Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Jewel Quest Mysteries: Curse of the Emerald Tear

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            As the developers of Dark Parables: Curse of Briar Rose and Deadtime Stories amongst many others, iWin excel in creating Puzzle games. Jewel Quest Mysteries: Curse of the Emerald Tear is the latest in their popular Jewel Quest series, the Hidden Object and Puzzle adventure game series that has attracted quite a following since it’s debut in 2004.

            Jewel Quest Mysteries: Curse of the Emerald Tear follows the investigations of Rupert and Emma, intrepid explorers in search of the Emerald Tear Jewel board, aElectronic Theatre Imagemongst other jewels and treasures, which is believed to have special powers. Though the story may be superfluous to some, it maintains a context and intersperses the puzzles. The story is told through means of a journal, written by Emma, which leads the player between locations and through the levels. There are four locations and seventeen levels in total.

            During the game the player is tasked with a hidden object puzzle in each location. Hidden objects must be identified in the detailed Egyptian maps from amongst the scenery by tapping them with the stylus. The items are often very well hidden and difficult to identify. The concealment of those difficult to find items, though obviously the whole purpose of the puzzle, is more often than not due to poorly defined objects that simply can not be differentiated from other objects or scenery. This can be particularly frustrating and possibly due to the visual limitations of the small Nintendo DS screen. Each puzzle is subject to a time limit which though generous adds to the frustration when an item can not be located without the aid of a hint. Also, hidden in the scenery are gold coins which can be collected. Three coins count towards a clue as to an objects location. There are also a series of gems available to collect in each puzzle which allows the player to purchase upgrades such as longer time limits.    

            As well as the hidden object puzzles there are also jewel puzzles which provide welcome variation. One puzzle consists of a grid of different coloured jewels. Players must swap two adjacent jewels to make a row of three or more of the same colour. The board underneath will then turn to gold when a set of jewels is Electronic Theatre Imageachieved. The player must turn every space on the board to gold to win. A further puzzle involves fitting several shapes of gold blocks into a grid to make a complete square.

            Jewel Quest Mysteries: Curse of the Emerald Tear is fairly easy and relatively quick to complete compared to previous Jewel Quest titles. As with previous games, there is no moving on tool, so each puzzle must be completed for the game to progress. The scenes in the hidden object puzzles are rich and colourful and apart from a few ill-defined hidden objects, are well drawn and planned. The sound and graphics are of good quality and the game represents a well designed package. An added bonus is the additional game available in the package; MysteryVille. The player is tasked with finding out where the town’s cats have been disappearing to by visiting and questioning the town’s residents. The game contains twenty one hidden object tasks making Jewel Quest Mysteries: Curse of the Emerald Tear Jewel Quest great value for money at a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of £24.99.

            Despite causing minor frustrations, Jewel Quest Mysteries: Curse of the Emerald Tear is an enjoyable way to pass a few hours and will surely be gratefully received by followers of the Jewel Quest series and new-comers alike. Aimed directly at Nintendo’s Touch Generations! audiences, Jewel Quest Mysteries: Curse of the Emerald Tear provides another leg to the Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training and Professor Layton titles, but in comparison to those award-winning series, it most definitely is the third leg.Electronic Theatre Image

















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