Unique among retro-style puzzle games, Nazo Systems' Puzzle Legends manages to hit you right in the nostalgia zone without feeling derivative or cheap. You're not a warrior in Puzzle Legends. You're not here to slaughter your way to the top. You're a hooded traveler trying to climb to the top of three increasingly difficult towers, collecting their coins and treasures. While enemies can be dispatched in some of the puzzle rooms via careful maneuvering, the game won't give you full completion unless you let your foes carry on unharmed. Simply use the [arrow] keys to move and push blocks and press [X] to activate switches. You'll get very familiar with that "retry" key by the end, but if you're a fan of puzzles you'll love it all the same.
There's no complications or distractions in the interface, just good puzzling fun. Getting to the door often isn't all that difficult, but getting the coins and chests along the way will have you attacking each level repeatedly with a slap on the forehead and a grin. It feels like an actual SNES game from the glory days of the 16-bit era, with all the triumph and frustration that implies. There's no fluff in this game, just pure, immediate fun. Fiendish challenges and a charming soundtrack will keep you enthralled even as you tackle a hard level for the umpteenth time. The difficulty curve is forgiving and the puzzles get hard but are always fair. What else can you ask of a puzzle game? In a world of shooters and zombies and HD war simulators, Puzzle Legends pares it all down to the basics and reminds us why these basics worked so well in the past.