Readers over a certain age will be forgiven a healthy dose of skepticism in accepting that a game featuring Neopets — the plush animal franchise which includes a digital version of each toy to interact with online (which anyone with an acquaintance under that certain age will likely be familiar with) — might be the next to occupy an inordinate amount of their time.
But anyone that’s lost a chunk of their life to Puzzle Quest, the 2007 RPG/puzzle game that’s touched as many people through word of mouth as it has platforms that will take it (the count currently stands at PC, PS2, PSP, PS3, Wii, Xbox Live Arcade, and mobile phones) will also understand that developer Infinite Interactive has an uncanny ability to tap into that lizard brain sector of the human psyche and keep it dead-locked for hours at a time.
And so it will likely go with Neopets Puzzle Adventure, an online demo of which Capcom has just released. Like Puzzle Quest‘s embedding of an essential ‘Bejeweled‘ match-three core inside a complex RPG framework, Puzzle Adventure does the same with the classic game of Othello.
What you don’t get in the demo version is the taste of the new game’s true complexity: like Puzzle Quest’s spells, Adventure will require you to capture and train ‘petpets’ and find items that throw curveballs into the otherwise straightforward Reversi design, but what you will get, (or at least, I did) is the first thrill of an absolutely crushing victory you’ve had against an AI controlled Othello opponent in as long as you can remember.
Capcom plans to bring the online playable game to DS and PC in late November.
Neopets Puzzle Adventure demo [Capcom]
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