Gems or Jewels? is an Android game that channels the classic gameplay of match-3 games from the past, with a little more strategy and variety. The game asks players to think about which set of gems or jewels that they're matching, and tasks them with meeting certain objectives depending on the level. Players are only given a certain amount of moves to do all of this in, and even the early levels can be a challenge for seasoned puzzle or match-3 players out there. A fun and addictive game that doesn't ask too much of its players, but offers them a quality experience overall, Gems or Jewels? is a game that will appeal to classic gamer as well as casual gamers looking for something a little more challenging as well as refreshing.
Those that are looking to give this game a go can do so by downloading Gems or Jewels? from the Play Store. It's a free game, but there are ads on display in order to keep the game free, which might be off-putting for some, but developers need to make some money somehow. Once downloaded, users are treated to a good-looking main menu.
This main menu screen even has the option of allowing users to choose from different wallpapers if they want to, something I certainly didn't expect in a game like this.
There are different seasons, each with a number of different levels in them, and users need to start at the bottom, and unlock further levels over time as they complete more and more of the levels. Playing through Gems or Jewels? is done sequentially, which means players need to move from one level on to the next in order to complete the game.
For new players, the introduction at the beginning of each level, and therefore at the beginning of the game, will be a welcome addition. The initial gameplay offering here seems to be pretty slim, but over time things do become more difficult and start to offer more of a challenge.
For starters, users need to match gems and jewels that are on top of pieces of wood, which is something that will appeal to players that have played through out of these games, but have been looking for something with a little more challenge and strategy to it. In the further levels, there are introductions such as ants that will offer even more of a challenge, as these will create more pieces of wood until you get rid of them.
Should you manage to complete a level, you'll be given a three-star rating, and it seems as though higher scores as well as more or less pieces of gold are awarded for how few moves you use and so on.
Gems or Jewels? keeps its players on its toes thanks to a combination of evolving mechanics as well as constraints. For instance, here we're at a part of the game where stones have been introduced, and I need to clear these stones in order to complete the level. This sounds easy, but with a finite number of moves available to me, I don't have much in the way of wriggle room, and need to think about my every move.
If you do find these later levels a challenge, there are options available to you, such as boosters. These are on offer whenever you can't complete a level, and can be used whenever you want in order to make a level easier, or to spice things up a little bit.
Players can choose these boosters from the bottom of their screen, and there's a lot on offer for those looking to experiment with different game modes out there. Over time, these will become very useful indeed, as the game starts to throw even more difficult arrangements and challenges at players.
After playing Gems or Jewels? I have to say that this is a decent match-3 game. It's got quite a bit more strategy to it than your everyday match-3 game and while the quality of the graphics isn't quite up to the standard of other games, it's pretty high regardless. Having just a finite number of moves to use each level, as well needing to remove gems and jewels in specific spots adds up to deliver pretty varied gameplay, and it should offer a lot of players the challenge that other games in this genre just don't. I especially liked having to think about my next move, as this was something that I didn't find in other games like this available on Android, and it's always nice to see something different, while also being familiar for a lot of players. The challenge is pretty steep here as well, and I have to say that I didn't think a game like Gems or Jewels? was going to be this difficult, but it was a refreshing challenge, and one that I will recommend to others for sure.
- Speed (4/5) – Everything here runs well, and doesn't slow down at all, making this a game you can play no matter how much time you have to spare.
- Theme (4/5) – The overall look and feel here is pretty good, and while it might be winning any awards for its overall appearance, it is a good-looking game, for the most part.
- Features (4/5) – Gameplay here will be familiar to those that have spent a long time playing these sorts of games, but it adds in a number of different strategic elements, while also being a tough challenge as well.
- Overall (4/5) – A quality game for those that are looking for a match-3 game with a little something extra, Gems or Jewels? will give players a refreshing gameplay experience, while also offering them a decent challenge, too.
- Great game for those that are looking for something a little more than your average match-3 game has on offer, while also being familiar.
- Strategy manifests itself in Gems or Jewels? in a number of different ways, and it's something that will keep players on their toes, while also making them think a little harder, too.
- With a simple control scheme to play with, Gems or Jewels? is easy enough to play for anyone of any age.
- Looks good, with some high quality artwork used for the gems and jewels as well as some nice sound effects.
- Could be considered a little too difficult for some players out there.
- Might be the classical match-3 gameplay style some will be looking for, but it does have more to offer than older games.
While this is a game that might only appeal to puzzle fans and/or those that have become familiar with match-3 games, it does have a lot on offer, and it might be the breath of fresh air that some players of this genre have been not-so-patiently waiting for. A good-looking game with a lot to offer, Gems or Jewels? is something very much worth looking into, and it doesn't hurt that it's a decent-looking game, either.