Review: Jewel Tower
Jewel Tower is a fast paced block building game, but unlike the Tetris genre, the aim is not to make as many lines as possible and keep the game grid as clear as possible, you're asked to build your stack of bricks as high as possible. And when you manage to get to the required height, you'll move up a level and be asked to build a higher tower from scratch. Oh and it's against the clock.
Version Reviewed: 188.8.131.52
Jewel Tower has a lot of levels, essentially raising the height of a successful tower by one gaming block each turn. That's assuming you can keep the gaming blocks perfectly stacked. While they are made up of squares, and you can only rotate the game pieces through ninety degrees as they descend from the top of the portrait, when they stop at the bottom they'll act like regular bricks in the real world, they'll slide, they can push other bricks out the way thanks to their larger mass, they'll spin and rotate to try and fit in gaps...
In short, you might end up with an irregular heap of titles that are almost impossible to build on. And that would be game over. Want to try another approach? Sure, you could spend some time lining up the titles, Tetris style, build a strong foundation, and slowly climb up with a secure pile to reach the goal line in the sky. Alternatively you could try and stack everything very carefully in a very thin tower (maybe one or two blocks wide) and race up to the goal, trusting an ability to balance just a few blocks, short edge to short edge.
That's what I like about Jewel Tower. There are a number of ways you can play the game, and each of them has advantages and disadvantages. You can change strategy whenever you want, and there are no baddies, earthquake power pills, or anything else external that can cause you to lose. It's all up to you!
Jewel Tower is a little bit too easy. Getting your pieces balanced into a thin tower is relatively easy because of the coarse movements on offer (the smallest move is just half a cube to the left or right) and vertical guidelines to help line up the pieces to the right height. There's no impact when your block lands, everything stays stable, and a steady hand is not needed. Unlike other stacking style games, Jewel Tower's tile are rather 'sticky' and even an average player is going to build a very tall, very thin, stack of tiles with ease.
And that means completing each level is far too easy. After a few successes, Jewel Tower becomes very repetitive, very quickly, and the fun that is promised at the start of the game never solidifies into a great gaming experience.
The other issue I have, admittedly a tiny one, is the level of advertising that the developers have added to the game. There are banner adds along the bottom of the screen, there are interstitial full screen adverts between the levels, and it's all just a little bit too much for me. Yes, developers need to work on income sources, but if you push the advertising too much, you get less action from the user base.
Jewel Tower is a good basis for a game, but it misses out on being an exciting game. Perhaps it's aimed at a younger audience (in which case this is perfect for the Kid's Corner), but it's not really for me.
Reviewed by Ewan Spence at