Generally turn-based games do nothing for me, as I feel the alternating attacks merely serve to break the momentum of a good fight.
But it never fails to surprise me how well an equally disjointed mechanic - match-three puzzles - can work as an alternative to fisticuffs or combat.
For the uninitiated, Jewel Quest differs from most match-three games by bringing the grid on which the gems are placed into play. When a row of three gems is made, and they're eliminated from the grid, the squares behind them turn gold. The objective isn't to complete as many matches as possible, but to change the whole board gold.
This means making sure that you create alignments in some very tricky places before the timer runs down, especially when the board isn't square.Blinded by the light
So while the game doesn't falters in its gameplay, the story is wayward. It's worked supremely well in previous titles (and in other games) - adding a back story that gives each new match-three puzzle a bit of purpose, but Jewel Quest III's is just too mad to follow.
Your main character's daughter has contracted some bizarre form of blindness after opening your jewel chest and being infected by an unknown spore. Your task is to travel the world looking for a cure by matching rows and columns of three gems. Oh, and there's also a nonsensical conspiracy attached to this whole blindness thing.
While it doesn't really affect the match-three gameplay, this impossible-to-follow, crackpot story makes the text between rounds nothing more than a nuisance, and feels like a wasted opportunity.World of fun
Still, the main thing is that travelling from city to city, each new stop offers up a slightly different board for you to turn gold. And despite the dreadful nonsense of Jewel Quest III's story, the gameplay remains as addictive as ever.
EA Mobile has even seen fit to include an interesting new combo system that rewards swift consecutive matches, as well as an assortment of mentally taxing puzzle rounds.
Chances are you already own a Jewel Quest game, but if you're looking for a fresh version, this game will give you exactly what you want. Just don't buy it on the strength of its quest.