Gem Quest: 4 Elements - Review

Gem Quest: 4 Elements
Rating: E - Everyone

Looking at the package, this appeared to be yet another Match 3 type game, but it isn't!. This multi-level game uses 4 types of pieces, which represent (you guessed it!) the elements Earth, Air, Fire and Water. For each element there are 16 levels plus some bonus levels, for over 80 levels of play.

The object on each level is to channel the "energy" from the starting position to the "Magic Altar" elsewhere on the level. Instead of touching two pieces to interchange them, you use the stylus to create a chain of pieces by tracing over pieces, moving horizontally and/or vertically (no diagonals, please). The chain must have at least three pieces, and a channel for the energy is cleared under the pieces. Then new pieces drop down to fill the cleared space. The 'energy' will flow into cleared squares when a channel is opened back to a square that already is filled with the 'energy'. If the chain you indicate has 5 or more elements, it 'explodes', clearing extra squares and sometimes disposing of obstacles. The longer the chain, the bigger the 'explosion' and the larger the area cleared. Of course there are special squares - boulders that move but cannot be paired, bricks that are stationary, pieces encased in ice, flaming arrows that clear paths and trigger other flaming arrows. There are also 'power-ups' that are activated after a certain number of chains are created, which you can use to blow up a piece, swap two pieces or reshuffle the board.

As the game progresses, the levels can be quite difficult, and pressing the B button to see a larger map of the level is only partially helpful. The levels are timed to 10 minutes, and you have to redo the level if you can't finish it in that time. Each re-do uses the same overall level structure, but the pieces are randomly set, so although you can learn in which directions to head as you clear channels, some initial configurations can be much harder than others.

All in all, a different game. There is neither an Easy/Medium/Hard setting nor a timing on/off option. WYGIWYG - what you get is what you get.

Reviewed by: Lou - Apr/11

  • Gem Quest: 4 Elements
  • © Storm City Games
  • Platform(s): DS DSi 3DS
  • To Order: DS $19.99
  • Game Site: