Square Enix and PopCap Games are teaming up to bring us a brand new puzzle-RPG.
Square Enix has been dipping its hands into all kinds of non-JRPG honeypots lately, including its recent acquisition of Eidos and the announcement that it would be publishing Modern Warfare 2 in Japan. The latest sticky handful is somewhat more familiar: a casual puzzle-RPG called Gyromancer. Adding more validity to the game is that it is being developed in collaboration with PopCap Games, pretty much the masters of puzzle/casual gaming.
According to the game's press release, Gyromancer combines the puzzle elements of Bejeweled Twist with the "RPG mastery of Square Enix." I'm all for Square Enix and PopCap teaming up, but the "RPG mastery of Square Enix" sounds a little bit like a bunch of PR spin. What exactly is this mastery and how does it make Gyromancer better? The trailer doesn't show any spiky hair or giant swords that are also guns, so I'm confused. I kid.
Anyway, as the trailer shows, Gyromancer is very reminiscent of Puzzle Quest, which is not a bad thing. It had to only be a matter of time before PopCap Games tried their hand at a Puzzle Quest-styled game, considering how the company basically made Puzzle Quest's "battle system" as popular as it is today with Bejeweled. PopCap mixed with Puzzle Quest combined with the "RPG mastery of Square Enix" (okay okay, I'll let it go), should in my mind lead to a really great game. Puzzle Quest was not an incredibly deep game, but it was still fun, so I'm hoping for a similar game with more depth here.
Players will take on the role of a summoner named Rivel as he tries to rid Aldemona Wood of a "brooding darkness." How does he do this? By playing Bejeweled Twist of course! Rivel will be able to acquire and summon more than 50 different types of creatures through 10 stages (meaning maps, I assume) while also finding items, leveling up, amassing a fortune of gold, and searching for hidden rewards. It certainly sounds like it will be a fun way to kill some time, especially for those of us that enjoyed Puzzle Quest. Gyromancer will be released on both Xbox Live Arcade and Steam, though release dates for neither platform have been announced.