(DSiWare)

Jewel Adventures (DSiWare)

Game Review

Jewel Adventures Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Dave Letcavage

Woo-hoo, glitchy woman

Jewel Adventures is a puzzle game that’s partially familiar due to its match three gameplay, but freshened up by a few extra layers of depth. A sense of story, enemy battles, world (re)building and various gameplay goals are the glue that gives this puzzler a bit more substance than most like it. Much of it is only fluff – considering you don’t really have any freedom outside of the puzzling – but regardless, it serves to make the player feel like they’re doing more than just playing puzzle after puzzle, simply chasing high-scores.

Match three gems horizontally or vertically on the grid and they clear, match more and you’ll receive bombs and other powered-up pieces that allow additional damage to be done. On the top screen there will be enemies that close-in on your character, one step at a time; clearing gems will cause you to attack those enemies, and lay them down before they get too close and inflict damage. In some stages you’ll need to clear 100 specified blocks to win, others simply require that you defeat all enemies. But the main objective usually is clearing gems that overlap white spaces filled in on the grid.

Generally this all works pretty well, as the sense of purpose and progression through the numerous stages really does make you feel like you’re accomplishing something. There’s one major problem, though. At the most random of times we’d run into a glitch that would ruin whatever stage we were currently playing. This mainly occurred right after we’d match three gems; the pieces would align, but not clear, and then the bottom touch-screen would go unresponsive. You could hear noises when you’d tap away, though nothing would happen. At this point we’d have to wait patiently for an enemy to kill our character, run out the clock, or pause and quit the match entirely.

Another flaw that we found is that you can complete many of the more basic levels by randomly clicking all over the screen. Sure, it is a cheap method that can be blamed on the volition of the player, but nevertheless, this weakness challenges the integrity of the gameplay. We tested it on at least ten stages with no issue at all; we beat out the clock with much time to spare. Difficulty spikes are also present, and can totally suck the fun out of things when they occur. For example, we completed about five full areas with ease then happened upon a stage that took nearly twenty attempts to beat. When we finally did find success, it felt more like luck than skill, like the game decided to give us what we needed on that particular turn.

There is a hub where you can purchase various structures across a map with the coins you’ve earned playing. This is a superficial additive though, as these acquisitions only allow new stages to be unlocked elsewhere; yet it’s still welcome, as it invests more liveliness into the package, regardless of its limited functionality. You’ll also find a classic mode which offers arcade-style play for those looking to play without commitment. Overall there is no shortage of stages to play in Jewel Adventures, and when the game is performing as it should, it’s addicting and a deal of good fun. It’s just unfortunate that there are some serious issues holding it back from a recommendation.

Conclusion

All in all, there’s a solid and engaging challenge in Jewel Adventures, but major glitches can take your hard work away from you at any moment. If these crippling issues weren’t present, and the difficulty was more smoothed out, we could recommend this one as a decent budget puzzler with a nice sense of progression; however these things are devastating to the gameplay and entirely maddening when they do occur. Take this adventure at your own discretion.

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User Comments (23)

Eisenbolan

#2

Eisenbolan said:

I hate that if you exit a level and on stage 7 you have to start from stage 1 again. Also a life bar for the enemies would be nice to know how close you are to killing them.

DRLAdmin

#3

DRL said:

@Eisenbolan - A health bar for the enemies would've been very beneficial. Have you been experiencing glitches like I've detailed in this review? They became more common the further I progressed into the game.

Morphbug

#5

Morphbug said:

Huh, I have completed 7 missions (70 levels) and haven't encountered any glitches. It's actually pretty fun to play.

By the way, some buildings also give you special abilities and let you choose another gem magic (up to three of these can be built). The game would be very hard without buying these upgrades.

OracleOfTruth

#6

OracleOfTruth said:

@Undead_terror - Thanks for letting me be one of those several. ;)

That's odd. I've been playing this game quite a lot lately and I haven't once experienced the glitch mentioned in the review. I'm actually having quite a bit of fun with it. I was looking for a pick-up and play game like this to unwind with, and it has hit the spot.

DRLAdmin

#8

DRL said:

@True_Hero @Morphtorok That's very, very odd. I played a lot longer than I expected to and it was a common occurrence for me. It didn't matter if I restarted the system, rebooted the game, or exited to the menus; it would always happen at some point. It did happen less on classic mode, though.

TG1

#9

TG1 said:

Like others, I too have put a bunch of hours into this game and have yet to find even a single glitch.

Nintendojuenger

#12

Nintendojuenger said:

"For example, we completed about five full areas with ease then happened upon a stage that took nearly twenty attempts to beat"

There are 9 different magical classes with different spells in the game (you could choose them by building the right structures). To notice this little “RPG-element” will help a lot – I played it (European Version) for more than 13h and nearly never died. I had about four glitches in the whole playtime. In my opinion Jewel Adventures is a “good” game – 7/10

bezerker99

#13

bezerker99 said:

Now I have that Eagles song in my head. Which is not a bad problem!! Rock on, bros!!!

DRLAdmin

#15

DRL said:

@Nintendojuenger - Wouldn't beating a puzzle game without challenge compromise the integrity of the experience, as well? And regardless of the classes, the difficulty shouldn't only be present on a single level here and there. It would literally go from being a breeze to play, to one beyond-challenging stage, then right back to being easy as pie. If the classes mean something, they should mean something in a much more substantial manner.

But like I said in the review, take away the glitches, which were obviously much more frequent for me, and you'd have a recommendation.The core gameplay is actually very fun. Those glitches though...man, were they frustrating. :(

@bezerker99 - Sorry about that, man. ;)

Morphbug

#16

Morphbug said:

@DRL: Now I'm curious... If you hadn't experienced any glitches... Whay would have been your score for this game? (I suppose it could be useful to know for people interested in this one, since the glitches seem to be affecting people at random).

DRLAdmin

#17

DRL said:

@Morphtorok - I can't say for certain, but I can say that when the glitches weren't present, the puzzle action was pretty enjoyable. That said, I still wouldn't want anyone to have to go through what I did, so it's hard to award too much praise here. If someone feels compelled to play it, and doesn't mind risking $5, then I'm not going to stop them. :)

Kitsune_Rei

#18

Kitsune_Rei said:

This seems like exactly the type of game I like, and the other reviews I found didn't mention bugs, so I guess I'm going to spend my $5 and roll the dice. Pure Nintendo rated it fairly high and made me even more interested. It sounds kinda like a game I have on Steam I like a good deal (I forget the name, but it was a puzzle/rpg about a girl and her spirits who fight various fairies and such. The spirits of course correspond to match gem colors.)

Stuffgamer1

#19

Stuffgamer1 said:

Got a freebie...about an hour and four missions in, no glitches yet. Pretty fun game, but I don't know if it's worth $5 or not. Really just feels odd playing a recent DSiWare release. Wish it was 3DS instead so the resolution would be right. sigh

PekoponTAS

#20

PekoponTAS said:

I spent five bucks on this and am loving it. No glitches so far. Reading this review I get the feeling that the way you were playing the game was making it glitch up. From what I gather you say it's too easy because you can randomly smash the touch screen and get matches. It could be that by doing that, you're entering too many commands into the game at once, and causing it to get confused and lock up. Similar glitches even exist in big name games such as the void glitch in Pokemon Diamond/Pearl caused by mashing the D-Pad on the bike too quickly and messing up the game. If you don't do that and simply wait for the hints to pop up, that not only fixes the difficulty, (waiting for the hints too many times is the quickest way to game over) but it may also fix your glitching issues.

Kitsune_Rei

#22

Kitsune_Rei said:

I did pick up the game and have no regrets and have faced no glitches. I loved stuff like the Puzzle Quest, so this was indeed of that genre. Its no Puzzle Quest since its more of a budget title, but for $5 I can't complain- its not as deep or shiny, but still hits that itch. As you go along, completing stages gets to have increasingly higher numbers of enemies to defeat, specific color gems to collect, or specific squares to break gems in. I really like the variety, and found I hit challenges at times but was able to get past them with a couple replays and some more focus, which puts it at just right in difficulty. (Although note the game is a LOT harder if you don't use the special skills you've unlocked through buildings. They are useful.)

My main nitpick is not being able to suspend and return later if you're in the middle of playing at all (short of just closing the lid while paused till later)- the stages are in 10 level increments and you either finish or have to start over if you want to quit out of the game. I don't find that to be a huge deal though since the stages aren't super long.

My other nitpick is I wish I could build more than 3 functional buildings, but the powers they give you are fairly good, so I would just advise reading the instructions and making sure of which ones you want before you make them as their function isn't very clear in-game. It may just be having all of them would make the game too easy so this is why you only get to build a few.

There was a complaint the puzzle area was rather small on the screen, but I found as I got further along the board kept getting bigger, until it filled up that whole area. So there's a reason for it. Ultimately there is no border space wasted.

I just wanted to put in my thoughts since I mostly disagree with the review here and think it should be rated higher- I don't want to see someone who may enjoy it pass it up. I honestly have a hard time putting it down.

Kitsune_Rei

#23

Kitsune_Rei said:

I want to update that I've put in a good amount of time in the game and I havn't encountered any glitches, so their issues should be considered abnormal.

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