Where Hoyle's Enchanted Puzzles
manages to be more than you might expect is that it contains the equivalent of about a dozen simple games and mini-games. The definitions aren't important, but you'll feel like you are opening a lot of new content for about the first hour. After that, you'll find "variation on a theme" for the rest of the time. Each of the main games contains several layers of challenge and unlockable mini-games. Considering there are nine games available from the main menu, unlocking the layers below each of these gives you lots of replay value. The dedicated player won't burn out on Hoyle's Enchanted Puzzles
for quite some time, but anyone looking for much variety will find they've tapped out the potential after a few hours.
Among the main games are variations on classic, casual-game icons that have a fantasy theme suited to the main story. The resemblance to something like Puzzle Quest is either ignorantly accidental or naively intentional. Where Puzzle Quest built casual game elements into an otherwise traditional RPG, Hoyle's Enchanted Puzzles is only putting an adventure/RPG wrapper on some very traditional casual games. The nine presented here fall into shape, color, and character matching categories. There's a racing game (Fairy Races) that is largely action oriented and a fishing game (Dark Lake) that requires some trigger finger, along with a Missile Command throwback using fireworks (Pyromancy) instead of ballistic missiles. Other more board or card-oriented games include a mahjong derivative (Runejong), a matching tile game (Alchemy), and a solitaire title (Mystic Tripeaks). Three less easily explained but instantly recognizable titles include marble matching (Celestial Spheres), shape sorting (Gnome Mines), and falling blocks (Pixie Blocks).
There is a process for opening or unlocking all these games, but it's not a very complex or strategic process. Basically you play enough to earn points that you can cash in to unlock new games. The layers within each game are mostly variations on the core gameplay, but in some cases you'll find unique mini-games hidden in one of the main game types. Diligent players will enjoy the feeling of exploration that comes with Hoyle's Enchanted Puzzles and it helps to have so many unique games. If you just can't stand one, you'll have plenty to keep yourself occupied.