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E308: Neopets Puzzle Adventure flips Othello over


So I didn't exactly play Neopets Puzzle Adventure on the DS. But I did play Neopets Puzzle Adventure, and Neopets Puzzle Adventure will eventually end up on the DS. It's not as if the Othello-based gameplay will face significant challenges in the transition from PC to DS.

And Othello it is, at least at first. You place a piece on the board to flank the opposing player's pieces, flipping them to your color. But there are layers and layers of new weirdness that change the board game entirely. For one, the board is different shapes, not just the standard square. Some spaces on the board award points, and others are marked with icons of a certain color. Points and gem collecting are the real point of the game, rather than controlling territory. You get points for covering spaces, but you can't just win by controlling more of the board.

Gaining control of a space with an icon on it enables you to use Petpet abilities, which are like spells. Each Petpet requires a varying amount of icons to activate. Clicking on a Petpet activates a spell that does something like flipping a bunch of pieces or awarding you points or otherwise altering the game -- you know, basic spell stuff.

What this means is that it's no longer obvious how to succeed at Othello. Random and non-board elements can change the status of the game instantly. In addition, when you flip a bunch of pieces, you trigger a combo effect that flips even more pieces.

Infinite Interactive targets kids with Neopets Puzzle Adventure


We don't know too much about the Neopets franchise, except that the Neopets can have their own pets, called "Petpets." It seems to be Pokémon without the good games associated with it. Despite this, it seems to be doing quite well.

In one of the most frightening developer/franchise pairings in recent history, Capcom announced Puzzle Quest developer Infinite Interactive's next game, Neopets Puzzle Adventure, at their Captivate '08 event. The game, releasing at the end of this year on DS, Wii, and PC, combines a Puzzle Quest-like puzzle game with Neopets pet care and collecting.

Joystiq's Justin McElroy will have a hands-on report later today. We can only assume that his hands are still on the demo, clamped down permanently.

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