Not only is Puzzle Quest: Galactrix an engrossing and habit forming game, it's challenging.

My wife was yelling at me to shut up while as I was playing Puzzle Quest: Galactrix because I was cursing up a storm, a sure sign I've met a game that's putting my brain through its paces.

If you've played the original Puzzle Quest you know what you're getting with Puzzle Quest: Galactrix - a complex story with a customisable character and engaging puzzles. Gameplay is pretty standard for the genre; move gems around to create lines with three other gems of the same colour. Matching different colours gives you different bonuses.

For gamers who enjoy Bejeweled, Hexic, or Aurora Feint, Puzzle Quest: Galactrix will be right in your wheelhouse.

While comparable to other match three games, Puzzle Quest: Galactrix offers players plenty of unique features. New to the series are hexagonally shaped tiles. Not only do the new shapes allow for a wider range of movement, but your environment determines which direction your tiles shift after completing a line. Different shaped tiles add to the complexity of the game but what makes Puzzle Quest: Galactrix truly different is its RPG influence.

Gamers don't just solve puzzles, they travel across the universe on quests, meet new people, fight bad guys, mine for resources, and improve their character's skills all while fine tuning and collecting ships.

Puzzle Quest: Galactrix has almost as much in common with Mass Effect as it does with Bejeweled. It seems Infinite Interactive decided that you actually needed a reason to be working on puzzles, instead of just matching gems for the hell of it.

Unlocking leapgates, battling pirates and gathering rumours (I'm such a gossip) in the vast Puzzle Quest: Galactrix universe is fun, but being a young space pilot has its drawbacks. The controls can be sticky and slow.

In situations where time is not a factor, this isn't really an issue, but when the clock is running, its frustrating. Puzzle Quest: Galactrix can also get repetitive. While there are a variety of different modes, when it comes right down to it you're still just matching gems.

But most troublesome is the AI, which will start to feel uneven after playing for long stretches. You can't see what type of gems are coming in next after a line has been cleared, its completely random. And there were times I felt like my opponent was getting every break. Thankfully there's no failing in this game, you just keep trying until you win.

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Puzzle Quest Galactrix: Specs

  • Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, Windows PC
  • Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, Windows PC

OUR VERDICT

Even with its flaws, there's plenty of fun to be had with Puzzle Quest: Galactrix. An addictive title with a deep single-player campaign and a unique take on the match three genre is sure to keep gamers busy.

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