Your card deck uses the different gems for the card suits. The object is to clear the cards by placing a card that is either higher or lower onto the discard pile. Jewels are dropped on the gem board based on how you play your cards. (Pun intended.) Earn jewels by having long sequential runs or when you match suits.
As in the other Jewel Quest games, you want to turn all the spaces on the gem board gold. Here, you can earn gold spaces before even playing the gem board. This is also done when you line up 3 or more matching gems. However, this is almost by chance since you do not have the opportunity to swap gems yet. You must earn swaps by matching suits on the cards. The round ends when either the board is gold or if you have run out of swaps.
Later levels have wild cards which range from being a simple wild card, to also adding more gems on the gem board. One of the coolest parts of the full quest mode is that your gem board layout is similar to the card layout for that level. It makes for some interesting game play. Another nice feature is that the swaps are not restricted to matching gems. This, for some of those interesting board layouts, is quite handy, as you may use 2 or 3 swaps to get a gem into position.
Sounds simple, right? Yes, and no. The concept was easy enough to catch on to but it lacked in execution. I found myself having to reshuffle the deck and start over many times, even at the lower levels. Luckily for me, it was less often that I was unable to complete the gem board. I was thankful that the game let me continue forward. If I had to redo some of the cards that had me so challenged, I think I would have given up. Overall, I quite enjoyed the game but would only recommend it to someone who enjoyed both gem matching and solitaire.
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.