Been There, Done That
Onesoft Studio’s recently released puzzle adventure title Diamond Quest 2: The Lost Temple likely won’t win awards for breaking new ground. The first game in the series, Diamond Quest: Don’t Rush, a puzzle game released by Bounce Global in January of 2020, received predominantly positive user reviews. Players enjoyed its challenging puzzles, pleasant graphics and fairly unique gameplay.
Following the tried and true formula of its predecessor, The Lost Temple doesn’t stray from the established path. This might be seen as a bad thing for fans of the series who were hoping for some innovation. But players who want more of what they enjoyed in the first game may welcome the choice to stick with what worked before.
In The Lost Temple, players take on the role of a brave explorer, an Indiana Jones type who delves into the jungles of Angkor Wat, the dungeons of a Bavarian castle, and the icy caves of Tibet. Sounds simple. But of course, all kinds of obstacles—fire-breathing gargoyles, snakes, precariously balanced boulders ready to flatten your head—stand in your way. Currently, the game features 100 levels to try your hand, and regular updates mean there will be more to come if you can’t get enough.
I’ll Have Two Number 9s and a Large Soda
One of the positive aspects of Diamond Quest 2: The Lost Temple is that each level is bite sized. This means that you can easily pull out your device and get in a quick game while standing in line at the bank or sitting at the drive-thru waiting for your fries. While there are many levels, each is relatively short and does not require a huge time commitment.
The levels are also quite varied. While the game offers plenty of repetition to hone your skills, new gameplay elements are introduced regularly enough that you won’t get bored. For example, at the beginning of the game you simply make your way from the entrance to the exit, learning about basic mechanics like the boulders and gargoyles while collecting purple gems.
As you progress through The Lost Temple, you obtain tools like the Mystic Hammer, the Freeze Hammer, and the Mystic Hook. You must learn to use these effectively to progress through the levels. The game gradually introduces more complex puzzles, such as platforms that you can lower to gain access to keys or impede a foe’s progress. Boss fights, buzz saws, icicles and even underwater areas further add to the diversity of the levels.
One mechanic I found particularly entertaining came in Tibet, where monkeys crawl around, block your progress, and can even damage you. In this ice level, there are also statues that shoot frost beams from their eyes. Eventually I realized that I could lure the monkeys in front of these statues, where they would immediately freeze. I could then push and drop them onto switches to open the path to the next area. Sorry, monkeys, but thanks!
Another One Bites the Dust
I have one warning for players who might enjoy a good puzzle game but aren’t necessarily looking for a challenge that makes you want to break your phone. Diamond Quest 2: The Lost Temple is not your casual, merry pastime, simple puzzle game. It can be difficult and vexing. Most of my play sessions ended when I got stuck, died repeatedly and ran out of lives, or simply became too frustrated to continue. Some of the levels are fast and simple; others make you curse the developers. There are certainly players who will thrive on this test of their abilities, but I didn’t necessarily enjoy constant defeat.
For this reason, while I can recommend Diamond Quest 2: The Lost Temple to a certain subset of players, many will not appreciate what the game has to offer. It is, however, worth at least a try. You never know which category of player you might fall into, and you may find that you thoroughly enjoy the challenge.
Is It Hardcore?
Diamond Quest 2: The Lost Temple isn’t stingy about dealing out the difficulty, and that may turn off some players. For those who like a challenge, the game offers an entertaining puzzle experience in bite-sized chunks that won’t demand a lot of your time.