What RPG-based genre mashup could be more satisfying than GungHo Entertainment's wildly popular Puzzle & Dragons' combination of collectible creatures and match-puzzle dungeoneering? The answer is Quiz RPG: The World of Mystic Wiz.
Quiz RPG is almost exactly the same game as Puzzle & Dragons. Players collect, combine and evolve elemental-based spirits, forming a team and taking them on adventures filled with battles against fantastic monsters. Players recruit friends, battle in tournaments, and engage in regular special events for a chance at rare, powerful additions to their roster. The only substantial difference combat.
Instead of matching gems, players answer trivia questions.
Here's how it works. Players take their team of creatures, each attuned to one of three elements -- fire, water and lightning -- on adventures through simple scrolling 3D dungeons. At random intervals a battle will launch, pitting the players' teams against similarly elemental-coded monsters. A group of subjects appear on the screen, attuned to one or more of the three elements. Answer a question correctly, and all creatures of the question's element attack.
It's so simple, it's brilliant.
In the screen above, I am answering a lightning question, because lightning is strong against water. Fire is strong against lightning, and water is strong against fire. The key to success is sticking to this simple rock-paper-scissors formula.
And I suppose trivia knowledge doesn't hurt.
I grew up playing Trivial Pursuit with my parents. Every weekend my little sister and I would pair off with our parents for a family trivia battle. I was conditioned to love trivia. Coupled with my natural love of role-playing conventions, collecting things and anime-style art, I really am the target audience for Quiz RPG. They've got me.
There's more to the game that simple battles, of course. There's a storyline running through it, something about a girl who transforms into a cat -- always a plus. There's collecting and evolving spirits, something to do when you're waiting for your energy to refill.
Yeah, there's an energy meter, but the gems earned through normal gameplay help refill it, so it's not so bad. Plus you can always buy more gems, which is sorely tempting as they're also used to buy chances at summoning rare spirits to your side. So far I've resisted, but it's not been easy. More powerful spirits have special powers that activate once you've answered a umber of correct questions in a row, and I really need to replace my stupid lightning fairy.
Also, I need to get better at sports trivia. Owen Good is going to kick my arse.
I'm a little in love with Quiz RPG: The World of Mystic Wiz. I featured it in the Android Week in Gaming Apps on Monday, and I've just started over again playing on my iPad. If it were on the PC, I'd be playing it right now instead of writing this. In fact, I'd rather be playing it that figuring out a proper ending for this app review.