Puzzle Quest 3 – a review

I’m angry with myself because I almost believed that Puzzle Quest 3 would be worth the effort. I mean, it’s a really polished game, easy to get into, and fun too, if you like match-3 puzzle games. There are some interesting mechanics too, like the timer after your first match that lets you build chains and whatnot. Even the simplistic story, where characters in the vanilla fantasy world of Puzzle Quest talk to each other, is somewhat enjoyable.

And yet, for all those good things, Puzzle Quest 3 fails. You must’ve guessed why already, right?

It took a couple of hours, but as I neared level 8 or 9, it started to become clear that Puzzle Quest 3 was a pay-to-win game. It had all the telltale signs, being free and offering an expensive VIP subscription. Insane, as all of those things are, but I read somewhere that you could get by without the premium features, or buying keys and gold and all that other crap from the in-game store. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for paying, and there are freemium games that get away with in-app purchases. What the successful ones have in common, however, is that you spend money to extend the game, and make it more personal. You don’t have to do that, you can still grind your way forward, and there are no roadblocks that are just unsurmountable.

Puzzle Quest 3 gets hard after level 7 or 8, and almost impossible after that. You can grind, there are dungeon runs and the like, but the loot is often abysmal. The story won’t progress unless you upgrade your spells. And the gear, too. Come to think of it, you should upgrade your companions, and then there are the minions that you can use to open chests, they need themselves some upgrading too. Failing that, the game will clearly note that a particular fight will be hard (doable), or very hard (almost impossible to win), but don’t fret, should you get into it, and die, you can always spend gems to resurrect yourself.


I had fun with Puzzle Quest 3, recovering from last week’s illness. Then I hadn’t anymore, and so I stopped playing. You can do the same, just don’t expect to get any more than that, unless you’re fine to pay up for resources and the like. The thing is, while I’d like to continue playing, I won’t keep paying to be able to win. That doesn’t feel real to me. So, no, it’s a pass, and a damn shame. I wish this’d been an Apple Arcade release. Then it’d have the potential of being a great game. Now, it’s just another in-app money-grab.

💠💠 out of 5 – Okay, but…

Puzzle Quest 3 is free, with a ton of in-app purchases.