Oct 29, 2013
Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign could easily be nothing more than a cash in on Marvel’s current popularity, particularly with The Avengers being one of the biggest films to have hit cinemas in recent years. To give Marvel their credit, this popularity has been earned in my opinion. A rich heritage of comic book characters has been looked after, with the Marvel name guaranteeing some sort of quality. So where does Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign stand in all of this?
Well, off the bat, it’s important to note the game claims it’s currently a ‘Preview Edition’. There’s no mention of when the game will no longer be a ‘preview’, but this aside, the game seems fairly polished in its current state.
The game is essentially a ‘match-3’ puzzler. You swipe at icons on the screen the match 3 of the same colour and by doing so you launch an attack with character associated with that color of icon. As well as launching a basic attack, the character also charges their special attack. It may sound familiar, but it’s a solid foundation on which to build a card collecting and team building game full of your favourite (and not so favourite) Marvel characters.
When outside of battle, you have a number of choices to make. You can unlock and gain new ‘covers’, which essentially represent a character that can join your team. These covers are all high res images of graphic novels that have been released through the years and they cover a wide era, with classic covers sitting alongside newer releases.
These ‘covers’ (which I’ll simply refer to as characters from now on) can be levelled-up and trained. It’s slightly complicated and not that well explained to be honest. It turns out that to level-up a character, you first need to train the character’s moves and then you level them up separately. It’s somewhat convoluted and it doesn’t help that there are multiple currencies within the game that further complicates and confuses things.
It’s also slightly annoying that each mission needs to be replayed a number of times to ensure you receive all of the possible rewards. If a mission has 5 possible rewards, then you’ll need to play it 5 times. A touch repetitive.
It helps then that the game offers some depth to its battling. With each character having their own unique move, it adds some strategy to planning who you take into each fight. There are times where you’ll get wiped out by an enemy’s move, without much warning. Although you can read what each enemy’s move is, it’s often not that well written. I speak for myself, naturally, but I often couldn’t quite figure out what each move did until after it happened. Which, by then, it’s far too late to worry about.
In summary, Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign does nothing new, but it does what’s been done before very well and with the huge roster of Marvel character’s at the game’s disposal, there’s huge room for expansion and extra content.