Jewel Link: Legends of Atlantis Review

Is a match 3 game better down where it's wetter?

Jewel Link Legends of Atlantis Review  Everybody Plays
3rd September, 2012
Game Info // Jewel Link: Legends of Atlantis
Jewel Link: Legends of Atlantis Boxart
Publisher: Avanquest
Developer: GSP
Players: 1
Online Multiplayer: None
Subtitles: Partial
Available On: DS, 3DS
Genre: Puzzle (Match 3, etc)

Match three games have become something of a DS staple as of late, with a new variation being released seemingly once a month - and it's not without good reason. Easy to pick up and play, with that "one more go" quality in spades, we know plenty of people who have serious trouble weaning themselves from the latest and greatest, and can't wait to pick up the next one. None less so than our Editor's own mum, in fact, who likes certain match 3 games so much, she's ended up buying them twice (admittedly accidentally) - so she'll likely be particularly interested in the latest offering, Jewel Link: Legends of Atlantis.

Jewel Link Legends of Atlantis Screenshot

Each level you complete brings you one steap closer to restoring Atlantis.

Much like Bejeweled, the name of the game in Jewel Link is matching gems. Match groups of three or more gems horizontally or vertically, and, being as unstable as they are, they'll explode, earning you points. The twist here is that unlike in Bejeweled, there's a little bit more strategy involved, as you need to try and make matches using every square on the grid at least once. Making a match on a square will turn its background from shades of blue into gold - and once the entire grid is golden, you can move on to the next level. As an added objective, you also need to fill up a few containers by matching enough of three different symbols before you can finish the level, although you'll mostly find you've filled them during the course of clearing the grid anyway.

Jewel Link also throws a handful of awkwardness your way, as the levels are scattered with all sorts of obstacles and special tiles, designed to make finding, and matching those groups of three that much harder. Some gems are locked up by one or two chains that can only be broken by including that gem in a match, or you might encounter some purple bricks that can only be destroyed by making a match next to them – these differences add a bit of variety to the standard gameplay, but sometimes seem to go a bit overboard and end up blocking half of the board off, leaving you to struggle making the only matches you can see over the opposite side of the board until the time runs out.

Each level is set against the clock, with a timer constantly ticking away at the side of the screen to provide you with a little more incentive to make as many matches as you can, as quickly as you can. While the time limit can be a bit frustrating at times, there are a number of things Jewel Link does to make it easier for you. For starters, after each game over you get the option to add an extra five minutes of time to the clock to give you some more breathing room. You also have a series of special moves you can deploy that destroy blocks, shuffle gems and, most usefully, give you even more time – although their use isn't indefinite, and is dependent on you having some charges stored in your magic crystal, which charges as you make matches.

Jewel Link Legends of Atlantis Screenshot

Different shades of blue require different numbers of matches to be made over them to flip to gold.

Tied together with some vague story about rebuilding the lost city of Atlantis, you have a choice between two different (yet decidedly similar) game modes to play through. First is the 'Adventure' mode, where you erect buildings in a rather unorthodox way - by playing though ten consecutive match three levels on differently shaped grids, followed by an eleventh bonus level where you're harvesting a number of blue pearls instead. The other mode, called 'Relax' simply lets you replay any of the previously completed levels in the game, with the exact same objectives and time limit – which considering some of the harsh time limits, may prove to be anything but relaxing.

One welcome addition to the game are the 'Trophies', which are a series of challenges to complete (much like the Xbox 360's achievement system). With tasks like completing a level in less than 40 seconds, matching six or more icons and solving twenty levels without using any special powers, they offer an incentive to come back and play some more once you've finished. Which you will, if you're anything like us, as you find yourself pouring hours in going for that elusive final award (damn you Puzzle Bobble Universe and your 'Score 3 million points in 100 second bubbles' achievement...).

If you're after a budget priced puzzle game to pass a few hours Jewel Link: Legends of Atlantis does what it does well, with some hundred levels of match three addictiveness. If you're all match-3'd out, perhaps it's time to make Legends of Atlantis your next time sink.
StarStarStarHalf starEmpty star
The only thing you'll be losing is your spare time.
  • +
    Addictive match three goodness
  • +
    Trophies give you something to work towards
  • +
    Powers are useful, especially the one giving you extra time
  • -
    Some of the icons can be a bit hard to differentiate, especially when chained up
  • -
    City-building aspect kind of isn't
  • -
    Time limit can seem a bit harsh
3.5/5
Parents! Looking for more info? Check out our quick parent's guide to Jewel Link: Legends of Atlantis for all you need to know!
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