Brave: Shaman's Challenge - hands-on

Since Puzzle Quest, we’ve been dying to see more plot heavy puzzle games, and Brave: Shaman’s Challengemight give us our much-needed fix this Fall. The game promises to blend a deep story with Puyo Pop-esque puzzles. Don’t know what that means? Never played Puyo Pop? For shame. Well let’s kill two birds with one stone.

Both games revolve around pairs of tiles falling from the top of the screen. In Brave, each tile represents an elemental force such as water or fire. The player needs to cause “combos” by pairing up four tiles of the same element. When you cause a combo, the enemy you’re fighting will take some damage. It sounds easy enough but depending on who you're fighting, the type of elemental tile you combo will either hurt or heal him. If you’re fighting a fire based enemy you’ll want to douse his burning butt with the water element. While we didn’t see the characters in Brave possessing the common RPG character stats, more complex tiles like a time elemental will be unlocked as you progress through the game.

As of right now we don’t know too many details about the story. We can tell you it follows a young Native American named Brave who is out to save the land of [take a pause for comedic effect] Native America. With over 35 levels it should boast a decent amount of length as well.

The game will also feature downloadable play, aka that option which lets you and your friends play multiplayer with one game card. There will be a few different modes to battle your friends to keep things fresh. A game mode that sounded interesting was one in which you can only damage your opponent if you erase a particular elemental tile. Nothing like that added bit of life-shortening stress to make a puzzle game more exciting.

Jun 13, 2008