You don't always get what you think you're going to from a game when going by its title. Take Happy Tree Friends, for example. We were expecting to spend that game herding around cute woodland animals and instead found ourselves bouncing them into trees laced with razor wire and chainsaws in an attempt to spill as much of their blood as possible.
But with Diamond Twister you do get exactly what you'd expect – almost boringly so. In this puzzle game you face one grid after another full of precious gems and your job is simply to swap one for another to form rows of three or more of the same gem. Get three together and they disappear. Get more than three or start off a chain reaction and you'll get a bonus item that helps clear the gems even faster.
So, it's got a bit of a dull title and, going from our description above, it doesn't sound too ground-breaking either – this is standard match-'em-up fare. But like a lot of puzzle games, Diamond Twister is both deceptively deep and very addictive.
It feels quite similar to Zoo Keeper, where you must scan grids looking for the same animals to pair up. In Diamond Twister it's a race against the clock to similarly locate gems that can be put together because you can't just move them about willy-nilly. You can only actually swap the places of two adjacent gems if they're going to form a row.
But you're not up against the clock to clear the grid because as soon as you make gems disappear, more fall down to fill their place. Instead, you're trying to make a pre-determined amount of money from cashing them in. It's a challenge that gets increasingly tough.
As putting three gems together only nets you a measly $10, completing levels calls for looking out for bigger chains and using power-ups wisely. Power-ups such as Shatter eliminate one type of gem across the board and earns you hundreds, while the Burst shatters an entire row. As you progress and the challenge increases, 'three' matches become just something to help line up bigger sequences.
As well as this very time intensive main game, there are a further eight types of play in Challenge mode. Three are unlockable from the start, while the others remain tantalisingly unplayable until you've ventured through enough of the main game. They all add a different twist to the game's concept, though. Endless Mode makes it possible to play without the clock and Reveal Letters has you trying to find numerous letters across the board. There's also Puzzle, where you must eliminate all of the gems on the board in the least number of moves.
It's really rather impressive how much the game packs in. And it's not finished: a whole other menu option enables you to view hidden stones and lucky charms you've found while playing, and there's even an Achievements section that displays awards for completing the various types of games.
So you'll need to have a lot of time on your hands to get right through Diamond Twister, although it's certainly addictive enough to ensure you'll put in the hours. On the surface – and from the title – it's not the most exciting of puzzlers and it may lack that puzzle wow factor that the best examples of the genre possess. But it is a substantial, solid game with glitzy presentation, and one that easily exceeded our expectations.