Portable Gaming: Puzzle Craft review

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When a game comes along that you get addicted to it’s hard to know whether it’s a good idea to tell others about it. However, it is up to the user to decide how to manage their addiction, so read on and know this above anything else you have been warned!

Smartphone games have left me bitter of late. The formula seems to be less about enjoyment and more about collecting as much money as you can from your customers. As I’m not in the habit of paying for games more than once, this constant re-up makes it all feel a bit like watching a coin operated TV set. Because of this I’ve spent a spell avoiding the App Stores, so most of the best new releases have slipped under my radar. However, I am a creature of habit and after browsing the iOS store I stumbled upon Puzzle Craft and the madness that has consumed the last week of my life began.

Awww. Innit cute?

Puzzle Craft is the horrible lovechild of some of the most addictive games I have ever played. Part city building sim, part role-playing game and part Dungeon Raid – this game won me over in only a few minutes and from there began my decent into maddening addiction.

The game has a simple rinse, lather and repeat system. Players are tasked with establishing a town from literally nothing and building it up into a vast kingdom. This is accomplished through two mini games. One involves working a farm for food and wood which is achieved by connecting three or more of the same resource icons with your finger out of a grid of tiles, the second is mining. Players mine different ores to help construct buildings, This process is as equally addictive. The more tiles you connect at any time the more resources you obtain. Collect nine of one resource and you produce new type of rare material. Sounds simple, right?

Well now that you have this new material, you’ll need more than three of them to gather it and here lies the addictive part. As you build up the necessary resources you can use them to build new buildings and hire staff. These things unlock new abilities and tools that make harvesting easier and help you to gain the rarer resources quicker.

Once your buildings are complete a countdown timer is attached that awards you bonuses after a period of real time. When you leave a structure overnight and check in the morning you’ll find all sorts of goodies to collect. Staff are another essential purchase. Each staff member lowers the number of tiles you need to collect to get a rare resource, making it easier to progress through the game.

Once players level up a bit, the game really cranks the difficulty up. While farming players will have to deal with pests like rats and wolves and mining activities add gas clouds that explode if pushed together. These destroy your hard earned goodies and each require specific tools to remove them, all of which cost resources and require you balance out your item usage.

For those after a short-cut you can purchase gold with real money and give yourself a leg up and the option is not in your face as to be annoying, more so an option for those that want to use it. Overall, this is one of the best casual games I have played in a long time. Puzzle Craft is as addictive as crack and all iOS users MUST go out and try this game.

8/10

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Joshua Philpott

Tech MacGyver
Games writer, podcaster and tech wizard. Obsessed with obscure horror films, crazy gadgets and caffeine. Passionate, argumentative and open minded. Freelance writer and co-founder rawDLC.

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