Over GDC I dropped in to see what was up with D3 Publishers of America and was greeted with a great surprise. They have officially announced the impending arrival of the next game in the Puzzle Quest family titled Puzzle Quest: Galactrix. This Puzzle Quest has left the realm of fantasy and entered the vastness of outer space.
I wondered how they would change the jewel matching style gameplay to make this game different from its predecessor and they certainly didn't disappoint. Besides the obvious visual differences in the interface, the style of puzzling has changed as well. The round pieces have changed to hexagonal ones and extra challenge has been added by the movement of the hexagons once you have matched up your three or more. Instead of dropping straight down, your columns slide diagonally, and depending on which piece you move, the columns will fill in either from the left or the right. Gravity will have a bearing on the various movements of the pieces as well making you have to think in several directions at once.
One of the things I asked about was whether the AI was going to be improved over the seemingly punishingly difficult AI of the original Puzzle Quest. I was told that the developers had heard players issues and it was something they were working on. So hopefully this time around, our enemies from space won't have the same kind of luck that will allow them 5 minutes worth of amazing moves while we just sit and watch our health go down.
Like the original Puzzle Quest, Galactrix has an overarching storyline that ties all the puzzle battling together. In the far future, the entire galaxy is run by four mega corporations. It's not long before one of these corporations starts deadly experiments that go awry and threaten the existence of the universe. The player must puzzle battle these enemies of the universe and save us all.
There wasn't much more information given in the short demo that I saw but I could tell from what I did see that D3 definitely has another addicting hit on their hands. The changes from the original game are enough that new players will find it exciting and seasoned players will take to it immediately without feeling like they are just playing the same game over again. Puzzle Quest: Galactrix will be coming to the DS, PC and XBLA later this year, ready to fly its way into your heart and not let go.