Reviewed: January 7, 2010
Released: December 16, 2009
When it comes to console gaming, I generally always flock to the Xbox 360. This isn’t really just because almost all of my friends own one or the online support is so much better. When I’m not playing big disc based titles I like to unwind with an array of offerings from the Xbox Live Arcade. Among my favorites being classic puzzle titles like PuzzleQuest or Bejeweled or the occasional old school shooter. One of the XBLA’s newest offerings comes in the form of Puzzlegeddon, a match-3 concept title with a twist.
Unlike most titles in this genre, Puzzlegeddon changes the formula making for a very interesting experience. Puzzlegeddon features the same ideas that drove titles like PuzzleQuest, where there is more to the experience than matching a bunch of colored blocks together. Puzzlegeddon utilizes a match 5 system which requires the player o be a bit more creative with their movement choices.
What I really like about Puzzlegeddon is the Rubik cube style approach to lining up the colored cubes to get the desired results. Players take command of a 6x6 grid that operates by sliding each row or column horizontally or vertically. The general idea is to move them around until you find the largest combination of one or more colors and then hit “X” to activate the work you’ve just done. Each of colors symbolizes a certain resource just like in PuzzleQuest. By collecting enough of one color will fill a meters that will allow you attack, repel, disrupt or boost your performance in various ways.
Puzzlegeddon has multiple modes of play including Solo Brawl, Poison Peril, a tutorial and an online multiplayer. For those seeking the single player experience, Solo Brawl is split into two parts. There is the main Deathmatch with will leave you with endless possibilities of play where you battle through timed based matches and come out on top of the points bracket.
Battle Royale mode is just as it sounds. You match up colored cubes to ultimately take out all of your opponents and emerge the last man standing. One of my favorite modes however is the Poison Peril mode. While there is no opponents to beat you are tasked with completing objectives like clearing all coffins or creating a straight line of one type of block. You keep going until you’ve run out of moves.
As I mentioned above that you can have endless fun during Deathmatch. You can choose to compete against 5 other bot players. You can change the difficulties of those opponents both on and offline to give yourself the ultimate challenge or just a quick skirmish. Players can choose to do puzzle-based combat in small 5 minute matches or and entire hour. For those that want an even greater challenge you can set handicaps that will push your skills.
The multiplayer portion of Puzzlegeddon allows players to challenge up to 5 other people in either player of ranked matches. During my time reviewing this title I was successful in finding several matches though often times I found myself adding a bot or two to make things a bit more interesting.
Graphically, Puzzlegeddon may look simplistic and even have a childlike air to it. Its almost cartoonish worlds and avatars are actually kind of cool in a way. The colors and overall presentation are smooth and everything is easy to read and navigate. The sound department complements the gameplay with its almost game show type music.
Puzzlegeddon offers considerable fun for people of all ages with some surprisingly deep gameplay lurking under its simplistic graphics. It may not be for everyone, so download the trial before deciding to buy, but I think that the 800 points (or about $10) is well worth the price for the fun you'll have.