Jewel Quest

Moby ID: 16247
Windows Specs
Buy on Windows
$19.99 new on Steam
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Description official descriptions

In the past, an archaeologist was on a treasure hunt for the fabled Tonatiuh, The Temple of the Fifth Sun. To reach the location, he had to conquer portals by realigning relics according to an ancient description. He wrote his progress into his Jewel Quest journal.

Today, while arranging manuscripts for the university, he stumbled across his old journal and now he wants to try it again. The player takes the persona of the unnamed archaeologist writing more notes into his journal as he goes.

Each level represents one dot on the treasure map, leading from the airplane take down point to the location of the temple. There are five advancement categories for progression beginning with Explorer and ending in Researcher. All levels within all categories must be completed to reach the treasure. However, if a level is too difficult, the opportunity to skip it presents itself at a cost of one life (out of five). It is possible to attain up to ten total lives during the game.

The objective in a level is to do exactly what the ancient script states, "Align the relics you can see, across or down in groups of three. Turn all squares to solid gold, the path to riches will soon unfold.".

So, for example, at the start of level 1-1 (first level in the first group), a 7x7 grid appears, each block filled with one of four different items (relics). Exchange adjacent items so that a line of three or up to five items will be created (more than five is possible, but this can't be done manually). Those items will vanish and the ground will change from beige to gold, the spaces will fill with the items from above, and new items fall in from the top of the playfield. Once all blocks are gold, the level is completed. When the time runs out, one life is lost.

While the level progresses, there are bigger playfields or more complex ones. Complex means that they are not always in square or rectangle form, but, for example, they can also have a zigzag side, where either horizontal or vertical alignments aren't possible. More relics are added in the playfield, and also the time becomes shorter.

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Credits (Windows version)

8 People

Executive Producer
Game Designer
Game Engineer
System Engineer
Art
Music
Sound Direction
Art Direction
Sound Effects
Story
Quality Assurance
Producer

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 67% (based on 12 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.0 out of 5 (based on 13 ratings with 2 reviews)

Initially addictive, but too repetitive to keep me interested

The Good
Jewel Quest is tile-matching game somewhat similar to Bejeweled. Swap a pair of items (called relics) on a board to make matches of 3 identical items. You can only swap relics if this swap results in a match. A match makes the group disappear and turns the tiles behind the relics to gold. Unlike Bejeweled, the goal in Jewel Quest is not to score a certain amount of points, but to turn all the tiles of the board to gold. When you've managed to do this you've completed a level.

  • The gameplay is simple and Jewel Quest is really easy to get into. Almost everybody will understand the game mechanics after a few minutes and probably spend the next hours clicking & swapping relics. Jewel Quest is the first tile-matching game of its kind I played and initially I found it really fun and addictive. The learning curve of this game is just right. On the first levels you can almost just click away mindlessly and eventually you'll turn the entire board to gold. However once the boards get odd shapes and locked relics are introduced, completing a level can take quite some planning. For instance you may need to make a series of matches in a particular order to get a certain type of relic on a specific location. If you continue to play Jewel Quest, you'll eventually come across levels with tiles that have to be turned to silver before they can be turned to gold, cursed relics that remove the golden layer on a tile if they're not matched in a combo, levels with six types of relics instead of four and shorter time limits. By then Jewel Quest has become rather difficult and even a bit frustrating.
  • Jewel Quest has an overly familiar but nice Indiana Jones-like atmosphere. There's a storyline (told via journal entries and pencil drawings) about an adventurous archaeologist who tries to uncover the secrets of a Maya-like civilization. It's not original or complex but does give the player some sense of purpose. The music and the fonts used are reminiscent of the Spielberg movies as well. I liked both the music & the sound-effects as they contribute to the adventurous atmosphere. Each of the five stages (library, jungle, mountain top, panther cave, lava cave) has its own soundtrack, but unfortunately all the five songs last only a minute so after a while you may be tempted to turn the music off despite its quality. Each stage also has its own, partly animated, background image which changes a bit with every level you complete. For instance a statue will slowly turn to gold or secret passage appears. This and the steps on the treasure map give the player a sense of progress. The rest of the graphics are neither very good nor very bad.
  • Jewel Quest is a user-friendly game. Your game is saved after every level, you have the option of skipping a level after several unsuccessful attempts (at the expense of a life) and you have an infinite number of continues. So you can always restart the level and hope for a slightly easier layout since the different types of items are randomly assigned to the available tiles and sometimes you get lucky and can make an easy match on a difficult spot. The controls are really simple. Although there's a time limit for every level they're not very strict (at least not up to the point where I stopped playing), so you don't feel rushed. However a couple of times I felt I was close to completing a level, if only I've had an extra minute...
  • Currently (November 2008) you can play the game for free when you download it from iWin's own website. Jewel Quest is also available on some other sites with casual games but they still charge you twenty dollars which is a bit weird.


The Bad
  • Jewel Quest must be one of the most repetitive games I've ever played. It has 180 levels divided over five difficulty levels. You can only start the game at the easiest (called explorer) level. You play through 36 levels divided over 5 stages. After a bunch of levels, locked relics (need to be unlocked by including them in a match) are introduced and the shapes of the boards become more complex but the things you do don't really change. You're basically solving minor variations of the same puzzle. I continued to play because I wanted to see what the next stage would look like and because of the story. However after you've completed level 36 (5.10) the dean of your university promotes you to "adventurer" and you're sent back to level 1.1 and start playing on the second difficulty level. The cursed relics are introduced at this difficulty level but otherwise there's nothing new. The boards you play on, the backgrounds, the treasure map and pencil drawings (including the dates for the journal entries) are all exactly the same. This recycling of levels & artwork is done three more times. For me this eventually took away the incentive to keep on playing. With 180 levels Jewel Quest can keep you occupied for a long time but only if you're able to stomach playing the same thing over and over again.
  • Sometimes you're working on matching up a relic that lies on a tough spot near the bottom of the board. You remove some relics and other relics are dropped in from the top of the board. Then it can happen that these new relics start a combo / chain reaction and unexpectedly take out a relic you needed for making the difficult match near the bottom, which is annoying.
  • Compared to some other games in the genre Jewel Quest's gameplay is a bit basic. The story mode is the only mode of play (you can replay levels in the replay mode but this doesn't really add anything) and there are no power-ups to spice things up. More recent entries in the genre (most notably Puzzle Quest) have a lot more to offer than this game.


The Bottom Line
Jewel Quest is a basic tile-matching game with an Indiana Jones theme. Like Steve Hall says, initially it is a fun and addictive game but that wears off quickly due to its extremely repetitive nature.

Windows · by Roedie (5239) · 2008

Fun and addictive, but that wears off after a while.

The Good
Well, it's real simple. Real easy to play - nothing challenging here. Click to swap two jewels to match 3 or more in a line - same as any other 'match-3' game, actually.

There is a cute little storyline to help explain what you're doing and why you're doing it, which is nice and does help to keep you involved.

The Bad
It does get dull pretty quickly and the levels can get frustrating after a while. There's only so many times you can line up 3 jewels in a row before the brain starts to melt.

The Bottom Line
Not a bad way to waste time if that's what you like. Sometimes after a hard day's work it's nice to come home, crank up the stereo and mindlessly click the mouse for a few hours without worrying about running out of ammo or tire temperatures or whatever else bothers you during an evening's game play.

Worth playing if you like that sort of thing, but not worth the $20 asking price.

Windows · by Steve Hall (329) · 2008

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Jewel Quest III
Released 2008 on Windows, 2009 on Macintosh
Jewel Quest Mysteries
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Jewel Quest Deluxe
Released 2009 on J2ME, iPhone
Jewel Quest Solitaire
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Jewel Quest Trilogy
Released 2011 on Wii
Super Jewel Quest
Released 2008 on J2ME
Jewel Quest Bundle
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Jewel Quest II
Released 2007 on Windows, Macintosh, 2008 on iPhone
Jewel Quest Expeditions
Released 2007 on Nintendo DS

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Xoleras.

J2ME added by Kabushi. Xbox 360 added by Ben K. Macintosh added by Jeanne.

Additional contributors: LepricahnsGold, Starbuck the Third.

Game added January 20, 2005. Last modified February 4, 2024.