iOS Review: Punny Puzzle Party Time!

Battle Gems Logo - 350It’s no secret that my love for the puzzle genre is sort of like the Grinch’s heart – two sizes too small. It’s time I rectified that matter with Artix Entertainment’s new puzzle game “Battle Gems”. Will it be a quirky combo of my less-than-loved puzzle games and my adoration for fantasy RPGs? Read on to find out!

All right. I get that this is a new game, and I also know that Artix isn’t the biggest game studio around and this is the first venture they’ve had into the mobile market. That being said: PLEASE TEST YOUR GAME ON MULTIPLE DEVICES BEFORE YOU LAUNCH IT! I couldn’t even get past the character creation without the game freezing on my iPad 2. I had to push the random button and hope it didn’t crash before I found a setup that I was happy with. And even then, if I wanted to play the game I needed to click play, select “no” to using Facebook, return to the main screen, and click Play a second time. Brilliant.

So after about 12 attempts at making a character, I finally gave up and settled on the default male with a slightly different haircut. Great. I finally got in the game, and let the waves of ridiculous puns spew forth! No really, every single battle encounter is a pun of sorts. Even some of the equipment and pets are hysterical. Not that Grumpy Cat is the epitome of gaming icons or anything. But I couldn’t pass up on the chance to have that as my pet.

Oh the puns…. They don’t stop. EVER. Every single mission is a joke.

Oh the puns…. They don’t stop. EVER. Every single mission is a joke.

The game is based around connecting larger piles of gems together with a curvy line to get the most you can, and if you get all the gems in that cluster you get a “PERFECT” which results in a higher amount of damage or healing depending on the type of gem. Seems simple enough. And frankly, it is. The difficulty of the game is nowhere near sky high, but the section bosses are actually kind of tough. There are 4 different types of gems, and each section boss is immune to one of the types. That means 25% of the gems you see are useless against them, and you need to plan accordingly. As you clear missions and find chests you earn gold and use it to purchase new equipment for your character. It’s a little weird though. Every piece of equipment you buy gives you power bonuses whether you have it equipped to your character or not. To be honest, I don’t really care per se, its just super nice to be able to wear what ever I want on my character without sacrificing stats (Go grumpy cat go!)

“You shall not splash” is now my facebook status. No seriously.

“You shall not splash” is now my facebook status. No seriously.

The constant puns and little jokes are what keep me going in this bizarre puzzlequest-style game. Everything is a pun. I’ve included quite a few pictures in this blog for you to giggle at, but believe me I didn’t spoil them all. Another feature that got me hooked is something you get from one of the area bosses. The ability to make multiple chains of the same gem type, and do more damage. That simple twist, COULD turn the game into a much harder strategy game. So far, however, I haven’t seen the difficulty ramp up all that much and can easily power through the stages.

Graphics: Rating-Bar4

Super pretty. Artix has come a loooooong way with their art. I remember being in college and secretly playing Adventure Quest while I should have been paying attention in my programming classes (I can code just fine, thank you!)

Gameplay: Rating-Bar4

It’s good. I’ll even go with pretty good. But the lack of difficulty really makes me frown. Hardcore mode please? I’d take that. Give us the option for those who are (secretly) good at puzzle games a real challenge.

Sound: 

Nothing to shake a stick at, and I get that there was way too much dialog to voiceover (though this would have been glorious) but something’s missing… Can’t put my finger on it.

Innovation:Rating-Bar2

This style of game play has been done before, and Artix even took that and simplified it. Which is fine! Just not scoring major wins in the innovation department for it.

Overall: Rating-Bar4

This is a pretty neat game, It’s super artsy and flashy, and it’s easy to get addicted to. While not particularly challenging, the game still provides me with entertainment. I also have to give them at least a 4. It’s the only puzzle game I won’t be deleting from my iPad as soon as this review goes up. I truly hope that Artix releases an MMO for the iOS device and that this was just a way of testing the waters and learning how to code for it. *Crosses fingers* Till next time gamers!


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