Puzzle Quest: the saving grace of Infinite Interactive?

The Penny Arcade strip above pretty much sums up how I feel about Puzzle Quest: rabid, undying devotion and a sense of addiction that puts a meth freak to shame. I’m apparently not alone, either, as I’ve read similar accounts from many gamers unable to put the controller down, especially after the game debuted on Xbox Live. It’s no more than Bejeweled with a so-so story tacked on though, right? I mean, what gives?

It seems there is a little more to Puzzle Quest behind the scenes, actually. Infinite Interactive president Steve Fawkner recently spoke about the topic with Gamasutra, sharing some information about how the puzzle RPG was actually launched as a project to revive the company after an unfortunate period of poor game sales.

A blip from the full article:

The inception of the game concept was a “happy accident” caused by the process of iterative design. Steve started his plans with the ideas that he really liked Bejeweled and he really liked RPGs. Putting the two together seemed to result in a style of game that landed in that sweet spot the studio was aiming for, and seemed to be something compelling enough to play. He made a few versions that “sucked,” and fixed those up over a month-long period until he ended up with something that “was pretty cool.” Even at that point, the studio knew they had a game that would work.

It’s a great read, for fans of the game and budding designers alike. Thanks to the brainstorming sessions the company had, a new genre was born that surely many will try to imitate in future. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ll likely play every clone in hopes of recapturing the addictiveness that Puzzle Quest made me feel. At least, until Galactrix comes out, anyway.

[Via Gamasutra – Thanks, Jonathan]

Colette Bennett