I'm not sure what possessed Wasted Pixel to work on and release a Match-3 game into the App Store... because if they'd have asked me before hand, I would have told them to forget about it.

Well, it's good they didn't ask me, because Gemmed! [App Store] is a very fun and refreshing take on genre, and here's the reason why: The goal of the game is not to match-3.

The goal of this game is to get each colored monster on the board to their respective exits. Monsters act in one predictable behavior: they will eat adjacent gems of their own color, and by doing so, they move one step closer to their exit. Your job is to manipulate the gems around each monster in order to lead them to their exit. You accomplish this, of course, through Match-3.

The distinction may sound subtle but for me it was the difference between actually playing a game vs. just killing some time. The game also adds special power-ups and good and bad monsters which help/hinder your progress. The goal itself gets far more difficult as they add more monsters at opposite ends of the board. Meanwhile, the position of the exits also make a huge impact on your gameplay options (near the bottom of the screen is much harder).

While we've included the developer's gameplay video below, I highly recommend just downloading the Lite version [App Store] and giving it a spin. The Lite version is a very good representation of the full game with a sampling of levels. It skips from level 1 to level 5 to level 10 and so on. This gives you a chance to explore the harder levels.

My main criticism of the full version is the pacing of the game. The difficulty ramps rather slowly, so you will find a single game lasting you 20-30 levels. Of course, you can easily stop and resume at any time, but I'd enjoy being able to start at a higher difficulty.

The full version of the game has just gone on sale to $0.99 until February 1st. Normal price is $2.99.

App Store Links: Gemmed! Lite, Free and Gemmed!, $0.99 (On sale until Feb 1st)

TouchArcade Rating

  • hkiphone

    Just bought this at the super low price of $0.99 basing it just on Arn's review above and the comments on the forum. I'm sure I'll get to like this. The video gave me good impressions that this has some character, rather than something like Bejeweled with zero personality.

  • hkiphone

    Just bought this at the super low price of $0.99 basing it just on Arn's review above and the comments on the forum. I'm sure I'll get to like this. The video gave me good impressions that this has some character, rather than something like Bejeweled with zero personality.

  • Marcus

    Shouldn't Puzzle Quest have revived your faith in Match-3 games? It certainly revived my faith :D

  • Marcus

    Shouldn't Puzzle Quest have revived your faith in Match-3 games? It certainly revived my faith :D

  • Sam

    I grabbed the lite version the other day, and within about 2 minutes of playing went and bought the full version. I tend to get bored with Bejeweled, and have always liked the match-3 type with purpose (Jewel Quest, for example). This one is fun, different, and a bargin at 0.99, imo.

  • Sam

    I grabbed the lite version the other day, and within about 2 minutes of playing went and bought the full version. I tend to get bored with Bejeweled, and have always liked the match-3 type with purpose (Jewel Quest, for example). This one is fun, different, and a bargin at 0.99, imo.

  • spiffyone

    Thanks for the heads up, arn. I was actually going to pass on this, as I thought "I don't need another same ol' same ol' match 3 game", but your description of how different this one is has sold me on the game.

  • spiffyone

    Thanks for the heads up, arn. I was actually going to pass on this, as I thought "I don't need another same ol' same ol' match 3 game", but your description of how different this one is has sold me on the game.

  • TheTheory

    this looks like a must-purchase. I love match-3 games (Puzzle Quest especially, as well as good ol' Bejeweled. I realized last night that if my Bejeweled 2 high score could sync with the PSN high score leader boards, my score would be #1. I just wanted to brag about that for a second since it is vaguely related. Kind of.

    ...well ok. Not really.)

  • TheTheory

    this looks like a must-purchase. I love match-3 games (Puzzle Quest especially, as well as good ol' Bejeweled. I realized last night that if my Bejeweled 2 high score could sync with the PSN high score leader boards, my score would be #1. I just wanted to brag about that for a second since it is vaguely related. Kind of.

    ...well ok. Not really.)

  • Big Albie

    I agree with Arn that there's a plethora of match 3 games on iTunes...I see 2 or 3 new ones everyday. But Gemmed! adds a little pizzaz with the monsters theme, and the music makes the game even more appealing. I bought Gemmed! at $2.99 which is well worth it. At $.99, it's a must buy. At the least, try out the lite version, get hooked, then splurge on the full version.

  • Big Albie

    I agree with Arn that there's a plethora of match 3 games on iTunes...I see 2 or 3 new ones everyday. But Gemmed! adds a little pizzaz with the monsters theme, and the music makes the game even more appealing. I bought Gemmed! at $2.99 which is well worth it. At $.99, it's a must buy. At the least, try out the lite version, get hooked, then splurge on the full version.

  • K

    this game is..........*drum roll*......... BORING

    bejeweled 2 wins for me

    the graphics in this are terrible and theres something odd about the character movement, so quick and ackward...not smooth at all...
    looks thrown together....

    at least bejeweled is polished and plays cleanly...no?

  • K

    this game is..........*drum roll*......... BORING

    bejeweled 2 wins for me

    the graphics in this are terrible and theres something odd about the character movement, so quick and ackward...not smooth at all...
    looks thrown together....

    at least bejeweled is polished and plays cleanly...no?

  • http://www.wastedpixel.com MuN

    Thank you for your feedback. We respect everybody's opinion! Hopefully an update in the future will change your mind :)

  • http://www.wastedpixel.com MuN

    Thank you for your feedback. We respect everybody's opinion! Hopefully an update in the future will change your mind :)

  • Jari

    I love match-3 games. I bought Gemmed and I love it. I must say that I find Bejeweled pretty but slightly boring. There's not much happening in bejeweled exept for swapping stones... I think match-3 games should have a bit more challenge and this one has. I have no problem with the graphichs, which some others above have commented. I have many matc-3's in my ipod and my favourites are Gemmed, Gem Spinner, Smiles and Aqualution (which isn't exactly matc-3 as such but same genre anyhow)

  • Jari

    I love match-3 games. I bought Gemmed and I love it. I must say that I find Bejeweled pretty but slightly boring. There's not much happening in bejeweled exept for swapping stones... I think match-3 games should have a bit more challenge and this one has. I have no problem with the graphichs, which some others above have commented. I have many matc-3's in my ipod and my favourites are Gemmed, Gem Spinner, Smiles and Aqualution (which isn't exactly matc-3 as such but same genre anyhow)

  • K

    Bejeweled has a high replayability for me. I can still only get to level 8 or 9 and its always such a frustrating fun experience.
    Playing gemmed feels almost like the game is playing itself and im not sure i understand the monster movement completely. maybe i havent given this game enough time but 5 minutes with it and i was bored.
    It might peak my interest after updates, but Im getting more and more picky about what games i buy and these lite versions usually make the decision for me...

  • K

    Bejeweled has a high replayability for me. I can still only get to level 8 or 9 and its always such a frustrating fun experience.
    Playing gemmed feels almost like the game is playing itself and im not sure i understand the monster movement completely. maybe i havent given this game enough time but 5 minutes with it and i was bored.
    It might peak my interest after updates, but Im getting more and more picky about what games i buy and these lite versions usually make the decision for me...

  • http://blogjack.net Glen Raphael

    I bought Gemmed based on the review and played through 22 levels, but found it frustrating. I'm red-green colorblind, so the biggest problem is that on many levels there are colors I can't easily distinguish. It's especially hard to tell which *exit* is associated with which colored critter, but it's also a problem when there are two colored gem types on the board that can't be distinguished - it's tedious to find which match through trial and error (Bejeweled fixed this partly with good palette selections but also by varying *shape* in addition to color). I also found it hard to figure out what rules governed when monsters would or wouldn't eat neighboring gems of the (apparently) same color, and wasn't sure if this was due to color mismatches or some subtlety in the rules. In short, this game seems like an interesting idea but not really successful yet.

  • http://blogjack.net Glen Raphael

    I bought Gemmed based on the review and played through 22 levels, but found it frustrating. I'm red-green colorblind, so the biggest problem is that on many levels there are colors I can't easily distinguish. It's especially hard to tell which *exit* is associated with which colored critter, but it's also a problem when there are two colored gem types on the board that can't be distinguished - it's tedious to find which match through trial and error (Bejeweled fixed this partly with good palette selections but also by varying *shape* in addition to color). I also found it hard to figure out what rules governed when monsters would or wouldn't eat neighboring gems of the (apparently) same color, and wasn't sure if this was due to color mismatches or some subtlety in the rules. In short, this game seems like an interesting idea but not really successful yet.

  • arn

    @glen the rule is monsters will eat the same colored gem if it will advance them towards their exit. so, a monster won't move away from their exit.

    the problems you had were probably due to color mismatches.

    the dev has said that the next version will have a color-blind mode.

  • arn

    @glen the rule is monsters will eat the same colored gem if it will advance them towards their exit. so, a monster won't move away from their exit.

    the problems you had were probably due to color mismatches.

    the dev has said that the next version will have a color-blind mode.

  • http://blogjack.net Glen Raphael

    the rule is monsters will eat the same colored gem if it will advance them towards their exit. so, a monster won’t move away from their exit.

    oooooooohhhhhhhh!

    I totally did not realize the monsters were trying to get toward their exit to that degree. I assumed it would be part of the game that if I put same-colored gems on the wrong side of a monster, he'd move away from the goal. That is, that the monster's primary goal was to eat, not to escape. The combination of "monsters eat gems" and "monsters start getting bored/sleepy if it's been a while since they ate gems" implied that to me. So I found it confusing that even pure random bejeweled-style play seemed to help the monsters escape. I suspect K had the same confusion, leading to the comment above that "the game seems to play itself".

    Given that info, I'm much less confused about gameplay. (though still a little, since I don't think your rule fully specifies what actually happens. If the monster is within a column or two of an exit on the bottom it's willing to eat gems in either direction, sometimes moving further away from the goal)

    It might help if the how-to-play screens could be accessed from the pause menu. It's kind of subtle where you've got it now. Yeah, the game tells people stuff as the game progresses, but they might only realize later that they're confused. Incidentally, level 20 was one of the more difficult ones for the color choices. There were two gem types that seemed kind of brownish in color - I think one has more red in it but I'm not sure.

    Oh, and one truly minor not: the "2" in your font looks a lot like a "1".

  • http://blogjack.net Glen Raphael

    the rule is monsters will eat the same colored gem if it will advance them towards their exit. so, a monster won’t move away from their exit.

    oooooooohhhhhhhh!

    I totally did not realize the monsters were trying to get toward their exit to that degree. I assumed it would be part of the game that if I put same-colored gems on the wrong side of a monster, he'd move away from the goal. That is, that the monster's primary goal was to eat, not to escape. The combination of "monsters eat gems" and "monsters start getting bored/sleepy if it's been a while since they ate gems" implied that to me. So I found it confusing that even pure random bejeweled-style play seemed to help the monsters escape. I suspect K had the same confusion, leading to the comment above that "the game seems to play itself".

    Given that info, I'm much less confused about gameplay. (though still a little, since I don't think your rule fully specifies what actually happens. If the monster is within a column or two of an exit on the bottom it's willing to eat gems in either direction, sometimes moving further away from the goal)

    It might help if the how-to-play screens could be accessed from the pause menu. It's kind of subtle where you've got it now. Yeah, the game tells people stuff as the game progresses, but they might only realize later that they're confused. Incidentally, level 20 was one of the more difficult ones for the color choices. There were two gem types that seemed kind of brownish in color - I think one has more red in it but I'm not sure.

    Oh, and one truly minor not: the "2" in your font looks a lot like a "1".

  • http://blogjack.net Glen Raphael

    Level 25 has the same issue as level 20. The colors I can easily distinguish on that screen are: pink, light blue, yellow, red. The other two I'm having trouble distinguishing but I think they are supposed to be dark green and brown.

    Monsters won't eat gems that move them *directly* away from their exit but they will eat gems that move them orthogonally away a bit. If there's an exit on the right side at row#4, they are attracted to the right side and positions on the screen that are at row 4 plus-or-minus one.

  • http://blogjack.net Glen Raphael

    Level 25 has the same issue as level 20. The colors I can easily distinguish on that screen are: pink, light blue, yellow, red. The other two I'm having trouble distinguishing but I think they are supposed to be dark green and brown.

    Monsters won't eat gems that move them *directly* away from their exit but they will eat gems that move them orthogonally away a bit. If there's an exit on the right side at row#4, they are attracted to the right side and positions on the screen that are at row 4 plus-or-minus one.

  • Maxwell

    I'm glad Jari mentioned Gem Spinner. I find it so much more interesting than Bejewelled and all its theme-veneered variations. Gemmed looks interesting with some new game play also I'll try out the free version. But for anyone who hasn't tried Gem Spinner I highly recommend it. Many many fun levels and it has a good free version too.

  • Maxwell

    I'm glad Jari mentioned Gem Spinner. I find it so much more interesting than Bejewelled and all its theme-veneered variations. Gemmed looks interesting with some new game play also I'll try out the free version. But for anyone who hasn't tried Gem Spinner I highly recommend it. Many many fun levels and it has a good free version too.

  • http://www.wastedpixel.com MuN

    @glen The colors on each level are all random - next time you play, level 25 will have totally new gem colors. Sorry you are having issues with the colors - our next update will accommodate color-blind people.

    Monsters eat gems towards their exits. When a monster is 1 cell close to its exit, he will eat +1 cell around the exit - so that he is not stuck right next to the exit.

  • http://www.wastedpixel.com MuN

    @glen The colors on each level are all random - next time you play, level 25 will have totally new gem colors. Sorry you are having issues with the colors - our next update will accommodate color-blind people.

    Monsters eat gems towards their exits. When a monster is 1 cell close to its exit, he will eat +1 cell around the exit - so that he is not stuck right next to the exit.

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