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Puzzle Quest 2
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Puzzle Quest 2 is an adaptation of the popular console/PC puzzle game, now for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Essentially it's the same game with new touch-screen controls and GameCenter support for tracking achievements. This fantasy-themed game contains a lot of combat, but the violence plays out through strategic, match-3 puzzle encounters rather than physical fighting, which makes it not very violent.
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Is it any good?
PUZZLE QUEST 2 is more streamlined than its sprawling predecessor Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords in terms of story and gameplay, but the changes make for a worthy sequel. The most dramatic difference is that instead of traversing a world map, players can now actually walk through the villages and dungeons they visit, interacting with characters and looting treasure boxes along the way. Other positive additions include the ability to upgrade equipment using collected raw material; match-3 mini-games for bashing down doors, looting, and finding hidden treasure; and new Gauntlet icons to match during combat that power up physical weapons.
These tweaks leave Puzzle Quest 2 feeling more like a Diablo-style dungeon crawl than an epic role-playing game, but the changes work very well nevertheless. The higher-than-average App Store price point isn't unreasonable given the game's impressive production values and length and, thanks to multiple hero characters to choose from, potential replay value.