because I’ve been excited about it since it was announced. A�I write, of course, about Magic Puzzle Quest. A�They’ve done such a great job with Marvel Puzzle Quest that I couldn’t wait to see if they could capture that “Magic” again.

Pun not intended, but not exactly discouraged, either.
Pun not intended, but not exactly discouraged, either.

I should know by now to temper my expectations. A�I’m not saying that it is a bad game. A�It just feels…incomplete. A�The story mode in Marvel Puzzle Quest is deep and rich. A�I would say that is because it is based on recent comic storylines, but even the original Puzzle Quest had good, if generic, lore. A�In both cases, many levels are introduced with dialogue that helps to keep you immersed in the fantasy of a game that quickly gets boring otherwise. Given that precedent, I expected the newest version to follow, if not surpass, that standard. A�It falls well short. A�Most disappointing is that Wizards has stated that they want to be more committed to story and lore. A�That commitment showed in the latest iteration of the Duels series, but definitely took a step back in Magic Puzzle Quest. A�The only “story” is a single sentence, most likely just the flavor text from whatever card you happen to be battling. A�It’s a phenomenal disappointment. Really, though, that’s my only complaint. A�For someone like me, it’s a big deal. A�Your mileage, as usual, may vary. A�The gameplay is the same lame match-3 of all the others. A�Without an interesting story, the game is simply Candy Crush with Nissa or Liliana instead of the annoying little girl as your protagonist. A�What, then, keeps me logging in to this one instead of the candy filled cuteness?

That vile, vile cuteness. I see a demon...on the toilet...leading candy minions against me in a war for my soul. It is a war that I am losing...badly.
That vile, vile cuteness. I see a demon…on the toilet…leading candy minions against me in a war for my soul. It is a war that I am losing…badly.

Well, it is a Magic property. A�The familiarity of the characters and lore make this a more desirable destination if I’m going to be blowing up gems. A�Add the dimension of being able to summon creatures, play spells, use planeswalker powers, and better freebies to make Magic Puzzle Quest undeniably the choice for match-3 on mobile for me. A�Let’s talk about those freebies. A�In Candy Crush, there is a wheel of fortune that may or may not give you something useful. A�More often than not, the prize is nearly worthless. A�Magic gives guaranteed prizes every day. A�Sometimes it is in game currency. A�At the end of each week, you get a booster pack. A�I haven’t made it yet, but if you log in each day for a month, you get a fat pack of boosters.

I still prefer Marvel Puzzle Quest for the reasons outlined, but I only have that one on Steam and I don’t trust that my progress will carry over if I download the game onto my tablet. A�So, whenever I need to blow up gems while I’m…busy…I’ll log into Magic Puzzle Quest and collect cool stuff while I’m at it. A�I’ll also hope for a better story.

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