Always on the lookout for an engaging and exciting puzzle game with just the right splash of challenging thrown in? Search no longer!
D3Publisher and Marvel’s “Marvel Puzzle Quest” combines your favorite courageous crusaders, masked mutants, and dastardly despots in one completely awesome puzzle package and it gets better: Change is coming.
We caught up with D3Publisher’s Michael Cerven, Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications, and Producer Joe Fletcher to talk about the game’s big new features.
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Marvel.com: I guess we want to start things out really nice and easy: What is “Marvel Puzzle Quest”?
Joe Fletcher: Oh jeez, you gotta start with these [hard] questions? [Laughs] Well, “Marvel Puzzle Quest,” at its very base, is a Match-3 Role Playing Game. It uses the Marvel license to bring in Marvel characters and Marvel storylines for Match-3 gameplay in an extension of the long-running Puzzle Quest franchise. [In] “Marvel Puzzle Quest Dark Reign,” obviously we’re running through the Dark Reign storyline. We’re looking at it a different way. Some of the events and things like that are a little bit different compared to what people might have experienced reading in the comics or playing in other games like Marvel’s “Avengers Alliance,” but we’re telling things according to the story with a little bit of our own Puzzle Quest flair.
Marvel.com: This whole announcement is because you guys are ready to reveal a whole new “Puzzle Quest” adventure, is that right?
Michael Cerven: Yeah! [Joe] just mentioned Dark Reign, [but] we’re gonna be branching free from the Dark Reign storyline.
Marvel.com: What can players expect from this new iteration?
Joe Fletcher: One of the major things we’re gonna be making changes to obviously is we’re pulling off Dark Reign from the name. That means that it’s not necessarily that we’re not going to tell more Dark Reign story. The story isn’t complete yet so there’ll still be episodes set in Dark Reign, but we’re expanding to more than just that. The episode that’s gonna be coming out along with the pulling of the name is going to be introducing Deadpool as a character in the game and has an episode just for him. He had a little bit to do with Dark Reign but he was kind of off on his own, so this is the first push into the not Dark Reign universe.
Marvel.com: So a totally new universe to play with?
Joe Fletcher: Definitely. We’ve still got the Dark Reign universe to play around in and like I said we’re not exactly abandoning that, it’s just that we’re opening ourselves up to more than just that. It also means we’re opening ourselves up to worthy storylines and characters that we can bring in. Some characters just don’t make sense in Dark Reign so obviously that’s not happening right away but it’s something that we’re opening up the world to.
Marvel.com: How’d you guys come up with this new storyline? What were your inspirations?
Joe Fletcher: For this upcoming one that’s going to be coming out, it is titled “Deadpool vs. Marvel Puzzle Quest,” so he is fighting everyone because that’s just what Deadpool does. At it’s very base you can see that it’s DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE, but it’s not so much Deadpool going out and trying to just kill everyone, but Deadpool’s actually going out and trying to get all the Iso-8s in the universe, trade it in, and get a lifetime supply of chimichangas. It’s what Deadpool does.
Marvel.com: I would expect nothing less from the Merc with a Mouth. Aside from the story, are you bringing any new features to the table? You mentioned characters, is there anything that’s going to be new and different about this “Puzzle Quest” that sort of sets it apart from “Dark Reign”?
Joe Fletcher: We are introducing new characters: First of which, and the big one is Deadpool. And then we’ve got more characters lined up that again, aren’t necessarily Dark Reign related but are Marvel fan requested characters and people that are definitely looked forward to coming into the “Marvel Puzzle Quest” universe. But that won’t be happening until a little bit later.
Michael Cerven: Yeah, we’re always introducing new characters and in the last month we introduced Captain Marvel, another version of Johnny Storm, and we released She-Hulk just a week or two before that, so we’re always rolling out new characters and we’re going to continue to do that in the future.
Joe Fletcher: But the major, major gameplay feature that we’re going to be introducing along with the name change and the new storyline is a feature called Team-Ups. The Team-Up is a way to play with characters that aren’t necessarily in your direct team at the time of the battle. So in “Marvel Puzzle Quest” you can bring three characters into battle playing against three other heroes or villains or minions at any given time and the Team-Up feature allows you to bring in other characters for special attacks. In any given battle you can have Hulk, Black Panther, and Deadpool in your group but you can also bring in Iron Man, Hawkeye, and Black Widow for special attacks. So you can use their special abilities and change up the metagame a little bit.
Marvel.com: And unleash some serious hurt on your opponents.
Joe Fletcher: Right. And how this works is that it actually takes over for the old Environment Tile system. So before, wherever you were in the game, you were always in an environment. You’re in a city environment or hi-tech environment or castle or desert and each of those environments had different tiles with different special abilities. And those special abilities were useful [in some cases] and not so useful in others. The environments themselves are staying around, but they won’t have a direct effect on combat after this change.
It was kind of getting underutilized as a mechanic and we wanted to bring in this Team-Up mechanic. We were looking for ways to introduce it without bringing in a whole new mechanic on top of everything else. We decided to shift out the little bit underperforming and underutilized environment tiles and change them over to these new Team-Up tiles. So all the environment tiles go away, replaced by Team-Up tiles. Accordingly, abilities that used these tiles are getting changed up to use the new tiles instead.
Marvel.com: Cool so we’ve got this fun new Team-Up mechanic, new characters, and a new story. How does all of this great new material fit in with the overarching Marvel Games Universe?
Joe Fletcher: In general, “Marvel Puzzle Quest” is a part of the Marvel Games Universe and that lore and all of it. We have chats with some of the other Marvel Games teams to make sure, as we are in the Marvel Games Universe, we’re not going off in directions and the universe is stable and it is its own entity. So like you see in Marvel Games Universe, Iso-8 is one of the big conceits that’s used all throughout all the storylines in all these games and Iso-8 might act a little differently but it actually works within the fiction itself because Iso-8 has the ability to change its functionality based on how it’s being used. So some of the different Marvel Games Universe games will use Iso-8 in a different way but will still be using it within the canon of how that material actually works in the universe.
Marvel.com: Do you guys have anything else you want to say? Maybe to the fans and potential fans out there who haven’t yet taken the dive?
Michael Cerven: We’ve had tremendous success with “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” We’ve hit over three million downloads so far and we have a ton of active users. I think one of the things we’re really happy about over here is that we have updates to the game every one or two weeks and we love the community feedback that we received from our fans so that’s one thing that we kind of strive on so we definitely want to receive all the feedback and hear what the players want.
We’re also very excited to be part of the Marvel Games panel and get our message out but also see what the fans want from the game and see what they want in their Marvel games. And “Marvel Puzzle Quest” being wildly successful for us and wildly successful for the fanship, it’s been a pleasure making this game for them. For us, “Marvel Puzzle Quest,” we’re going to be doing new things, we’re going to have more updates coming up and we’re excited to share those soon.
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