The board changes with each round, often with uneven rows. There are also several rounds early in the game with “buried” pieces that you must uncover by lining up the correct match twice. The first time can be blind luck, and will uncover enough of the piece to allow you to see what it is. The second time frees the piece for play. I appreciate the challenge of these pieces, but was daunted by their appearance so early in the game.
You are also on the look out for gold coins to line up. The coins will grant you a “special” move – the removal of a piece, but be warned, once they drop to the bottom row, they fall off the board. I found myself happy when I was able to line them up, but had to spend my time concentrating on clearing the board during the time limit.
I wanted to take a break from the quest mode and took a go at tournament mode. In tournament mode, the game automatically chooses an opponent for you. After you clear the board, you enter “bonus mode” where you match up as many silver coins as possible during the remaining time. Those coins are then added to your total score. After the round, you get to see how your score lines up with the global average and your current rank.
Jewel Quest 2 is a must have for anyone who already has the original title and would like a change of scenery and for fans of puzzle games. Anyone new to the genre might want to take a closer look at the original title to get their feet wet before getting this slightly more advanced version.
Harmakhet says I am not a "twitch" gamer. I am a casual gamer for both on and offline games. I am not very good at console games, so I tend to play the "kiddie" games there. I prefer games that have a good story that I can get caught up in.
I had an Atari 2600 growing up and begged Dad for a Nintendo which he refused to buy. He recently told me that he bought the Atari thinking video games were a passing phase. I never touched another console until I met Harmakhet. I played a few games on my Commodore 64, nothing worth remembering, and then Crystal Quest on my Mac. I used to watch a friend play Marathon on the Mac and it was then that I discovered my true calling. I am a navigator! I couldn't manage the controls myself, but I could direct players back to the health, ammo, etc. So I started doing that with Harmakhet. I'd also tell him if a game was bad. If I couldn't stand watching him play it, it must be a dud. He'd usually agree within a few weeks.
I've played some of the original Sims games and a few Nancy Drew before I got into MMOs. I can't remember who told me about Disney's Toontown Online, but I played it for several years. I even became a moderator at a fan site for the game. I'm looking forward to the munchkin being old enough to play TT.