Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
Two games you've played before merge to become a unique puzzler
Sometimes, explaining the mechanics of a puzzle game is nightmarishly difficult. It's usually some variation of "this colored widget goes there, and if you make a certain shape, more widgets blast in from some direction", but filling in the details is a pain. Not so with Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords. If you've ever played Bejeweled - and several million people have - you know 90% of what this game is about.
The remaining ten percent sure is interesting, though. Yes, you're basically still staring at a grid of differently-hued jewels and swapping them from one square to another in an effort to make rows of three. However, instead of poofing away into points when you match three or more, they're used to power your elementally-themed magic spells and special attacks. There are also coin icons, which net you money to buy new gear, purple stars that give experience points, and skulls that do damage to your enemy.
What's that? Gear and enemies and magic? Well, yeah. See, this is actually a classic role-playing game in which you select from four slightly different classes (druid, knight, warrior, or wizard) and go on quests, but with typical battles replaced with puzzle matches.
Thus, when you find yourself ambushed by a giant spider, you and it take turns moving gems on a shared game board. Your equipment and stats dictate how much damage you give and take, and special moves can blow out tiles, gain hit points, freeze the opponent (giving you multiple turns in a row), and so on. You can also build up your home citadel, enabling you to capture enemies and learn their spells or make new gear for you and your party by solving specific puzzle grids - yep, you have a posse, who can give you bonuses like dealing extra damage against certain enemy types. You can even lay siege to other cities, and if you defeat them in puzzle battle, they will then pay you every time you visit them.