Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Jewel Master: Cradle of Egypt 2

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Electronic Theatre ImageThe Jewel Master videogame franchise has seen dozens of releases across a number of formats in recent years, though it’s arguably Rising Star Games’ publishing of the Nintendo DS editions that has proved to be most well received. The PC and mobile versions have undoubtedly performed well but there’s some intangible quality about the unique bond between interface and stylus that fingertip and mouse simply can’t imitate. While Jewel Master: Cradle of Egypt 2 doesn’t exactly renew the magic match-3 formula, it remains a wholly enjoyable.

Jewel Master: Cradle of Egypt 2 is a match-3 videogame with a difference: players slide tiles in order to make connections placed atop of different coloured titles in order to make the tiles all the same colour. Once having Electronic Theatre Imagedone this the player moves on to the city screen, a pseudo management mode that is intrinsically tied to the match-3 gameplay: success in the latter mode determines progress in the former.

As the player begins to play Jewel Master: Cradle of Egypt 2 they will be introduced to three item types, each of which can be earned through successful match-3 play. First is gold, which can be used to purchase new land which offers additional bonuses. Next is food, which is also used as a currency, and finally the rather ambiguous ‘resources’ which, unsurprisingly, is also used to buy new lands. Players much earn a set amount of each item in order to unlock each new land, slowly progressing through a series of time periods as their city expands.

Jewel Master: Cradle of Egypt 2 features one hundred levels divided across five historical epochs, playable as a single campaign. The measure of progress is not necessarily the time it takes to complete each level but the items earned during in, as players can replay levels as many times as is necessary to unlock each new land. To make things easier players can Electronic Theatre Imageunlock additional weapons for use during the match-3 gameplay, removing locked pieces or a number of pieces from an entire area of the puzzle.

In addition to the campaign comes the Tourney Mode, which allows players to replay any of the one hundred levels included in the campaign. A third gameplay mode, Blitz Mode, which is only unlocked once having complete the main campaign. A time limit based sequences of puzzles; players must match as many pieces as possible before the clock counts down to zero. It’s a simple revision to the formula which is much needed, as most experienced match-3 gamers will work their way through the campaign with relatively little hardship.

The visual quality of Jewel Master: Cradle of Egypt 2 is hardly astounding, nor is the sound design. But these aren’t the assets that Jewel Master: Cradle of Egypt 2 is intended to promote or be promoted by.  A videogame made for immediate entertainment in short bursts, Jewel Master: Cradle of Egypt 2 achieves its primary objectives but fails to add any degree of flair or charisma. Jewel Master: Cradle of Egypt 2 is a videogame designed to do a job at a reasonable price, both in development and at retail, and in that it succeeds entirely, but don’t be expecting any grand rewriting of the match-3 rulebook.

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