Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords



A puzzle game with a unique fantasy RPG twist

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

The game offers an unusual take on fantasy warfare, making players face off against ogres and trolls not with swords and axes, but rather via Bejeweled-style puzzles. No violence is seen, but fighting is vaguely alluded to in pictures that show characters holding weapons and through discussions in which combat is a topic.


A wee bit of innocent flirtation.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a simple Bejeweled-style puzzle game with the unusual quirk of having been spread over a fantasy role-playing game framework. In other words, players alternate between reading lots of text about a fantasy kingdom in peril and playing puzzle games against Artificial Intelligence (AI) opponents. It is free of coarse language, lewd themes, antisocial behavior, and violence (save the occasional vague reference to fighting in text dialogue). Note, however, that the Xbox 360 edition offers the option to play online. Common Sense Media does not recommend online play for kids under age 12.

What's it about?

PUZZLE QUEST: CHALLENGE OF THE WARLORDS is a reworking of the popular PC puzzler Bejeweled, with the added (and unusual) twist of being draped over a role-playing game framework. Here's how it works: Each puzzle in the game represents a fight against a rat, troll, zombie, or some other nefarious beast. Both you and your foe have a set number of hit points that decreases each time three skull pieces are cleared from the board. Other icons on the board have value as well, such colored spheres, which symbolize magic used to cast spells against foes. Upon completing a puzzle/battle, players earn money and experience and can level up their characters or buy new items to assist in future battles.

Is it any good?


The aim of this unique game is to provide purpose to the otherwise monotonous experience of stringing together three similar icons to make them disappear, over and over again, puzzle after puzzle. And while it takes a bit of imagination to get used to the idea of puzzles supplanting battles, the role-playing shtick does provide a kind of contextual framework and grander objective to puzzle-solving that's missing from just about every other game in the genre. You'll likely find yourself propelled from one puzzle to the next not just because the puzzles are fun (which they are), but also because you feel that recognizable RPG itch to keep playing just a little longer until you level up your character one more time.

And it's a good thing that added incentive exists; Puzzle Quest offers dozens of hours worth of puzzle-solving, which, even with a moderately engaging story to help drive things along, can make things a bit repetitive.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how well or badly they think the genres of puzzle games and fantasy role-playing games complement each other. Do you enjoy engaging enemies by challenging them in puzzles as opposed to fighting them with weapons and magic? Did the fantasy story hold your attention and make you eager to play more puzzles? Or do you prefer playing puzzle games that don't offer any sort of narrative?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PSP, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Windows, PlayStation 2
Available online?Available online
Developer:D3Publisher of America
Release date:March 20, 2007
ESRB rating:E10+ for Suggestive Themes

This review of Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 17 years old Written byjhulieanna July 11, 2010
Love it !!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 15 years old Written byEvan182 February 23, 2010

Puzzle Quest Challenge of the Warlords

This is a great puzzle game, which you can find for around 10 dollars. There isn't any violence shown, but is implied through in game text. This is a bejeweled styled puzzle game mixed with rpg elements. Look up some videos on youtube so you can see if you're interested.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 16 years old Written bySynchronicity August 2, 2010

Part puzzle game, part RPG, all awesome.

Puzzle game versions are pretty monotonous. There's always the so-called "New Bejeweled" that only has a graphical refresh, or yet another Tetris game. How many consoles has Tetris been on? (I'm not saying Tetris is bad; it's awesome, in fact, and Tetris Party/Deluxe for the Wii is the best version, in my opinion). Anyway, back to what I was saying: Puzzle Quest breathes new life into the Bejeweled style of gameplay, but this time you're not just mindlessly matching up gems. Instead, the gem-matching is the battle system here. As you go through a typical RPG world, you fight typical RPG enemies by matching up gems. Mana for spells that can be cast must be collected by matching up some different colored gems (blue, green, yellow, and red). Matching skulls can drain your opponent's HP (and if your opponent matches up some, it can take a bite out of your HP). Gold and nullified "purple" gems can be matched as well to get gold and...nothing, respectively. The fight system is fun and relatively undetailed. The only thing that Puzzle Quest has going against it is that the RPG elements are, as I said before, typical. But that's no reason to pass it by. In terms of content, there are some minor references to violence (examples include spells such as "Cauterize", "Singing Blades", and "Bloodlust" and some dialogue and pictures that imply fighting). Other than that and some mild flirting, there's nothing to worry about. Shouldn't be rated E10+, in my opinion. Overall, it's a good and (at $5-20) cheap game that's available on many different platforms (there's a version for every major console, even the iPhone/iPod Touch). Definitely worth a look.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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