Gems of WarThe developers of the original Puzzle Quest have a new F2P game out called Gems of War.
I thought I would play this for 15 minutes and dismiss it, given that it's F2P, but dismissing it hasn't been that easy. I've played it for almost two hours and it's very, very solid. In the simplest terms, it's a slightly overcaffeinated variation of Puzzle Quest, but man, it's well done. It's packed with just one more-isms.
Play mechanics are rock solid and the art is quite striking. I can't tell you about sound, because I'm double-tasking by listening to albums as I play.
If you enjoyed Puzzle Quest, I'd recommend giving this a whirl. I haven't encountered any F2P d-baggery yet--I haven't encountered any artificially difficult levels, and the nagging to buy things has been at a minimum so far.
I do have one concern, and it's the same concern I have with all F2P games. They all seem a little hyperactive, like every moment has to the greatest f-ing moment ever, because if it isn't, you'll just quit. All these games yell quite expertly, but none of them ever breathe. Gems of War is constantly giving you rewards, but they feel very calculated, if that makes any sense. It's as if they're trying to foster an addiction instead of rewarding play.
Of course, that's what all these games are doing, Candy Crush in particular. Feed the beast, find the whale, then haul them in. I find all of that very, very creepy.