I’m not typically a fan of casual games. Hidden object games have never held my interest. Card or gambling games are just not my jam unless they’re mini-games in something bigger (looking at you Red Dead Redemption, you gorgeous, gorgeous game!). But Jewel Quest was always a bit different. I never spent any serious time with it but I enjoyed spending an hour or two clearing the puzzles.

I enjoyed Bejeweled but the high score mentality just never really hit me. I grew up during the 16-bit days when score was barely a factor in most games of the time. I was more interested in completing and overcoming obstacles to progress through a game. Jewel Quest took the fun of Bejeweled and gave it this sense of progression and I loved that. This was also before micro-transactions destroyed casual gaming forever with timers and rare loot drops.

While I don’t typically praise casual games, Jewel Quest is an exception. I’m glad it was made and I think it deserves more recognition than it gets.

4/24 – Jewel Quest

Hello and welcome. My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

Today’s game is the classic casual game, Jewel Quest. Jewel Quest was developed and published by iWin Games for PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and Mobile devices, and originally released in 2004.

Jewel Quest is a match-3 style game similar to popular mobile games like Candy Crush Saga or Bubble Witch Saga. Each level gives players a grid which fills with various colored gems. Players can swap any two adjacent gems as long as the swap results in a line of at least 3 matching gems. When a line is made of matching gems, the gems disappear and change the background tiles to a gold color. Players must change every background tile in a level gold in order to beat the level and move to the next one.

The game features 180 levels and, unlike most casual puzzle games, actually has a story that players unravel as they progress through the levels. Beating a level gives journal entries telling the story of an explorer traveling through ancient Mayan ruins. While there are 180 levels, there are only 36 different grids that appear. Each time they repeat, they return with a higher level of difficulty than the last.

Jewel Quest received modest critical reviews with some saying that the full game wasn’t worth the asking price over the free version but that it was a fun way to spend some time. Fans were very positive toward the series, however, and it spawned a large series of casual titles. Seven games were made in the main series while it also spawned spin-off series which involved card games and hidden object puzzles. Many of these titles have been ported to consoles, handhelds and mobile devices. The most recent Jewel Quest game, Jewel Quest: Seven Seas, released in 2016 on Windows.

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