Puzzle games have always been popular in my house - whether it is Tetris or Dr. Mario to the newer breed such as 7 Wonders, Puzzle Quest or Gyromancer. It is sometimes tough finding a game most of my family will enjoy - my wife in particular. The Sims, Mario Kart and Puzzle Quest are a few of the titles that seem to appeal to everyone. When we saw Puzzle Kingdom at the store, my wife wanted to pick it up, so pick it up we did.
This game makes no bones about it - it tries to draw from the success of Puzzle Quest. It's a few years old now, but in a lot of ways the game feels older than that. The game plays well, but there are things that remind me of the older budget title PS2 games of old. Like many puzzle games, the key is three in a row - but unlike many of them, they can simply be clustered and do not have to be in a straight line. So you can make an L and do not need a row of three vertical or horizontal matching titles.
Instead of your successes being measure in magical attacks, it is in possosing forces. Your purchase soldiers and move them to attack the other army. When one side loses their entire set of troops, they lose. At first glance I figured I was looking at a Puzzle Quest knockoff, but the sliding tiles and the army component gives it a very different feel. When it was new, this game was $20, but I've sen it for as low as $3 online.
The graphics are pretty rough. They just are not attractive to look at at all, but thankfully they are probably the least important part of the game. The music is pretty entertaining, and the gameplay itself actually surprised me with how solid it was and that it was not just a ripoff of Puzzle Quest. There is a multiplayer component, but honestly we did not use it much. The single player mode was deep enough to keep us entertained for a good period of time, and for fans of this kind of game, you could do a lot worse for three to five dollars.