I Hate Puzzle-Quest: Galactrix

Well, the demo is out (even a flash version) and apparently the game is to be released February 24th.

The original Puzzle Quest was renowned by a number of reviewers, fetching a remarkably high review index. However, after playing the demo of Galactrix, I have to say, I absolutely loathe this game.

Nevermind that they won’t let you save your game in the demo (though that is a pain). Galactrix has the same problem as the original Puzzle Quest in that luck is too much a factor. In the original Puzzle Quest, there was a possibility that a nice chain of skulls that pop out from the sides of the screen and, and through a terrible twist of inexplicable fate, wipe you out from full health in the very next turn.

What bothers me about Galactrix is that, perhaps as a function of the hexagonal system, this seems to happen more than ever. I cringe every time it’s the enemy’s turn, because I know I’m about to get wiped out by a half-dozen mines (the skill equivalent in Galactrix) that weren’t there before.

Maybe I just really suck at this game. Is there any way to prevent this – any discernible tactic to improve your odds? Probably not – it has a lot to do with random circumstance (for one thing there’s a massive difference between a 1 pt mine and a 10 pt mine but which will appear is completely random).

It’s a pity, because I love a space opera backdrop, and I worry that Puzzle Quest: Galactrix is going to drag this already rare genre further out of the spotlight because it plays so poorly.

3 Responses

  1. If you think it’s too luck based, you just need to spend more time with it. There is a ton of skill in this game, more than the original. Learning to plan ahead and set up contingencies is a huge part of the game. There will always be luck involved in this sort of game, but ultimately, the hex grid and variable “gravity” mean that you have more ways to control the board. Board control is huge in Puzzle Quest games.

    Ultimately, once you learn how to manipulate the board and see how to plan ahead with its unique geometry, Galactrix is no more luck-based than Warlords. If anything, it’s more skill-based. The inevitable lucky streak does hurt, but there’s really no way around that as long the tiles are randomly generated. That’s why you play the board to anticipate incoming tiles as well as possible.

  2. Oh, and since that may have come across too harsh, I too felt the game was too luck based from playing the demo. I thought there was enough there to go ahead and buy the game, and have since learned how to control the board much more adeptly. The two games compare fairly well in the end, you just need to realize that Galactrix isn’t merely a rethemed Warlords; the board geometry changes how you play. (And since I binged on Warlords just before buying Galactrix, the differences have become fairly apparent. The luck factor really is about the same, once you get used to how the hex board works.)

  3. When I notice that even professional reviewers are complaining about this, I’m left with the belief that there’s more to this than “lern2play n00b.”

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