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Thrifty Thursday: Jewel Up

Sorry it’s been a while since the last post. It must have been a gap of about two weeks or so. But now that Christmas and New Year’s is all over, I can resume the normal routine again.

I discovered this little game while browsing through Big Download – one of my fave blogs seeing as it’s dedicated to PC gaming. After posting the download link to the NAG DVD suggestion forum thread, I downloaded it myself over New Year’s.

I got a chance to sit down and actually install and play it recently.

screenshot153 Jewel Up is a free game that was made available recently at Clintwood’s website. You can also download it at the App Store for use on your iPhone.

You’d expect it to be very similar to another favourite casual game of years past, namely Bejeweled. And you’d probably be right, seeing as it play a lot like said game.

So once the game is fired up, you arrive at the main menu. If you go to the Options menu, you can select your board style, or background, your style of gem (there are always four different games no matter which style), as well as whether you will receive any hints in-game. Then there’s also the sounds and music volumes too, if you don’t want those to play during the game. The music isn’t bad though, speaking of which.

Getting on to actually playing the game now, you can select one of three game modes: these are “Overcharge”, “Time Attack”, and “Endless” (or freeplay). This last mode is no doubt my favourite.

Overcharge sees you fighting against the clock, but the main aim other than this is to charge the chargers present on the board. Time Attack means you obviously have to also play against the clock, and it seems as though you have limited time that cannot be incremented no matter what you do. I said it seems this way – maybe it isn't so.

The only mode that really appeals to me is the Endless or freeplay mode. There’s no time limit, and you can just keep playing and levelling up all day long if you want.

screenshot420 In all game modes, the objective, just like in Bejeweled, is to link a number of gems together to score points. The minimum chain you can have is three. This is worth 40 points. Four gems in a chain is worth 75; Five gems is 120; Six gems is 175 points.

Then the game borrows a bit from the likes of Unreal Tournament it seems, when at 7 gems you get the announcer, who says “Impressive!”. At 8 gems in a chain, you get “Excellent!” – very Mortal Kombat. At 9 gems it’s “Awesome”, and at 10 gems, which is the most you can have it seems, you get “Godlike!”

After building a big enough chain, usually six or more gems, you get a bomb which will drop on the board. If you can build a chain of gems close enough to it, then the bomb will explode, taking out all the gems in a particular row or column (rows are across, columns are down).

At the end of each play on the first two modes, Overcharge and Time Attack, you will get to see all of the statistics, and awards achieved during the session.

Overall, a nice way to pass some time. Two game modes don’t appeal to me, but one largely does. It may not be Bejeweled, but it is free, and it’s fun - and that’s what matters here.

Download it: [PC version] [iPhone version]



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