By: Matthew Striplen
Unless you’ve managed to keep yourself completely isolated from the mobile game market for the past decade, chances are good that you’ve heard of Bejeweled or Candy Crush Saga. Jewel Quest for Wii U takes a very similar approach to those two gaming behemoths, but it ends up falling short of both.
Like its predecessors, Jewel Quest is a tile-matching game using brightly colored gems. Swipe a gem in one of the four cardinal directions to swap it with its neighbor, but only if doing so creates a line of three or more matching gems. Once matched, the gems disappear allowing the ones above to fall, making way for new colors and combinations.
Unlike Bejeweled, after a matched set has been cleared, the spaces that were previously occupied by the gems turn gold. The only way to clear a level is to turn every single tile gold before time runs out. After clearing a level, the game will grade your performance on a three-star scale.
Another unique feature is the tokens. Occasionally, tokens will appear instead of jewels. If you match these together, the player receives the power to destroy any gem and turn its tile gold. This feature could be used to much greater effect, but the tokens are so seldom deployed that players can scarcely take advantage of them.
Jewel Quest‘s graphics and sound are very basic. The jewels are still images instead of animated ones, and the sound effects have a distinctly tinny quality. The music fares a little better, but there are very few tracks for the entire game. More variety would definitely be appreciated.
Unfortunately, Jewel Quest lacks much of the charm and variety that made its predecessors so popular. There are no animations or rewards for getting big combos and no other game modes. Although the particular style of play is unique to this title, it’s difficult to pick this game against others that offer much more. That being said, at least Jewel Quest offers over 70 unique stages, most of which are quite difficult, so the game is sure to keep you busy.
Jewel Quest is a fairly generic matching game. Although it lacks many features possessed by its competition, this game still delivers a solid, if basic product. While it’s hard to recommend this title over others due to a lack of content variety, if you’re a fan of the genre Jewel Quest has plenty of gameplay to offer.