Jewel Quest Mysteries: Curse of the Emerald Tear in Review – Slightly Sparkly

Jewel Quest Mysteries: Curse of the Emerald Tear is the port of the popular PC game to the iDevice, where we follow the adventures of Rupert and Emma as they go on an expedition set in the ruins of ancient Egypt. The game is packaged as an engaging adventure story that combines hidden object and match three, two popular genres, with an RPG-like element thrown-in.

Jewel Quest Mysteries does not skimp on the storyline and makes it an integral part of the game, giving the player a sense of purpose in accomplishing various quests and puzzles along the way.

The story-based outline is largely about searching for hidden objects in a particular scene, then traveling to different locations to search for more hidden objects. As with any typical hidden object game, the objects in each beautifully designed scene are as random as you can get – a cash register, a golf club, a picture frame, scattered in the room or blended beautifully into the background. Up against a time limit, the zoom function comes in handy for zeroing in on particular spots, and finding coins and jewels will allow you to use special hints and purchase upgrades. Indiscriminate tapping is penalized by shaving off 30 seconds from the time allotted to solve the puzzle.

The match three puzzle is another step to be hurdled after successfully completing the hidden object quests. Swap and match rows or columns of jewels and turn the squares on the board into gold. Create matches with the gold coins to gain special powers that you can use during the game. Turning all the squares into gold is not as easy as it sounds, and collecting special coins at the same time is challenged by the irregularly shaped board.

Jewel Quest Mysteries is a beautifully designed game – from the breathtaking rendition of ancient Egypt in the hidden objects part to the gorgeous, multi-faceted jewels onscreen for the matching puzzle. Combined with the soundtrack and sound effects, the game effectively captures the thrill and excitement of an adventure mystery set in a time where archaeological discoveries were new and exciting. The soundtrack while it puts one in the mood at the onset, the effect wears off after a while. Fortunately, there is an option to play tracks from your own music library.

The combination of hidden object and match three is well-executed, and the option to purchase upgrades is a nice added twist. Game controls are smooth and intuitive, and while I would have expected some bugs or loading issues, fortunately I did not experience any such problems while playing.

As for the hidden object puzzles, however, I found that replaying the quests, although the clues change, the entire scene remains the same. In other words, one can pretty much remember the location of all the random items in each scene. I also tried quitting while in the middle of a hidden object quest when I ran out of special hints and found that when I returned to the level I was playing, the hints reset to their full capacity.

While Jewel Quest Mysteries is pretty much solid on all accounts, it doesn’t bring anything new to the table whether as a match-three game, a hidden object game or a hybrid of the two. I wouldn’t say that it’s particularly superior to other games in both genres out on the App Store. Although not as compelling as it could be, it nevertheless offers a reliable and engaging game experience that can last you a couple of hours.

App Summary
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.25 Min OS Req: 2.2.1
Price: $2.99 App Size: 77.2 MB
  • Excellent graphics and animation
  • Good combination of hidden object and match three
  • Solid, engaging game play
  • Averages out compared to other hidden object and match three games


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