Jewel Quest Deluxe
Reviewed by Minna Kim Mazza
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2009-07-20 iPhone Puzzle E (Everyone) I-Play

Yet another version of Jewel Quest comes to the iPhone. Unlike Jewel Quest 2, which you shouldn't bother downloading if you're looking for a Jewel Quest game, this newer version of this puzzle franchise has better graphics and several board designs.

Jewel Quest Deluxe is, for the most part, your typical "match three" puzzle game. Basic mechanics allow you to match three or more gems vertically or horizontally to remove them from the board, working towards your goal to complete the level. If you match four or more gems, extra gems of the same color will also be removed from the board as a little bonus.

The storyline in this version of Jewel Quest takes you on a little adventure where you meet characters along the way - these characters translate into "bosses" that are your opponents trying to maintain control of the board by matching gems. You could just as easily ignore the storyline and play the game, though, but I suppose it adds a little flair, and the illustrations are pretty well done.

There are three types of levels: match a certain number of gems of a particular color; change the color of all the tiles on a board by matching gems; play against the opponent and have more control over the board after a certain number of rounds. Every board has a timer that ticks down, which I felt had plenty of time to complete the level.

There are also some special abilities you can use to help complete the level. You can use these abilities if you collect the gold lion coins. As the game progresses you will learn how to "shatter" a gem (remove it from the board completely), "unearth" a gem which is stuck in an unmovable block, switch the position of two gems, or destroy all gems of one color - particularly helpful in clearing levels that have you matching gems of one color.

I finished the full storyline pretty quickly, which was a bit disappointing, as I wished there would be more levels. But at least you can go back and play any level with the "Quick Play" mode.

I had some issue with loading being slow sometimes, and the loading graphic being pretty lame. Other than that, the gameplay goes smoothly enough and the sounds aren't too annoying (though the music gets repetitive after a while). It works well with the iPhone, using your finger to hold and drag gems.

An interesting feature is the ability to upload your high score to Facebook. The iPhone apps are the big thing now, as well as social networking, so it's a neat marketing trick to get new buyers!

I love all the "match three" games in general, particularly in portable form, and Jewel Quest Deluxe works very well in that model.

Special thanks to Marion Wallace and I-Play for providing a copy of this game.