Jewel Link: Legends of Atlantis

I'm going to level with you right now: match-three puzzlers are my kryptonite. They may be basic, largely unrewarding, and highly repetitive, but nothing manages to suck you in quite like some good old-fashioned tile-swapping.

The trouble arises when you realise that there are an awful lot of these games on the DS. Walk into any high-street game store and you'll be surprised at how many identical puzzlers you'll find in the DS section.

The latest addition to the swollen genre belongs to the Jewel Link series of games, and with Jewel Link: Legends of Atlantis we crash beneath the waves to switch some shapes.

Brick by fishy brick

The existence of Atlantis has been debated for hundreds of years. Plato's original stories evolved into semi-truths, after which the modern world began to envision it as an almost futuristic ancient Utopia beneath the sea.

Legends of Atlantis sticks to the well-worn mythology, even adhering to the ideas of mermen and mermaids populating the ruined city.

Through the power of matching identical tiles together, you're tasked with reconstructing the 11 buildings that make up the ruined City of Atlantis. It’s never explained how buildings are erected through moving tiles around, but when there's an Acropolis, Library, Temple, and even a Biosphere to get building there isn't really much time to ponder.

It's clear that while Legend of Atlantis pokes fun at its fantastical subject matter its only purpose is to serve as a backdrop to some rather mediocre gameplay and level structure.

Sunken Treasure

Legends of Atlantis does manage to break from the general tradition of match-three games in some respects. You'll be tasked with clearing the various puzzle boards of blue tiles while also accumulating a set number of three predetermined tile types. You'll go about doing this by - yes, you guessed it - matching three or more tiles.

It also introduces other puzzle elements, such as immoveable blocks, spears (read: 'arrows that clear a path when activated'), and chained-down tiles. However, along with some sub-par special abilities - the most useful of which is adding more time to the clock - these puzzle elements add very little to the gameplay and grow tiresome after the first building.

If you're looking for something to keep you occupied for more than half an hour then Jewel Link: Legends of Atlantis probably isn't going to serve you well. It's worth a look if you've already bled the genre dry, or if you fancy some extremely loose narrative drive behind your puzzle-solving actions.

But, in a world where PopCap Games has perfected the genre with Bejeweled, it's hard to imagine why you'd want to pick Legends of Atlantis up.

Jewel Link: Legends of Atlantis

This is by no means a bad game - it's just an entirely average title in a genre that's crowded with entirely average games. Worth a look if you absolutely can't get enough tile-matching action
Vaughn Highfield
Vaughn Highfield
Quite possibly the tallest man in games, Vaughn has been enamoured with video games from a young age. However, it wasn't until he spent some time writing for the student newspaper that he realised he had a knack for talking people's ears off about his favourite pastime. Since then, he's been forging a path to the career he loves... even if it doesn't love him back.