I heard good things about Puzzle Quest, so I picked up Puzzle Kingdoms on Steam during their summer blowout. It was not worth the $1, and I wish I had spent the time playing some random flash game.
Unless things change dramatically later on, it is just the one mini-game with some minor variations, like Bejeweled with some add-ons. You can go play Bejeweled right now. You and the computer are playing against each other on the same board with alternating turns, so it is a matter of playing denial while hoping something interesting falls into place. Of course, it falls into place in time for your opponent’s turn, so there is waiting and luck. The computer is tactically infallible but strategically hopeless, so it is a matter of getting an unsatisfying victory over an inept opponent, watching that opponent exploit something you cannot see (but it sees every possible combination), or hardly seeing what happens as it gets four or five combinations somehow falling from off-screen. The computer’s prescience is unlikely to be enough to save it, although it is a wonder to see it get two kills in one turn from blocks that were not on-screen when it started.
The gameplay is passable, although I found Warriors End a better version of the same thing. If you want that kind of thing, you get nothing else, so go to. The story is just bad: our hero is apparently conquering peaceful countries for their own good, but it’s okay because the dark lord is making them unhappy with magic boxes. You must destroy the magic box, even if that involves killing a path through a country that does not want your help. Nation-building through Bejeweled-based regime change.
There are also “RPG elements,” for when you feel like grinding a bit. Because sometimes mindlessly playing the same little thing and getting imaginary rewards is relaxing. It’s what we do here.
Oh, and Torchlight is $5 on Steam right now, in case you missed it during the last holiday sales.