Jewel Master: Cradle of Egypt 2

If you're a regular reader of this site then you'll know the deal with the Jewel Master series: Rising Star Games puts out a load every year, with each entry being pretty much the same as the last.

This sequel to the ancient Egypt-themed original holds no surprises, but it's still a strong match-three puzzler with plenty of content to explore. And that, we suspect, is exactly what its audience is looking for.

Bit of a Giza

For anyone who hasn't played a match-three game before, here's the quick breakdown: you're presented with a grid of jewels in various colours, and it's your job to line up three or more of them (vertically or horizontally) to remove them from play.

In Cradle of Egypt 2 the board is displayed on the bottom screen and you use the stylus to swap jewels into the correct positions. Once aligned they vanish, and more jewels fall from the top of the screen to replace them.

The top screen is used for keeping track of the resources you gather from matching jewels, and little else. However, it's these resources you'll be most concerned with, as you'll need to collect a lot of them to buy structures in the township you're gradually building.

Each stage of the game is called an Epoch, and to progress to the next one you'll need four different buildings. Since they require a large number of resources, you play the main game over and over again, grinding out food, construction materials, and money until you can pay for them.

Walk like an Egyptian... again

Of course, you'll only receive these resources if you clear the board you're given. To do so, you need to destroy all of the coloured tiles that litter the play space. This is accomplished by successfully matching three jewels, and having one of them occupying the coloured tile.

Chains will also impede progress, locking up the jewels they cover until you remove similar tiles above them. Thankfully, if you're finding that removing the last few chains or squares is too tricky, you can use a bomb, pickaxe, or other bonus item to instantly remove a selection of jewels.

There are plenty of different board shapes to keep things interesting, but the experience can get soul-crushing if played in long sessions, as it's the same game over and over. The visual finesse is nothing to get excited about, but the controls are sturdy and the music is inoffensive.

So there you have it: another Jewel Master review that reads roughly the same as every other Jewel Master review. Nothing's gotten any better, but nothing's gotten any worse, either. If you're a fan of match-three titles (or the puzzle genre in general) you'll probably enjoy this as much as any of them.

Jewel Master: Cradle of Egypt 2

If you liked the last Jewel Master game and want more, then you'll find Cradle of Egypt 2 a solid purchase
Peter Willington
Peter Willington
Die hard Suda 51 fan and professed Cherry Coke addict, freelancer Peter Willington was initially set for a career in showbiz, training for half a decade to walk the boards. Realising that there's no money in acting, he decided instead to make his fortune in writing about video games. Peter never learns from his mistakes.