A match-3 game! Will innovation never cease. This is one of that particularly touchscreen-friendly variety where the aim is simply to spot three objects of the same shape and colour anywhere on the playing field as swiftly as possible. On clearance, new jewels will gradually take their place, before inexorably continuing to fill out your boundaries, eventually filling the screen and ending your game.
And that is, pretty much, it. Bonus points are awarded for combos – finding multiple sets of the same number of shapes (e.g. 3 red triangles and 3 blue triangles), as you might expect. There are several modes available, as you might also expect, though none drastically alter the formula. Crush is the standard mode, where you have to reach a set number of gems collected before your screen films – success bringing on the next level at a higher speed. Arcade mode sees you trying to accumulate gems through matching, even as they continually disappear from your ‘carts’; the fuller the screen, the fewer you accumulate with each match. And Endless mode is, um, endless.
It’s a very simple concept, executed adequately. The Arcade and Crush modes interspersed each passed level with imagery of a continually expanding homestead which you’re presumably putting money towards, which is a nice touch, but otherwise there’s nothing to really set this apart from other titles. In fact, the game wants for visual feedback: when handling a small screen filled with icons it’s all too easy to tap the wrong gems, and the game highlights your selection with a subtle vibration of the chosen gems which is very easy to miss when having to race against the clock. Making a huge run of gems only for it to be nullified by a mis-clicked gem is a huge annoyance, and could be avoided through more obvious highlighting – coloured borders around selected gems, perhaps?
Still, I may be judging a little harshly. The game is, after all, completely free, and is perfectly playable. For those after a simple, easy to play match-3 game, Jewel Miner is available on the Marketplace now.
Jewel Miner Gameplay Video
Jewel Miner Screenshots
Version Under Review : 184.108.40.206
Jewel Miner is a FREE game for Windows Phone 7
Our Rating for Jewel Miner