Jewel Towers Deluxe Review

Jewel Towers Deluxe Review

Mar 14, 2012

I think whether or not a game needs a plot is best determined on a case by case basis. Bejeweled has no story but is still wildly popular. But sometimes, a story or theme can help to revitalize a tried and true idea. In the case of Jewel Towers Deluxe it is my guess that this is the reason behind taking the classic jewel-matching game and giving it an Indiana Jones-esque story. But guess what, it works.

Jewel Towers Deluxe is the story of a grizzled adventurer on a quest to steal stones from an ancient, vaguely Aztec culture. There is a spirit guarding the stones, trying to prevent him from collecting them all. Each level assigns a number of each type of stone to be collected, and jewels must be collect in groups of three or more. Furthermore there is a limit to the number of moves that can be made during each level. Exceeding that limit means game over.

The game is interesting in that rather than swapping two adjacent stones, users rotate groups of three highlighted stones. This allows stone to be adjusted multiple times across the board, sometimes even moved from one end to the other to achieve a match. There obstacles in the form of rocks that can’t be matched, or jewels trapped in settings. At each level the game board changes shape for variety and greater challenge. Earning points also lets users buy power-ups in the form of spells. Spells are associated with specific jewels and can be activated when they specific jewel is captured on the board.

The adventurer theme is kind of cool because it adds a mild sense of drama that Bejeweled lacked. The Aztec mummy both taunts and guides users, and the colour scheme of the game gives it a strangely successful crypt-feel. I like the idea of rotating three stones at once, as it reminds me of one of my favourite games, Hexic. I find myself returning to this game fairly frequently.

Unfortunately it has horrendous control issues. The mechanics of moving the jewels requires that the highlighted bracket be moved users tapping it across the field. I should be able to tap anywhere on the board to highlight a bracket, instead of this time consuming process. Even more frustrating, the responsiveness of the game board is not great either and it can take multiple taps to move the bracket even one space. This is especially bad at the edges of the game board where it doesn’t seem to register input at all.

It needs a lot of work, and I urge the developers to put out some improvements soon. The game is fun, but frustration should come from a challenging game, not one that is physically difficult to use.

Jewel Towers Deluxe Review Rundown

8
Graphics/Sounds - The graphics are rendered a little strangely, with an unusual colour palette, but they're still clear, as are the SFX.
5
Controls - The controls are absolutely maddening and I cannot think of a good reason for them to be designed this way.
7
Gameplay - It's a fun game, but its rating takes a huge hit simply because of the controls again. It's very difficult to get into a rhythm when I can't even move around the board.
7
Replay Value - Despite my frustrations with the controls I've found myself returning to it every now and then.
7
Overall - I want so much for the developers to change the navigation controls, and then I can feel safe in recommending the app freely.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Angelina Purpura
Angelina is an avid tech fan, amateur photographer, visual artist, foodie, and movie aficionado. She also like cats, rainbows and zombies (but not zombie cats, that would be sad). Tweet her feedback at @Anzi.
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  • A fun and exciting game for kids and young’s at heart. ♥