E308: SouthPeak's puzzle pair

Both Brave: Shaman's Challenge and Igor were available for demo at SouthPeak's booth -- two Puzzle Quest-inspired handheld puzzlers, and two games that are very clearly influenced by other puzzle games as well, to their benefit (as was Puzzle Quest).

Brave, which is played book/Brain Age-style, is a match-four falling-gem game -- with a twist. The twist is that your opponents are weak to certain colors and strong to certain colors. Breaking blocks in their strong colors actually heals them! You have to get your strategy on in order to succeed. Thinking about which colors you're supposed to break instead of grouping everything as it arrives changes the flow of the game significantly. I didn't get much of a look at the story, but I'm sure I'll be able to continue ignoring it.

Igor was a surprise. Not only had I never heard of the upcoming animated movie (starring John Cusack!) on which it is based, I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. Why did I enjoy it so much?

Because it's Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. Like, exactly. And I love Puzzle Fighter. There is an added layer outside of the main puzzle game. Instead of fighting animations playing out automatically, each color fills a meter for a certain attack, which, when filled, you then tap to attack. I didn't even really know about this thing, and now I want it!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.