Quick Look – Dungeons & Jewels

A couple of months ago, I revisited both 10,000,000 and You Must Build a Boat and I remembered how much I like a good old fashioned match-3 game with a little something extra. I spotted the recently released Dungeons & Jewels during Puzzle Fest last month, and although the discount wasn’t much, I don’t mind throwing a five at this type of game every now and again.

If you don’t care for match-3 gameplay, there’s nothing here that’s going to change your mind. It’s a dungeon crawl where you need to match a certain color in order to damage your enemy. In the screenshot above, you need to match any 3 (or more) white tiles to beat up that adorable little rat. Each time you make a match in the default game mode, your enemy will move one step closer. When it reaches you, you’ll take a hit of damage. Lose all your health, and it’s game over, so it’s important to get the right matches fairly quickly.

When you reach an enemy with multiple hearts over their head, you’ll need to make those color matches one right after another. If you can set it up so they cascade in the same turn, great, but back-to-back is good enough. The deeper you get into the dungeon, the more complex the matches needed becomes.

At the end of each floor, you’ll find a treasure chest with something inside that changes the game play a little bit. You’ll also unlock abilities that can be chosen at the start of a new run to suit your personal play style. I’ve been a huge fan of the club since I unlocked it – matching club tiles (which appear regularly throughout the run) will stun all enemies on screen for one turn.

There are four classes to choose from. The warrior is the easy turn-based option, where the skeleton is more challenging. If you prefer your matching to require speed, the rogue and the revenant change the base gameplay so that the enemies move based on time, not after you take a turn. A successful run shouldn’t last more than 20-30 minutes, and the variety of unlocks and gear drops makes for a reasonable amount of replay value.

Dungeons & Jewels is a pretty serviceable attempt to combine match-3 gameplay with roguelike randomness, and I enjoyed my time with it quite a bit. Although some might feel like it’s a little bit barebones, it’s got solid gameplay and is fairly impressive for a freshman effort. Currently, the developer plans to release more content in the form a free DLC, which is pretty generous, considering the price.

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