NeoPets Puzzle Adventure - hands-on

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Wait a second, don't run away! Yes we know, the Neopets name might sting like poisoned gasoline but hear us out. You like Puzzle Quest, right? You like going on quests, busting gems to gain mana for spells, buying items and all that fantasy crap that made an already addictive game downright irresistible, right? Thought so. And that's exactly why you're going to like Neopets Puzzle Adventure - it's from the same developer and they're essentially making PQ2, only now it's emulating Othello instead of Bejeweled.

If you don't know how to playOthello (opens in new tab)(aka, Reversi), well, go learn. It's important. It's like knowing how to ride a bike or play chess, so we shouldn't have to explain. Just know that it's simple to learn, difficult to master and made even better by mystery tiles that charge your board-altering powers. Choose your Neopet (gender, color, one of 12 species) and then hit the world map in search of quests, treasure and battles, all of which are settled by games of Othello. Along the way you'll find pets (yes, pets to your Neopets, so pet pets) that you train and use as you would spells in Puzzle Quest. Training is done by simple minigames like match-memory or Othello puzzles that only have one correct answer. Later battles take place on crazy-shaped boards that the Othello gods would balk at, like triangle and rainbow formations.

Items are found and created via a cooking minigame where you blend recipes together. There are more than 300 items, 150 quests and 30 random awards for success so while we were initially frowning at the idea of covering a Neopets game, this one totally defied our expectations. It literally was the surprise of the show, with several editors walking in with a grimace, then walking out with a smile.

Hey, it's no RE5 or Street Fighter IV, but it's going to be fun. And that's the most we could ask for.

Jun 3, 2008

Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.