Marvel Puzzle Quest
Marvel Puzzle Quest is a video game released by D3 Publisher and Marvel Entertainment on October 3, 2013, and developed by Demiurge Studios. The fourth installment in the Puzzle Quest series, it is a free-to-play, match-three role-playing Bejeweled-style puzzle battle game set in the Marvel universe, featuring over 60 Marvel characters. It is available for free on the iTunes App Store for iOS, Google Play for Android, and Steam for PC.
Players assemble a team of three Marvel superheroes from various storylines, controlling the team against a team of up to three other superheroes or supervillains in match-three, turn-based battles. Each color-coded match does damage to the player's opponent, while creating action points which can obtain special skills. Gems disappear and are replenished as they are matched. When they are matched, the six colors of gems on the board grant energy that can be used to execute special moves. Players trade hits back and forth until one of them is downed, at which point a reward appears. If you defeat a character, he or she is added to your roster; if it's a duplicate, it becomes a level-up token. Players earn points by winning battles, and then apply the points to unlock new attacks and level up. The board is highly tactical, with up to half a dozen potential considerations beyond the best match at any given point.
There are two main modes: story and multiplayer, where you can fight against other teams controlled by the game's artificial intelligence. The game is free, with opportunities to purchase level-ups or new characters. New characters, a bundle of Iso-8, hero coins and other items can also be obtained by replaying old levels. As a player's roster expands, the possibilities for team composition and skill selection also expand.
A player collects in-game comic book covers to unlock new characters and improve existing ones. Each character has a set of real comic book covers associated with them, which represent the character's abilities and allow the player to improve the character's abilities or level them up. In July 2014, Team-Ups were introduced, allowing a player to battle with single-use abilities from characters that aren't part of the player's teams.
The story involves a powerful new substance called Iso-8 and Norman Osborn's attempts to supplant S.H.I.E.L.D. There are five missions to stop Osborn on his worldwide terror spree. The original story is based on the Dark Reign storyline and was written by Frank Tieri and Alex Irvine.
The game features an array of classic Marvel heroes and villains, including Spider-Man, Captain America, Wolverine, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Storm and Magneto, along with lesser-known characters like Bag Man and Juggernaut. In commemoration of the game's first anniversary, Thor: Goddess of Thunder, the female version of Thor, was added on October 17, 2014, making Marvel Puzzle Quest the first video game to feature the character. Devil Dinosaur was also added as a playable character for the anniversary, via an anniversary pack and as a daily reward for those who had been playing for over 365 days. Other characters that have been added since the game's inception include Blade in October 2014 and Cyclops in February 2015. On March 26, 2015, MTV News announced that Kamala Khan, who was announced as a new Marvel character in November 2013 and is the first Muslim superhero to lead a comic book series, would soon be featured in the game.
History and development
The first Puzzle Quest game, Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, was conceived and designed by Australian game designer Steve Fawkner, the original designer of the Warlords computer game series, which he created in 1989. In creating Puzzle Quest, Fawkner was inspired by his love of the tile-matching puzzle video game Bejeweled. Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords was picked up by D3 Publisher and released on March 20, 2007, for the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable. It was an instant success, winning a 2008 Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences award for Downloadable Game of the Year. It was also nominated for Handheld Game of the Year. Versions for Xbox Live Arcade, Wii, Windows, Playstation 2 and mobile followed later that year. It was released for Playstation 3 and iOS in late 2008.
Marvel Puzzle Quest was launched worldwide by D3 Publisher and Marvel Entertainment on October 3, 2013. It is the second original game developed by Demiurge Studios. The game was originally titled Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign, before the subtitle "Dark Reign" was dropped following a July 2014 update. D3 Publisher stated that the revised title signified the beginning of the game's expansion beyond the "Dark Reign" storyline.
IGN rated the game a 9.1 out of 10, writing, "Marvel Puzzle Quest has taken the idea of a puzzle game with a strategic/role-playing element overlay, and turned it into an intricately crafted, remarkably deep experience." IGN added that the game is "compelling at each level" with "constant challenges and goals to work toward." Touch Arcade awarded it four out of five stars, calling it "compulsively, sickeningly playable" and writing that, in comparison to other Puzzle Quest games, Marvel Puzzle Quest is more calculated and strategic, with a focus on team fighting rather than individual combat. The game has received a rating of 74 on Metacritic. MacLife said it "does a good job of spicing up the match-three genre for comic fans."
Marvel Puzzle Quest was a 2014 Tabby Award Best Android Apps and Games winner in the Game: Puzzle, Cards & Family category.
- List of puzzle video games
- List of video games based on Marvel Comics
- Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
- Puzzle Quest: Galactrix
- Puzzle Quest 2
- Victoria McNally, “Exclusive: Marvel Superhero Kamala Khan Is Making Her Video Game Debut,” MTV News, March 26, 2015.
- Rowan Kaiser, “Avengers, Assemble Your Gems!” IGN, October 11, 2013.
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- Megan Farokhmanesh, “Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign launches for iOS, Android Oct. 3,” Polygon, October 2, 2013.
- Joseph Leray, “’Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign’ Review – Match-3 RPG in the Marvel Universe,” Touch Arcade, October 12, 2013.
- Brad Gallaway, “Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign Review,” Game Critics, January 28, 2014.
- Nathan Meunier, “Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign Review,” MacLife, October 8, 2013.
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- Aldrin Calimlim, “Marvel Puzzle Quest drops ‘Dark Reign’ subtitle, welcomes Deadpool and Team-Ups,” appadvice.com, July 29, 2014.
- “Join the Action in Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign Episode 1,” Marvel.com, December 9, 2013.
- Phillip Martinez, “Marvel Puzzle Quest Developer Talks Thor: Goddess Of Thunder And Return Of Devil Dinosaur At New York Comic-Con 2014,” iDigitalTimes, October 13, 2014.
- S. Prell, “Marvel Puzzle Quest is first game to include female Thor,” Engadget, October 5, 2014.
- Nick Tylwalk, “Marvel Puzzle Quest Adds Blade Just In Time For Halloween,” Fansided.com, October 23, 2014.
- “Scott Summers! Slim! Ol One-Eye! CYCLOPS! Finally in Marvel Puzzle Quest!” Demiurge Studios, February 12, 2015.
- Richard Moss, “From Warlords to Puzzle Quest: The Journey of a Video Game Pioneer,” Polygon, November 6, 2013.
- “Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords,” interactive.org, 2008.
- “Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords,” IGN, March 20, 2007.
- “Challenge of the Warlords Now Available at iTunes Store,” IGN, January 16, 2009.
- Samit Sarkar, “Sega acquires Demiurge Studios, but not its best-known game, Marvel Puzzle Quest,” Polygon, February 19, 2015.
- Dale North, “Sega Networks acquires Marvel Puzzle Quest’s Demiurge Studios, invests in 2 Western developers,” VentureBeat, February 18, 2015.
- “Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign,” Metacritic, October 3, 2013.
- “2014 Winners, Users’ Choice and Finalists,” Tabby Awards, 2014.