Oh Marvel Puzzle Quest. How much time and money did I sink into you over the last almost two years? How much?!? Too much, that’s how much. I honestly don’t even know how much time I was spending per day on this damn game. An hour? Two? More than I realized, I’m sure, even though I’d cut down from how much I used to play by giving up on the PVE part of the game entirely.
Right, so…this is a puzzle game obviously. Match the colors, build up energy to use character specific powers and puzzle your opponent to death. This primarily happens in two forms, PVP tournaments and PVE tournaments. Ironically, you aren’t actually playing against real people in the PVP, but AI controlled instances of the teams real people are using, and you aren’t really up against the AI in the PVE, well you are in your battles, but your rank, which determines your reward, is based on how well your score matches up to all the other real players you’re competing against. In other words, you’re constantly fighting uphill against the constantly rising points of other players and/or the attacks of other players whittling away at the points you’ve already made. Unless of course you buy a shield! Shields can be bought with Hero Points, which are exactly what you’re probably already suspecting them to be. It’s a rare in-game currency that you get very little of, but is essential to almost everything in the game.
You guessed it, this is a free-to-play game and it is basically impossible to make progress without breaking down and spending real money on Hero Points because that’s how the game was carefully crafted, to push you at every opportunity into needing more and more of these points to progress. Oh, you’ll deny it at first. You can play for quite a while without ever having to spend a cent, but it will ALWAYS get to the point where you are going to either have to spend some money or just give up because you won’t be able to progress any further because the tournaments are designed to punish you for not collecting every single character and the slots needed to hold characters cost more and more each time you unlock one, not to mention the constant need of shields to compete in PVP.
That’s not all either. New characters come out constantly, so again, constant uphill battle to keep up and constant need for HP to keep competing and buying slots for characters. It’s just an endless cycle of needing points in order to buy slots in order to get characters in order to use them to get points and characters so you can buy more slots and points to get more characters and points and blah blah blah blah blah.
Now obviously there has to be some fun to the gameplay or no one would bother with any of this hassle, but someday everyone that plays it will eventually come to the same final realization that there is no winning in this game. Everything is ultimately pointless and any new content added to the game only ever serves to try to get you to spend more money, and spend money we do. I didn’t spend much on the game compared to a lot of serious players on there apparently, but it was still probably over $100 over those 2 years. I feel like an asshole having spent that much on a phone game, but hell, I used to spend more than that on smokes every month so I guess it could be worse. Some people on there spend several hundred dollars PER MONTH on the game even. I can’t even imagine what would drive someone to burn that much money on a phone game. I mean shit, if you have that much disposable income why don’t you just buy a high priced portable or a fancy PC with an Nvidia Shield or etc.? Oh well. Whatever rustles your jimmies, I guess.
What’s really disgusting is that you KNOW that a game like this is nothing but a time and money sink even as you play it, but you keep doing it anyway…and why? Habit? A false sense of progress ? The thrill of the competition? All of the above, I guess? All I know is that one day something in my head just clicked and the game suddenly, after all that time, felt like a chore instead of fun, so I stopped. I’m not trying to knock anyone I know that’s still choosing to play it, I mean I obviously get it or I wouldn’t have played for so damn long, but I’ve reached the end of my rope. Guess I’m just gonna have to play Vita while I’m taking a shit every morning instead now! (and no, to the few group members that may be reading this, that is not why I quit! I got that AFTER I decided to quit.)