|System: X360 (XBLA), PS3 (PSN), PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Pieces Interactive||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Tecmo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec. 16, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 (Multiple Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Another issue is that the AI is spotty to say the least, and there's no excuse for it. Even the "easy" bots will destroy a beginner quickly, so plan on practicing for a while before the single-player game becomes fun and competitive. Players who improve and move on to harder bots will find them to be incredibly cheap, launching attacks before it's even possible to build up a defense. You don't see your opponents' screen of blocks, so it's not clear why it was so tough for the developers to make them fight fair. All the bots have to do is attack at a fair rate, defend when appropriate, and periodically use the disable and boost power-ups.
The inclusion of multiplayer really should go a long way toward making the AI problem irrelevant, but unfortunately, even a couple of weeks after the game released, we couldn't find anyone to play with (we tried several times with the Xbox version). Unless you and a friend can arrange to go online at the same time, don't plan on engaging in multiplayer action. There's no local multiplayer, another issue for which there's no excuse.
Control-wise, the game works about as well as it can. It's not quite as easy to move blocks around with a joystick as it is with a mouse (or, hypothetically, a Wii-mote), but it works, and once you get the hang of it, you can move fast. Whenever you use a special ability, the game helpfully displays a guide to which buttons use which resources, so you shouldn't waste items by accident.
In terms of presentation, the game is impressive. The worlds you fight on are colorful and depicted in a pleasant art style, as are the blocks you move. The sound effects work well, and the music doesn't grate (though it doesn't stand out, either). Whatever complaints you have about the game, you'll never think it looks or feels amateurish.
When it comes right down to it, Puzzlegeddon is a decent idea, but its implementation feels incomplete. Those who love block-matching games and want a fresh challenge will want to pick it up, but most others should wait for the sequel.
CCC Freelance Writer