Upon starting the game, the first thing you’ll probably say or think is that it’s another one of those matching puzzle games that people (or game developers) can’t seem to get enough of. And you can’t really be faulted for thinking or saying such things, given the similar look of Treasure Hunt to other such games. But don’t be fooled; there’s more to Treasure Hunt than simply matching sets of identical pieces to erase them off the playing field.
Typical puzzle mechanics? Not quite
The gameplay of Treasure Hunt, as you might have already suspected, takes place in a familiar grid-type playing field. The grid varies from level to level to keep you from utilizing the same strategy repeatedly. Populating the grid are differently-colored jewels of equally different shapes. And in case you somehow still have some trouble identifying which is which, the jewels are also marked with small designs like a flame or a heart. The goal is simple enough: Match a set of 3 jewels of the same design/color and they’ll be erased from the grid, replaced by new ones. Each match you make gives you points, which fills up a bar at bottom of the screen. Said bar is marked with 1 to 3 stars, marking your performance. You are given a limited number of moves for each level.
However, you’ll notice that matching sets of jewels don’t equal to the same number of points. Well, that’s because the game also assigns you a specific quota in each level which you must pay attention to. The quota represents a certain number of jewels that you must clear off the grid. It can be 10 blue jewels or 5 orange jewels. So, it’s essentially the “collecting” or “treasure hunting” part of the game. Jewels that are marked as a quota yield more points, too.
Don’t be fooled by the stars system, though. Treasure Hunt does not function like other similar games where you are allowed to progress as long as you get 1 star in the level. The quota is more important in this game. If you somehow managed to reach 3 stars but did not collect the required number of a specific jewel, it’s a game over for you. So, focus on the quota first.
Help is standing by
The gameplay might seem a bit tricky due to the assigned quota, especially in higher levels, but the game helps you out by giving you access to different items, or ‘boosters’ as the game calls them. But you have to buy them, of course, using the coins you earn after each level. These boosters produce special effects like clearing out an entire column of jewels or giving you additional moves to utilize.
You’ll also notice a +1 (or +2) marker beside the jewels from time to time. Matching jewels that bear that mark accounts for more points and twice the count on the quota. So, matching a set with one jewel bearing a +1 mark equals to 4 jewels instead of 3. Utilizing this element significantly boosts your chances of reaching the quota using an efficient number of moves.
Those additional gameplay options as well as the “collecting” part allow Treasure Hunt to distinguish itself from other puzzle games that feature the same core gameplay mechanics. Although, it would have been a lot better if they didn’t include that bird in the background that keeps quaking like there’s no tomorrow… Then again, there’s the mute sound option to solve that.
Play Treasure Hunt