Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Puzzle Expedition: The Quest for the Tear of God (Nintendo DS) Review

Review for Puzzle Expedition: The Quest for the Tear of God on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Nowadays when you are faced with the prospect of getting your hands on the latest puzzle release it usually means that the objective faced revolves around either matching three or more of the same kind of block, uncovering a whole host of randomly hidden objects, or working through regular or picture crosswords. MumboJumbo's Puzzle Expedition, though, involves a lot more action and thought power.

The last game from MumboJumbo that Cubed3 tested was Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena, a hidden object adventure that was full of promise and great ideas, but ultimately was a let-down due to its low difficulty and general lack of longevity. Puzzle Expedition: The Quest for the Tear of God, on the other hand, is a slow-paced action-puzzle affair that is deceptively simple in appearance, yet extremely dastardly under the surface.

Players take control of an young adventurer called Anna, and her trusty guide, Ben, as they attempt to track down Anna's father who went missing during his latest exciting expedition. The idea is to use both characters to create a pathway to the goal located in each stage. Teamwork is essential, with control being switched with a mere tap of the X button and movement via the D-pad, rather than stylus.

When faced with any of the 100 or so levels that developer Top3Line has included, stretched across various locales (Cambodia, Alaska, Egypt, Atlantis and a bonus world), players must find the best way to push blocks around in order for both Ben and Anna to be able to climb up the appropriate ledges and drop down from certain platforms, ultimately reaching the exit without being blocked. After a few levels have been cleared (or skipped, at the expense of one credit token), a small scene appears where the story is fleshed out slightly (there are two endings to uncover, for added longevity, as well).

Screenshot for Puzzle Expedition: The Quest for the Tear of God on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Stages become increasingly complex as the adventure goes on, with the adventuring duo being faced with more and more intricately crafted mazes, some of which have areas where there are 'one-way' platforms that can only be jumped onto upwards or dropped down onto from above. These are handily marked with directional arrows, yet they are no consolation to how tricky these additions make levels, even very early on in proceedings, and the same goes for stages filled with switches that keep players on their toes at all times.

To avoid frustration, Top3Line has included the grace of infinite retries in iPuzzle Expedition to allow gamers who quickly realise they have trapped Ben and Anna to give the stage another shot. There are also a limited amount of 'skip level' credits to use for those who simply cannot get their head around a level. With so many puzzles to crack, it is also a blessing that there is no enforced time limit, so a leisurely pace can be adopted in order to work through the best possible solution without being under added pressure. For what appears to be a rather low budget affair that has also flown completely under the radar of most online media publications, Puzzle Expedition: The Quest for the Tear of God is in fact great value for money and should be dug out by puzzle aficionados looking for some extra challenge on the DS. With any luck it will eventually emerge from the US and be released in Europe to a much greater fanfare.

Screenshot for Puzzle Expedition: The Quest for the Tear of God on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Move blocks, climb over blocks, drop down platforms, climb to new heights, move the original blocks around some more and eventually reach the goal. It all sounds so basic, yet then again so do all the most devilishly addictive puzzle games out there!

Graphics

Very simple visuals, yet quite charming at the same time. Levels are nicely detailed, but never too over the top.

Sound

Pleasant melodies play throughout, matching the setting of the current locations visited by the intrepid adventurers.

Value

With around 100 levels on offer that will really test your resolve throughout, as well as two stories to uncover, Puzzle Expedition is fantastic value for a budget release.

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

MumboJumbo delivers another impressive PC-to-DS translation with Puzzle Expedition: The Quest for the Tear of God. Anyone thinking there are not enough challenging puzzle titles on Nintendo’s humble dual-screen portable should definitely track this down for some highly engaging block-moving adventure fun. Can you crack Puzzle Expedition before it cracks you? With any luck this will also get a European release in 2011.

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13.12.2010

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Developer

Top3Line

Publisher

MumboJumbo

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date TBA   North America release date Out now   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date TBA   

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There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?
Brian (guest) 13.12.2010 13:35#1

Sounds pretty cool. Not heard a peep about this before. Is there any real reason to get it on DS instead of PC?

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Other than the portable nature of this, it's pretty much the exact same game (even the graphics aren't that dissimilar). The DS version doesn't even use the stylus very often.

Personally I don't have time to play PC games, but really enjoyed trying to crack each level whilst on train journeys to work and back Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Brian (guest) 14.12.2010 16:20#3

Thanks for the info. Might see if I can import. Tbh I don't do PC often either.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Just to update, folks - this has actually only just been released in the US, despite what some online retailers were stating previously. So any US readers should be sure to look out for this now.

I've updated the review and the game page to include a batch of new, official screenshots from MumboJumbo that I just received.

This is definitely the sort of game that would do well here in Europe if Nintendo of Europe put a bit of weight behind its advertising campaign.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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