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Jewel Quest Mysteries: Curse of the Emerald Tear DS is as ecelectic as it gets. Search for all manner of unusual objects as the game test your powers of observation.
This is a cleverly put together game that mixes puzzles with adventure. At times though it's all a bit low-budget. More variety of music and some voice-overs would have really helped. Otherwise though, I warmed to this second contribution to the Jewel Quest Mysteries.
The story - although a teensy bit predictable - is well told through your journal, as you progress. Thankfully concise, it leaves the real fun to the puzzling. Short, sharp and intriguing is the order of the day here.
The puzzle has you searching an area for hidden items before your time runs out. It sounds like it will grow old quickly, but as I worked through the game there were more than enough ideas introduced to keep it fresh - silhouettes, revisiting areas that have changed to name a couple.
I'm a girl who gets distracted half way through a level, forgets to pause, and runs out of time. It was nice that if I did that here I didn't have to go back and look for the same things - it was different each time. And this is where the game excels.
I'm a girl who gets distracted half way through a level, forgets to pause, and runs out of time.
To search you drag your way around a zoomed in version of what you see on your top screen. The items are really cleverly hidden - shadows on the wall in the shape of Texas, Orange slices masquerading as Jewels and Walking sticks melted into hanging Rugs. I'm noticeably more observant having played through the game - I'm an expert now in finding obscurely hidden Bagels - which, you know, is a very important skill to have.
Collecting coins whilst looking for listed items - it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure this out - you can store up Specials to use when you are stuck. This helps but with a limited amount of coins you still have to be careful about where you use them.
Other games included a timed Bejewelled game - finally, my Bejewelled addiction comes in handy for something - with awkward corners to increase the difficulty, and a mini version of the main game: Mysteryville. Perfect for people like me who like to dip in and out of games.
I'm an expert now in finding obscurely hidden Bagels - which, you know, is a very important skill to have.
The only time I got really annoyed whilst playing this was when my DS crashed on the final puzzle of a level before I could save my progress. Argh! Thankfully, it was by no means a chore to play through those unsaved puzzles again.
Jewel Quest Mysteries: Curse of the Emerald is a great way to pass the time. Playing against the clock all the time adds some excitement and a sense of urgency which isn't often associated with puzzle games, and helps this game to stand out from the competition.
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