Tag Archives: Magic Puzzle Quest

Looking For Magic…

(Editor’s Note: …in all the wrong places? Okay, clever (?) title aside, here’s a TLDR. Do you like Magic? Do you like Puzzle Quest? 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. 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. I started with the titular game of the series on the XBox360 because it was being sold for 5 or 10 bucks. I don’t remember the exact price, but it was cheap enough that I didn’t hesitate to buy it. 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. Heck, I’ve been a fan of puzzle video games since I got Tetris with the Game Boy. The match-3 have the same appeal as Tetris without the marathon matches–unless you binge, as I sometimes will. 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. Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook, the original Puzzle Quest on the XBox360, and I even finally discovered Candy Crush a couple of years ago. That one has occupied my free time more than any other game over the last few months. It’s just the way that these games work. They feel dumb and easy. Then, the difficulty ramps up and you’re playing them as much as you can to get that “one more level”. 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. I’ve spent real money on these games. Candy Crush, especially, hooks me with their weekend “deals” about once every two months. 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. 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. I spent more money on that game than I care to admit. What can I say? 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. 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. Time for some on topic silliness. 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. Most likely several have been released. One, in particular, caught my attention. I’ve written about it before on the page because I’ve been excited about it since it was announced. I write, of course, about Magic Puzzle Quest. 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. I’m not saying that it is a bad game. It just feels…incomplete. The story mode in Marvel Puzzle Quest is deep and rich. I would say that is because it is based on recent comic storylines, but even the original Puzzle Quest had good, if generic, lore. 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. It falls well short. Most disappointing is that Wizards has stated that they want to be more committed to story and lore. That commitment showed in the latest iteration of the Duels series, but definitely took a step back in Magic Puzzle Quest. The only “story” is a single sentence, most likely just the flavor text from whatever card you happen to be battling. It’s a phenomenal disappointment. Really, though, that’s my only complaint. For someone like me, it’s a big deal. Your mileage, as usual, may vary. The gameplay is the same lame match-3 of all the others. Without an interesting story, the game is simply Candy Crush with Nissa or Liliana instead of the annoying little girl as your protagonist. 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. The familiarity of the characters and lore make this a more desirable destination if I’m going to be blowing up gems. 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. Let’s talk about those freebies. In Candy Crush, there is a wheel of fortune that may or may not give you something useful. More often than not, the prize is nearly worthless. Magic gives guaranteed prizes every day. Sometimes it is in game currency. At the end of each week, you get a booster pack. 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. 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. I’ll also hope for a better story.

Back in the Saddle

(Editor’s Note: Holy shoot! We haven’t been around for a month now! No podcast, no articles, no videos, only a few tweets. This is no way to run an operation. However, we’re back and have some new things in development that we will be unveiling over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!)

You may have noticed (mainly because I just told you) that we here at 2 Guys Gaming have lost interest in Magic recently. This has manifested on the page as articles about other games like Heroclix and Dicemasters. Dicemasters, especially, has become one of our favorite games. we had an epic game a couple of weeks ago during the monthly podcast recording an nerd night extravaganza. Granted, we have tried to get back into Magic with a few tricks.

This is not one of the tricks, but it might have helped because it's absolutely adorable.
This is not one of the tricks, but it might have helped because it’s absolutely adorable.

Origins represents a new start in the Magic multiverse. We got excited about new possibilities of the set. We even expanded the play group for a night with some sealed. Chris bough a box of the set. I played Magic duels and drafted a bunch on *censored*. I even play tested a few standard decks. It was all fun, but Origins is a core set in the truest sense. It is very limited (no pun intended) in its fun, so we found ourselves drifting back into other games once again.

I still can’t tell if it is just the bored embrace of a familiar lover or actual waning interest driving this lack of enthusiasm for the game. I have always suspected that it is the former. I still find myself watching Magic on a regular basis. I still log in to Duels and *censored* daily. Chris and I had two really great games on the same night that we played the Dicemasters game to end all Dicemasters games. (That’s obviously not true. We will play more Dicemasters games. It is way too much fun. That sounded really dramatic, though, right?) So, we’re not completely out on Magic. It’s just that we’ve had to branch out and see other games. “If you love something, set it free” and all.

That about covers my relationship with Magic lately.
That about covers my relationship with Magic lately.

It was as if Wizards of the Coast heard our cries of boredom. They hired Wil Wheaton to host a shabbily produced cheesy spoiler show. Okay, so they’re not quite Blizzard when it comes to production value, but at least they are trying. Nevertheless, while the show might have needed some work, the hype was real. Annihilator is gone, replaced with exile from the library, but the Eldrazi are still mean as every. A new Ulamog leads the charge for the mana consuming monsters, landfall is back with allies, and they capped it all off with new dual lands and something called an expedition set with enemy fetches that fans have wanted a reprint since the first set.

The announcement of the fetches promised to be a bit of a buzzkill because they represent WotC’s entry into the chase market that is so popular among collectible games. Almost instantly, we saw the effects of this as BFZ boxes and cases sold out within hours of the of the show. I worried, along with Chris, that the prices of boxes might reach a level that we weren’t willing to pay. Then, SCG came to the rescue in an unexpected fashion.

Usually, they are known for their high prices, but they actually have the best deal on a box and a fat pack (my choice of purchase for each set) out of all the online retailers that I checked. Admittedly, I only checked them, but Chris did the leg work for me and reported that boxes almost everywhere were more expensive than the typical 90-100 that i usually pay. The SCG deal is also more money, but I’ve done business with them before and it is an okay deal. As we get closer to release, the boxes will most likely spike in price. Stupid speculative market.

Let's do the math. There's one or two of these things per case and they're preselling for 200 dollars. Nope, doesn't add up. That won't stop me from writing about it on my website and attempting to drive up the price to justify my terrible decision making process.
Let’s do the math. There’s one or two of these things per case and they’re preselling for 200 dollars. Nope, doesn’t add up. That won’t stop me from writing about it on my website and attempting to drive up the price to justify my terrible decision making process.

Oh well, the hype is still real and Chris and I are all in for this set. We discussed spoilers on a DTK level and are ready for all of the new cards. Magic Duels will hopefully be updated with the new cards and story soon after release. That gives me another reason to get excited because I will get to play with the cards that I might not open from physical packs. Also, the story of origins was just interesting enough to keep me wanting more…and we already know the future.

The title of the next set has been released along with some minor details in the form of a teaser trailer. I’m already psyched for the set and we don’t even know any cards, the story, or anything at all to be honest. Nevertheless, I ordered my box and fat pack of Battle for Zendikar and will most likely sign of for Oath of the Gatewatch, too.

Honestly, though the name is kind of dumb and derivative of the RTR block, but I'll overlook it because I'm back on board.
Honestly, though the name is kind of dumb and derivative of the RTR block, but I’ll overlook it because I’m back on board.

I’m back into the game 100%. I bought the duel decks for BFZ. When I showed them to the boys, Liam asked about going to the prerelease. We never made it because it was one of those weekends. I know that I’ve said this next statement several times over the past few months, but this time I mean it for a couple of reasons. First, this set has me really excited. Second, fall and winter are rapidly approaching here in New England and Friday nights are going to be cold and dark. As a result, I want to go to a local FNM for some draft action.

You’re probably thinking, “So, that’s it? Everything is good? This is usually the point in the article where you pull out the rug and introduce opposition in the name of conflict.” Well, now that you mention it, I have seen some people in various Twitch chats complaining about the set and saying how much it sucks.

“This set is terrible.”

“Stop filling the set with junk rares just because you can.”

“Oh, look, another awful and unplayable card.”

“Wow, what an underwhelming set. Except for those expedition lands. Man, those things are hot.”

Sure, they're pretty, but are they 200 dollars pretty? Heavens, no.
Sure, they’re pretty, but are they 200 dollars pretty? Heavens, no.

The funny thing about all of this is that after the announcement of the expedition lands, every website sold out of boxes and cases of the set to the point that the average price went from the usual 90-100 to 110-120, as mentioned above. Okay, let’s take a look a this evidence, CSI style.

  1. Expedition lands are announced.
  2. Speculators go crazy buying bulk.
  3. The sobering reality that lands are chase slowly sets in.
  4. Speculators realize that they either paid 120 for effectively a 1/6 chance at the land or $600 for one guaranteed.
  5. The lands are preordering for 175-220.
  6. Buyer’s remorse hits hard.
  7. Speculators redirect their anger at the set and try to convince everyone how much it sucks.

It’s a dance as old as time. Well, at least as long as Magic has been considered a money hobby. In spite of all of the Captain Buzzkills, I’m still excited. My box and fat pack are going to arrive from SCG soon. I spent more time getting hyped about the set by watching the Community Cup. One of the rounds that I watched was BFZ sealed, so I got to see many of the cards in limited action. I tuned just in time to see Newlamog resolve and proceed to eat the opponent’s library in two turns. That was highly entertaining to watch and I look forward to future opponents making that play since that is just my luck. I know that you are all PJSalting out there, but I’m convinced that luck is a fundamental force int he universe and that mine is terrible when it comes to card games. But, enough about my belly aching. This is an article about how Magic is great again. Time to get back on message, finish this article, and get this web page back on track.

Seriously, if I ever got back into physical D&D, this is exactly how I would die, IRL. I'd roll snake eyes and then the snakes would come out, bite me, inject me with their poison, and then laugh in their stupid snake way as I fell to the floor frothing at the mouth and writing in pain.
Seriously, if I ever got back into physical D&D, this is exactly how I would die, IRL. I’d roll snake eyes and then the snakes would come out, bite me, inject me with their poison, and then laugh in their stupid snake way as I fell to the floor frothing at the mouth and writing in pain.

In that spirit, I have one more thing that has me excited. If we judge strictly ontime played, then I saved the best for last. If not, well it is still very exciting for filthy casual gamers like myself. The Puzzle Quest brand, which I discovered with two rip off D&D match three games and then became obsessed with their Marvel version of the game to the point that I convinced Liam and Aiden to sign up for the game, has announced that they are developing a Magic version of the game.

If ever I needed a picture of Frye from Futurama holding a wad of cash with the words “Shut up and take my money!” superimposed over it, now is the time. Being a father, husband, and busy adjunct college professor, I often don’t have time for involved games that might take days or months. What I often do have time for is hot and quick match 3 action involving colored candies, colored gems, colored soda bottles, and even colored super hero logos. Oh yea, I get around. I have spent an especially embarrassing amount of money and time on Marvel Puzzle Quest. With the amount that I spend on Magic already, this development of Magic Puzzle Quest just might land me simultaneously in bankruptcy and divorce court.

There he is.
There he is.