April 27, 2009 6:00 PM | Eric Caoili
Infinite Interactive has released a couple RPG/puzzle hybrids since the unexpected success of Puzzle Quest -- Neopets Puzzle Adventure and Galactrix -- but Puzzle Kingdoms is designed as a return to the Warlords universe that the studio was known for before PQ, with more emphasis on the RPG/puzzle formula's strategy portion.
As with PQ, Puzzle Kingdoms has you matching gems to deal damage and gather mana that can be used for spells against your enemies, except you now command armies instead of a single hero with an ancillary party, and resource management plays a bigger role in deploying your army.
The game is planned for Wii and Nintendo DS, but the PC version is already available online through digital distribution services Direct2Drive and Steam. Though there's no demo, you can preview Puzzle Kingdoms with a short trailer posted on D2D's product page.
"This was news to me too!" said Infinite Interactive head Steve Fawkner, when he found out about the title's availability after fans posted about it on the company's forum. "I thought the PC version was going to be coming out behind the DS and Wii versions."
The game was originally intended for a 2008 holiday release, and was then dated in Nintendo's spring lineup announcement for March 31st. according to Infinite Interactive senior engineer Peter Suwara, the DS version entered the submission process a couple of months ago.
If you haven't heard about Puzzle Kingdoms or its release before, that's likely because its publisher Zoo Games, is relatively smaller than Capcom and D3Publisher of America, who were behind Neopets Puzzle Adventure and Galactrix, respectively. There's surprisingly very little press for this spiritual sequel to Puzzle Quest, especially when you consider the attention Galactrix received when it shipped in February.
Fawkner is currently working on putting up a demo for Puzzle Kingdoms online.