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Puzzle Quest: Galactrix review

Is the course set for the final frontier in puzzledom?

Pros

  • Upgrading your spaceship
  • Tons of puzzle variations
  • Facing off against a friend

Cons

  • Fewer battles than original PQ
  • Hacking leapgates over and over
  • Getting your ass kicked by space pirates

Although Galactrix looks more like Hexic, the gameplay is still more akin to the Bejeweled-style play of the original, where you swap adjacent gems to form lines of matching colors. In battles, each opponent takes turns swapping gems on the same board. Each color gem corresponds to a specific power %26ndash; matching blue gems replenishes your ship%26rsquo;s shields, red powers your weapons, green for computers and yellow for engines. White gems give you experience points (called intel), and purple give you psi points (allowing you to avoid random battles). Of course there are also mine gems that do direct damage to your opponent when matched, and come in four strengths, one, three, five and ten.

One of the greatest improvements over Challenge of the Warlords is the omission of character classes. We were skeptical at first, but in place of character classes (that tend to limit the growth of your character), you have a spaceship you can upgrade and customize however you like. Your special moves come in the form of items you can attach to your ship, like crazy powerful lasers, disruptor fields to jam enemy shields, anti-gravity devices to mess with the way gems fill the board, and so on. The amount of items available as the game progresses is staggering, and it seems like there%26rsquo;s an item for whatever power you can dream up that you%26rsquo;d like your ship to have.

Because of the brilliant layout of the battle field, it really does feel like you%26rsquo;re piloting a spaceship, despite the puzzle-based gameplay. The way your shield and hull points (hit points) are displayed, your power levels that correspond to different parts of the ship, and the various ship attachments at your disposal, all contribute to the feel of being a captain sitting on the bridge of a ship issuing commands and monitoring defenses. It%26rsquo;s nice to discover that PQ%26rsquo;s science fiction make-over isn%26rsquo;t entirely cosmetic %26ndash; it really does improve the feel of the game overall.

More Info

GenrePuzzle
Description<p>Galactrix offers an addictive, puzzle-meets-RPG experience that won&#8217;t disappoint most fans of the original PQ, as well as anyone looking for an accessible game that still packs plenty of substance.</p>
PlatformPS3, PC, DS
US censor ratingEveryone 10+, Everyone 10+, Everyone 10+
UK censor ratingRating Pending, Rating Pending, Rating Pending
Alternative namesPuzzle Quest: Galactrix - Xbox Live Arcade, Puzzle Quest: Galactrix - PS3 Network
Release date:7 May 2009 (US), (UK)
Available platforms:PS3
Genre:Puzzle

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