What is it about ancient Egypt that makes it a perfect setting for puzzle games? Is it the mysterious rituals, the iconographic hieroglyphs, or the backbreaking, pyramid-building toil it represents? Whatever the case, Jewellust lets you explore tombs and plunder riches between rounds of match-three puzzles. You won’t want to carry this game with you into the afterlife, but it’s good for a few passing hours.
If you’ve played Bejeweled, you already know the basic premise of Jewellust. You are given a board filled with colorful gems, and by swapping two adjacent gems, you create rows or columns of three matching colors. But there is an added twist: Pieces of a mosaic are also scattered among the gems, and you have to make these pieces fall all the way to the bottom of the board so they can be collected and you can pass the level.
Because most of these match-three games are about earning a high score, this strategic element may throw you for a loop at first. Early on, it’s a real challenge, and some luck is required to obtain all the mosaic pieces. But as you progress, you’ll gain access to a number of power-ups that serve to make the game much easier. Toward the end of the game, if you’re stuck with a mosaic piece, you can single out a gem to destroy with a hammer, freeze the board and rearrange the pieces, or obliterate the entire thing with a fireball. The difficulty curve drops straight down at a certain point. This is especially noticeable in the endless Survival mode, which is more a test of your patience than your skill.
Jewellust is bright, colorful, and chimes like a slot machine as you play. The Egyptian setting provides a suitable backdrop, and just when you think you’ve collected the ultimate treasure, you’re tasked with another handful of story missions. But after completing the entire game, which may take about three hours, there’s not much left to see or do. Even the bonus minigames, which task with doing such things as pressing stones in the correct order to earn a jewel the size of your fist, are unimpressive throwaways that lack depth.
Jewellust offers one good twist on the match-three formula: the mosaic pieces you have to drop off the board. Otherwise, it’s just more Bejeweled, and if this safe and familiar formula of puzzle gameplay is all you’re looking for, that isn’t a bad thing.
This review was provided by GameSpot mobile content partner SlideToPlay.com.