The second game in the original Jewel Quest trilogy, this adventure sees Rupert, Emma, Hanni and the villainous Sebastion on a journey through Africa in an attempt to find and recover the magical Jewel Board. The storyline is given greater focus than it was in the first game
, as each chapter now opens with an introduction page, and the end of level screen always has a paragraph or two continuing the story.
One of the first things you'll notice playing this game is that the engine
has been drastically improved. The pieces move much more fluidly and quickly than they did in the first game, which makes for a much better experience. By comparison, the first game's gameplay was sluggish and dull. Another new feature is the addition of special coins. When you line three of these up, you'll earn a "special", which is a type of powerup
you can use at any time to clear a single gem from the board. Since you keep your "specials" between levels, you can easily stock up on them during easier levels and then use them to get yourself out of trouble later on.
Finally, once you've completed the story mode, you can try your hand at some fiendishly hard puzzles in a hidden challenge mode. Clearing these puzzles is very difficult, and only the most determined adventurers will be able to do it.
This title was a huge step up for the series, and definitely a game any Match 3
fan will love.
Improvements on the original formula
Super hard bonus levels
With the new engine
, this game adds some new flavor to the general concept. The new special coins and their related ability gives players a useful way out of trouble or, in other cases, a new tool to help them finish a level quickly. Some pieces fall out of the grid when they reach the bottom, and once you're familiar with them, you can take advantage of this to position other gems in those hard to reach areas.
If you manage to complete the entire story, you'll be presented with some extremely challenging levels. Part of the challenge is that there are more types of gems per board than usual, making it easy to run out of usable moves. Your specials are also reset to one at the beginning of each bonus level, so you can't depend on them anymore.
There is a multiplayer feature, but considering the age of this title, it's likely that few people are playing online today. It's more of a novelty than anything now.
This is both a Pro and a Con for the game, as it's fairly subjective. To read the entire story, you must play through the game six times. Some of the rules changes each time you play through the game, making each attempt harder than before. However, none of the backgrounds or artifacts you restore are changed on these extra rounds, giving the impression that you're just grinding
A story of love and betrayal
As per usual with this series, the simple match 3 puzzle game it revolves around is woven into a "serious" tale, and thus all of the offensive content that you'll encounter is found in the game's story sections. Some of the more dramatic examples include native African magic and Sabastian's terrible mannerisms. Naturally, he attempts to murder the heroes at one point, only to be defeated when they trick him into eating something he's very allergic to. Personally, I'm more bothered by that last detail, as it means that the heroes sacrificed the moral high ground to win back the Jewel Board.