Puzzle Quest, a wonderfully addictive mashup of bejeweled and an RPG, from some of the folks who brought us the Warlords series of strategy games. This is PC only, though it will also ship for the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP. There’s more gameplay in the demo than you find in many commercial releases, and anyone who enjoys puzzle games or likes Bejeweled should definitely check it out, it’s an absolutely brilliant design. I preordered a copy of the DS version within 20 minutes of checking out the demo, it’s that good. The basic gameplay revolves around battles between your character and various opponents, fought over a bejeweled like screen where you take turns sliding gems around on the board. Making a combination of 3 or more gems causes the gems to disappear and various events to happen. The events vary by gem color and type and can be harmful or helpful. There’s a bit more luck than I generally luck but losing is relatively painless and the gameplay is so quick and engaging that a loss is just an excuse to play another round. My biggest problem is I always played Bejeweled on timed mode, meaning I’m habituated to trying to find combos as quickly as possible instead of trying to think what the smartest move would be, which is causing me no end of trouble against the computer opponents.
Anyway check it out, the release version will even have netplay included as well as a bunch of modes not included in the demo. If you don’t want to wander over to the Kotaku site to get this you can download it directly using this link.