Marvel Puzzle Quest Dark Reign is a free to play puzzle game from D3 Publisher for the PC, iOS, and Android platforms. MPQDR is a spin-off of the main Puzzle Quest series focusing on the Dark Reign Marvel Comics event in which the villains best the heroes on every turn. In MPQDR, players will control three Marvel characters facing another three man team as they try to clear the board during each of their turns to inflict damage to their opponents team. In order to inflict damage players must match the blocks in patterns of at least 3 of a kind or more to attack the opponent.
There are certain patterns that are character specific and if cleared by the player the character will switch out and unleash a devastating attack. If more than one pattern is cleared during a turn this can chain together strikes thus inflicting more damage to the enemy and give you extra moves to lengthen the players turn. The player with the most characters left standing wins the match. D3 has set apart the game from other titles by giving the enemy a slight edge of turn sensitive blocks that can cause huge damage to your characters. The game is balanced out however because the more you use each hero and power them up the better your team will be come to take on the enemy
There are tons of Marvel characters and themed power ups to collect through the games missions or through the in game shop. When players complete each level they will gain power isos as well as coins to purchase booster packs in the shop or purchase Coin/Iso packs for an additional cost. The character cards are comic book covers of yesterday and gives players a point of reference if they want to read comics based on the characters on their team. Like other titles the inclusion of micro-transactions may put off some gamers to play the game but the pure fun and excitement of each match will keep most coming back for more. The cut scenes in the game in-between missions are kind of lackluster because most elements the Dark Reign events are changed to fit around the game’s items hurting the dialog between the characters.
There are no voice overs in the game and the characters dialog is presented in speech bubbles which is a nice touch since the games story is straight from the comics but even this becomes a bore after a while. The soundtrack is terrible and it will have gamers muting it and turning on their devices music players in an instant. The sound effects keep in-tune with graphics and will have gamers cheering when they have they see/hear the splash of explosions, slices energy beams, etc as they rack up a huge combo. The look and feel of the games backgrounds and character art take heavily from the source material and does give the game a personality that may have you reading the story arc after or in-between play sessions. If you ever should get tired of the main missions there are multiplayer missions as well as daily challenges to further your quest long after you complete the final missions.
Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign is a good puzzle title that will give you a break from other games in genre. The soundtrack, micro-transactions, and the adapted story may turn some gamers off initially but the compelling and addictive gameplay will make MPQDR the go to puzzle title for gamers.
Overall Score: 8 / 10
RGN Rating : Silver Game
Developer/Publisher : D3 Publisher
Available On: PC | Android | iOS
Played On: Windows PC
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of the Shield Recruitment Pack as well as in-game digital credits for this game were provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this Review.