After finishing Crysis, I'd intended to get into Assassin's Creed. I'm about two hours in; I'd mostly just tried it out before I got around to starting Crysis. But now I'm not so sure that it's the sort of game that I want to play right now. I got my mom the weird puzzle/RPG hybrid game Puzzle Quest for Mother's Day, since she likes puzzle-type games, and she and my dad have become addicted to it. (Mom's into puzzle games, and Dad's into RPGs, so it seems that they both found something they like.) They had run into some questions about using spells and constructing buildings, so I decided to download a demo on the Xbox yesterday and try it out for myself. I only played it for about 20 minutes, but it was entrancing. I had to stop myself. Now I've been finding myself thinking about it from time to time. Twenty minutes! That's all it took.
This Bejeweled-Plus-Hit-Points infiltrated my mind in only twenty minutes, and now there is a greater-than-zero chance that I will succumb to temptation tomorrow and buy it. I almost feel like the veteran gamer in me should be immune to the allure of these gem-matching parlor tricks. But it's not.
It's a fairly silly concept, really. To use a cliché, it feels wrong, but yet so right. It's an RPG in which all battles are fought by playing Bejeweled. Honestly, there are plenty of RPGs that are very entertaining when combat consists of clicking a fight button a dozen times, so I guess it makes sense that Puzzle Quest is fun when the fight button has been replaced with a grid of gems—something proven to be fun in and of itself. The RPG mechanics really do seem to add depth to what's normally an extremely casual game. It's certainly good to see that people are innovating and mixing and matching genres.
Update from the comments: I indeed bought Puzzle Quest from the Xbox Live Arcade, and I played it a bit last night. It has already helped me to nearly miss one workout.