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I've got more than a few reviews in my queue, photos to process, and grand dreams to finish.  I actually checked off a step in the latter category, making my first playable Android game.  (It was for an online course, but I'll put the apk & code up for others to poke at once the assignment is marked.)

Speaking of Android games, though, it's occurred to me that although I play games pretty frequently, I don't talk about them much here. So here's part 1 in a series of "what I've been playing lately" :

Marvel Puzzle Quest
Marvel puzzle quest

Puzzle quest was one of my favourite games for the Nintendo DS.  I played not only puzzle quest, but also puzzle quest 2 and the hexagonal Galactrix all through to the end, which is spectacular given how few games I have time to finish.  (Although to be fair, DS games are shorter so I tend to finish them more often).  It blends a simple RPG with a fight system based around the match-3 mechanic (aka Bejewelled) and makes it work.  You have characters with different powers that are fueled by the colours you match off the game board, and beyond the match-3 strategy, there's some further thinking you can do in producing combos with different character powers, and making good use of one-game powerups that you get occasionally.

Marvel Puzzle Quest is exactly what you'd expect from the name alone: same gameplay, now with snarky comments from Marvel characters between games.  That's pretty much the sequel I never knew to want!

The base game is free, but like many such games you can pay for upgrades to do things like level faster or buy extra character slots.  You do acquire the same types of points within the game, so there's no need to pay if you're patient and willing to blitz your way through the odd tournament or event.  I don't really see the point in paying to go through the game faster, but it is really quite nice to have a few extra character slots.  It has optional Facebook integration, which periodically allows you to send random in-game items to your facebook friends.  I don't have many facebook friends playing, alas, but I do send stuff to John, and I'd be happy to send stuff to other folk!

I have only 2 complaints: 
1. It requires you to be online, so no playing when you have no data (this was very sad when I was on the airplane and would have loved to get my puzzle quest fix!).
2. It's *very* big and thus didn't fit on my sister's older phone, which is very sad 'cause I totally wanted to send her in-game items!

I've been playing this game in frequent little spurts since November or so, and I expect I'll be playing it for quite some time to come, since I'm enjoying getting new characters and learning to combine their various skills.  It's a few minutes per match, so perfect for train rides and waiting for my toast to pop in the morning.

Link: Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign

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