The Treasures of Montezuma 3
Unlike previous games in the series, the main objective is to open golden treasure chests hidden behind the five padlocked doors and extract the riches within, rather than simply to collect all the gems. Time to complete each level has been reduced to one minute versus three or four minutes.
There are eight gold chests in each vault with point values in predetermined amounts representing stages. To open the chest and extract the treasure within, reach or exceed the designated number of points for each stage and obtain its medal. When the chest opens, the player is awarded a magic star, which can be used in the shop area to enable and enhance power-ups. Beginning with the third treasure chest, an additional star can be obtained by replaying already solved chest levels and reaching the highest number of points listed.
The main play area is an 8x8 grid of squares that remains constant in size and shape. The screen includes the one-minute clock dial and numeric countdown, buttons for shuffle (twice per board only) and match hints, an area for enabled power-ups plus a special multiplier tube which records the number of gem-enhanced tokens accumulated during the stage for bonus points.
Match tree or more alike tiles by swapping the position of one horizontally or vertically (click or drag). This causes the group to explode. Points are gained by doing this as many times as possible before time runs out. Being exceptionally quick with multiple matches gains bonus points. Double points can occur during a brief "score frenzy" periods. Limitless replays are possible until the point goals are achieved.
Power-ups come in the form of colorful, statue-like totems. Each totem has powers that will effect the matching grid when the same color is matched twice in a row. There are also special tile-based modifiers, some of which occur when matching four or more tokens. These change a token on the grid adding special properties to it. For instance, when one is matched it will add valuable seconds to the clock. Others will explode chunks of tokens around them or in columns or rows. Assigning magic stars in the shop screen activates and increases each power-up. The player can remove and reassign the gold stars as desired.
Bonus mini-games appear in between the chest-opening stages. These are logic-based "remove every tile" strategy games with limited possible solutions. All of these mini-games have three levels, and solving them will result in another magic star. The player can elect to skip them, but forfeits the opportunity to earn another star. The mini-games can never be replayed with a current game.
There are two modes of difficulty, Casual and Expert, both of which are timed games against the clock. (There are no untimed modes.) The only difference is the number of points needed to get the magic stars.
There are special screens for trophies and player statistics.