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New puzzler delves into RPG territory

Puzzle Quest mixes genres to revive Bejewelled on DS and PSP. Screens and trailer inside...

D3Publisher is bringing another Bejewelled-influenced puzzle game to DS that incorporates a story-driven RPG mode to the experience.

Set in a land known as Etheria in an age of warlords, Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords places you in the role of a sword-wielding warrior who must save Etheria from evil.

You move your character around an overworld map by tapping the stylus on the various village locations. You don't explore them in 3D - you speak to people, visit shops and acquire missions all via menu screens.

When you encounter a battle, the Bejewelled puzzle kicks in. You take turns with your opponent to swap icons on a grid to line up three or more identical icons in a row. When you do, they disappear and the points earned count as damage to your opponent.

PSP screen

Conversely, if you can't be arsed with all that RPG stuff, you can get straight down to the puzzle action with the Instant Action option.

Mixing RPG with a puzzler is an interesting way of refreshing an already used-and-abused puzzle concept. But can you handle ANOTHER Bejewelled game?

Puzzle Quest will hit DS and PSP on March 16.