Jul 17, 2014
Dungeon Gems is an arcade game where the player needs to clear out a bunch of dungeons with the help of some gems. Pretty self-explanatory, I think. Dungeon Gems has a very simple gameplay, but at the same time â€“ a bit too many mechanics. The player has a roster of hero cards that he can improve, equip in his active squad, and manage in other ways. These heroes have different abilities and are all divided into five elements, dealing additional or reduced damage to other elements. They interact in the rock-paper-scissors fashion: water “beats” fire, fire beats wood and wood beats water. Light and Darkness are apart and counter each other. The dungeons’ denizens also belong to these elements, so half of the battle is won by choosing correct heroes for the dungeon.
The battles themselves depend on the player’s luck as much as on his cunning. There is an area, filled with the titular gems. The player needs to connect the gems of similar color â€“ or, if he has some bonus points, of different colors â€“ and bash the enemies with his heroes. The battles are strictly turn-based, so there’s no hurry to choose the gems or heroes’ special abilities. There are three battles in each dungeon, the last one being the boss. After beating the dungeon, the player gets gold to upgrade his heroes, and several hero cards added to his roster.
Generally, Dungeon Gems is fine, although I don’t understand the need for the free-to-play arcades such as this to be so complex. I mean, most of the mechanics in Dungeon Gems aren’t directly related to the process of completing the game, and just add a layer of managing on top, mostly just confusing the starting players. Which wouldn’t be bad, if the core game would consist of more than just swiping the finger across some gems and activate abilities every once in a while. I mean, it’s still enough to fill a game, but I’d rather have the developers make a more nuanced core game, rather than adding a bunch of hero properties and trade mechanics you probably won’t even remember. Anyway, Dungeon Gems turned out alright, free-to-play irritations notwithstanding, even if it gets kinda lost in other card-based arcades, filling the Play Store these days.