Arm yourself with the most colorful jewels and prepare to fight off a bucket-full of boredom that’s threatening your eyelids into submission. Jewelish is a simple yet addicting puzzle game that is best deployed when your boredom is screaming out for you to do something, anything.
Jewelish allows you to immediately jump into the game. Unless you count the extremely short tutorial from the main menu, the game does not have an inkling of story to offer. So, you won’t be getting any kind of introduction as to why you’re supposed to solve the game’s puzzles. Maybe the developers (correctly) assumed that your boredom is enough of a reason. Most puzzle games are usually built in that formula, so it’s not exactly a turn-off.
A Familiar, Fast-paced Gameplay
The gameplay is simple enough to understand, even without the aid of the tutorial. It’s just a familiar case of lining up a set of matching jewels to get rid of them. A couple of runs into the game and you’ll probably get the gist of what it’s about. The interface is very responsive and you can actually move around jewels even when the grid is still shifting. The ultimate goal is to rack up as many points by matching as many jewels as possible within a 2-minute frame. Yes, just a full 2 minutes with no way of adding more time. As soon as the time’s up, the game is over. No level 2, no difficulty spike, no bonus levels – it’s just you and the Game Over screen.
To add more juice to the game’s very simple gameplay, there are three special jewels that can be produced by matching jewels in a certain way. For example, lining up 4 jewels in a straight line will produce a so-called ‘flame gem’, which can destroy all jewels in its 3x3 area. But you don’t have to necessarily pay attention to every special jewel that pops up, though. Their effect will automatically trigger when the time runs out. Sort of like going out with a bang. The addition of these special jewels, coupled with the time limit, requires you to strategize your moves in order to maximize points.
Simple Visuals and Distinctive Sound Effects
The visuals of the game are minimalistic. Jewels are arranged in an 8x8 grid with enough space between in each other that makes the overall appearance uncluttered. The score tally and the timer are neatly placed at the top, displayed in simple text. Each jewel is distinguishable enough that you certainly won’t have trouble identifying which is which, even if you’re colorblind.
Except for the short tune at the beginning, the game does not have background music. But it makes up for it with distinctive sound effects. Your every move in the grid will have an accompanying sound, from moving the jewels to clearing out jewels to activating the special jewels. There is also a female voice-over who will compliment you whenever you make a string of combos. It’s not much, but it’s a good morale boost.
Overall, Jewelish is a nice game to accompany you whenever you’re traveling somewhere or simply waiting for the time to pass. It’s not exactly the stuff of nightmares when it comes to the difficulty, but the very limited timeframe for you to rack up scores will definitely keep you on edge. Just be sure to have a pen and paper on hand to keep track of your scores.