There’s been talk about this in other threads, but I think it wants its own.
Yes, it’s a new Puzzle Quest game. And yes, it’s Marvel themed. But there are also a lot more differences than most folks would want. First and foremost, it’s free-to-play, with all the good and bad that entails. And while it’s the same publisher (D3), it doesn’t look like Infinite Interactive (the original Puzzle Quest devs) had anything to do with this. And for better or worse, a lot of the rules have been pretty severely overhauled.
But, at its core, you’re still playing a Bejeweled clone and using abilities to damage your opponents to kill them.
It’s currently in a ‘preview mode’, whatever that means. I think that’s their label for what amounts to a public beta with limited content.
At first, I was struggling to even grok the new rules, make sense of the UI, and understand the game’s meta structure. I would call the learning curve somewhat steep, but things are so easy at the beginning that you’ll fumble around, win every match by a wide margin, and eventually start picking up the mechanics and UI.
Your ‘character’ for any given battle is actually a team of 3 super heroes/villains chosen from your total roster of characters. Generally, you’ll want to use your 3 strongest folks, but not always.
There are 2 currencies. ISO-8 flows liberally, and is what you use for a lot of leveling up, buying common heroes, and other misc things. Then there are Hero Points, which are premium currency used to buy new higher-end heroes or upgrades. Hero Points can be earned for free, but they’re hard to come by.
Hero management is sort of weird, and is based on comic book covers. A cover = a hero. But you can also spend a cover to level up one of your identical cover’s skills. This essentially means the first copy of a cover unlocks a hero, while subsequent copies level that cover up. But then there’s a seperate concept of hero level, which you can level up to the combined total of skill levels. If this sounds complicated, it is. It takes a while to grok.
Also, levels seem highly inconsistent across characters. A level 3 rare character could be more powerful than a level 10 common character, with more hit points and more powerful skills. I think that’s meant to reflect that 3 rare covers for a character is harder to collect than 10 common covers, but it makes it very hard to compare team overall strength in both pvp and pve.
At first, I was apalled at this abomination of a game, especially when expecting something truer to the previous games. But once I let go of my expectations from the franchise, and as I started to understand some of the details of the game, I found myself more and more enthralled by it. I’m curious to see what I end up thinking of it in the end, but I can say for now, I’m enjoying it quite a bit, warts and all.