Today’s TiPb Top 5 will be directed towards our iPhone and iPod touch wielding readers who love puzzle games where the goal is to take similarly colored shapes or objects and get them into a group, causing them to be removed from play. Just like our other TiPb top 5 must-have posts, all of these applications are available in the App Store. I've always been quite fond (understatement!) of these types of games, and while the variety is endless, the top 5 I currently enjoy can be found after the break!
I used to play Bejeweled on my PalmOS PDA and Bejeweled 2 was one of my first games I got on the iPhone. Simple and fun, it's a classic and the template for all gem switch games which have followed it. A set of jewels is placed in a grid and you can switch any two jewels horizontally or vertically. If you are able to make a group of three or more matching jewels then your set disappears and all the jewels are refilled from above. The level ends when you have completed your quota of chains or if the timer runs out.
Bejeweled 2 is available for $2.99 [iTunes Link]
Stoneloops! of Jurassica
[Note: Stoneloops was pulled from the iTunes App Store due to a copyright claim. Hopefully it will go through arbitration and be back in the store soon. It's included here because it was so much fun, and so many enjoyed it.]
In Stoneloops, you have a chain of colored stones which move along a track. The object of the game is to shoot additional colored stones into the chain to make a link of three or more. If you can make all of the colored stones disappear before the train gets to the end of the track then you get to go to the next level. There is also another type of play called, grab-n-shoot, where you can take a stone from the moving chain to then re-add it to another location, to make a colored chain.
After you complete a number of levels you are rewarded with an upgrade to your "home", which matches the theme of the levels. You couldn't really do anything with the home, and it didn't affect the game at all, but it was a nice trophy of sorts.
When I first played Stoneloops I played it for so long that I actually got iPhone burn on my index finger (don’t laught, I know there are others out there!). If and when we find out it is back up in the App Store we will let you know.
Trism was one of the first games made specifically for the iPhone to achieve a huge level of success. Gameplay is very similar to Bejeweled but instead of moving the pieces horizontally or vertically the pieces move on diagonals. If you make 3 or more similarly shaped pieces match they disappear and are replaced by other pieces. In a nice touch, the direction you tilt your iPhone is the direction the pieces slide. Trism also has the added feature of achievements that you gain if you have completed a particular challenge like removing a locked or explosive piece.
Trism is available for $2.99 [iTunes Link]
Jewel Quest 2-in-1 Treasure Pack
Jewel Quest 2-in-1 Treasure Pack, as the name suggests, is actually two games for the price of one -- Jewel Quest II and Jewel Quest Deluxe ! (It's also a great technicality that lets me get around the limit of only choosing 5 games!)
Jewel Quest takes the basic Bejeweled concept and adds a twist. Not only do you need to arrange similarly colored jewels but when you do the square beneath that jewels changes colors. You need to change the whole board to another color in order to pass the level.
In Jewel Quest II, you have to turn all the background playing field squared to gold and this occurs each time you make 4 or more of a kind. This increases the difficulty level of the game and makes you have to think ahead in your selections. The game becomes increasingly difficult with each level, introducing more gem types and board shapes. Some gems are even buried and force you to figure out, through trial and error, its matching partners.
Jewel Quest Deluxe is not quite as difficult as Jewel Quest II but has much more variety and more polished graphics. Each level asks you to complete a different task. It may be to collect a number of colored gems or make the whole board turn gold, it may also have you compete against a computer opponent.
Some games have found a way to interweave an interesting storyline into the game, one that not only relates to the puzzles but adds to the playing experience. Well, Jewel Quest is not one of them. The story in this game is pretty much a bunch of words that interrupts the flow of the game. I can however, overlook this small annoyance because the game is so very addicting!
Jewel Quest 2-in-1 Treasure Pack is currently available for a special price $0.99 [iTunes Link]
Puzzle Quest Chapters 1 & 2
While Puzzle Quest still uses a Bejeweled-type of game board, it's a bit different from the usual puzzle game as it merges RPG and puzzle elements. The story in the game surrounds your character and the puzzle game is the manner in which you battle your opponents. You also can choose different character classes and these will change the kind of powers you get to use in the game. Gold star, Puzzle Quest!
While this is one of my favorite puzzle gem/switch games, I should point out It's not the best port to the iPhone. It does have some spacing issues, and at times some users haves crashes but it's so much fun I keep coming back for more.
Puzzle Quest is available for $4.99 [iTunes Link]
There you have it, TiPb’s Top 5 Must-Have iPhone puzzle/gem switch games. Did we miss any of your favorites? Overlook any amazing gem-game gems? Drop us a comment and let us know your list!