Puzzle Guzzle definitely drinks some other games' milk shakes. Blocks fall from the top of the screen, you organize them into clusters to make them go away, and when they do, they'll cue other, nastier blocks to fall on your opponent's rising wall. And yet, Puzzle Guzzle is definitely a game you haven't played before. Its blocks actually contain triangles, parallelograms, and other shapes you can rotate into all manner of combinations great and small, and there's a neat white line that helps you identify big shape opportunities. Even though it doesn't reinvent the genre, Puzzle Guzzle is not just another brick in the wall.
Before you get started, you'll have to create an avatar out of a shape, a color, some eyes, and a mouth--like Mr. Potato Head. From there, you have three main gameplay options: drop puzzles, stuffit puzzles, and quiz puzzles. Within the first two options, you can choose either solo play or challenge play. In a solo drop puzzle, pieces fall from the top of the screen at an increasingly faster rate as you try to clear them, just like in Tetris. In a challenge drop puzzle, you try to outlast an opponent by clearing your own blocks and dropping special blocks on their side. Alternately, in a normal stuffit puzzle, the screen is full of blocks and you try to clear as many as you can within a time limit. A challenge stuffit puzzle is pretty much the same, except that you can hijack your opponent's big shapes as you compete for the higher score. And finally, quiz puzzles are big jumbles of shapes that you have to clear all at once. Among these three modes, there are a lot of puzzles to guzzle.
No matter which you choose, the controls are the same: the D pad selects a fallen block, and one button rotates it clockwise, while another rotates it counter-clockwise. That's simple; the tricky part is that each block contains a shape. For instance, the smallest, most basic shape is a triangle that takes up one quarter of a block. The next smallest is a triangle that takes up half a block, and there are other, trickier shapes that show up whenever a match begins to wear on. The basic idea is to rotate your blocks so that the shapes within them conjoin into a larger one, which will then disappear. Matters are complicated by the fact that every shape has a "soft" side, which must be covered by another shape. These aren't intuitive when you first start playing; however, as you rotate pieces into a larger shape, a bold white line will show you where the hard sides are, and where they aren't, making it easy to fill in the gaps. After just a few minutes of play, you'll happily fly around your wall tweaking blocks here, rotating others there, and chaining things together into long destructible veins.
Puzzle Guzzle's cup truly runs over with 300 different challenges and puzzles. In quiz mode and each of the challenge modes, there is a field of 100 rival avatars organized on a 10-by-10 grid (easiest at the top, hardest at the bottom). If you defeat one of them, no matter the mode, you can steal any of its features for your own avatar. This gives you a pretty good reason to explore the whole grid, rather than just going straight to the bottom where the toughest challenges wait.