[Android App Review] Jewels

Platform: Android Smartphones (Reviewed on HTC Hero)
Developer: MH Games
Price: Free
Genre: Match-Three Puzzle

Jewels is, as I’m sure you’ve guessed if you have a functioning brain, a derivative of the phenomenally popular Bejeweled. Of course, match-three puzzle games have become more common than AIDS in Africa (was that in bad taste?) since the original Bejeweled launched in 2000, and for good reason. It’s simple, it’s addictive, and it’s fun.

Why am I reviewing a free Bejeweled rip off? Because Android users can’t currently get the real thing on their mobile phones, and everyone loves match-three puzzle games. There are countless variations of the genre on the app store, so I want to make sure you readers are able to find the best one. It’s not like I’m saving your money so much as I’m saving your time since this is a completely free app, but surely that’s good enough right? And I’m also really bored.


You’re still reading? Why? I don’t understand. This app is a free ripoff of Bejeweled for the Android Phone platform. That should really be enough information. But since it’s obviously not, let’s get into a few more details.

The game offers three modes of play: Normal, Timed and Infinite. In Normal mode, you are tasked with getting the highest score possible before running out of turns on the board. In order to score, you must match at least three of the same symbols on the playing field, with bonuses for combos and such. It’s simple fun, but the game’s engine isn’t very good about consistently offering available moves. One game could last two minutes, another could last a hundred and two. Having available moves is all about luck, and that can get annoying.

Timed mode is the same concept, only you are tasked with getting as far as you can without running out of time. This option is much more competitive and score-driven than the last, making it much more fun and challenging, giving the game a bit more gravity. You slowly build up a meter at the bottom of the screen with your combos, and the meter is constantly draining itself forcing you to find moves as quickly as possible. This is definitely the most fun of the available modes. Infinite mode is exactly what you think. Just keep playing. If you run out of moves, the board is emptied and refilled.

The game looks pretty enough, with bright colors and acceptably pretty backgrounds that change depending on which stage you are able to advance to. The overall simple and colorful graphics paint a minimalistic visual style that well suits this genre and will appeal to casual gamers looking for something fun to do on the bus or while waiting to get their oil fixed. Audio is thankfully just as simple, with beeps and boops here and there instead of an obnoxious list of sound effects or terrible background music.

Jewels also offers up local and worldwide scoreboards, a nice plus for people who are really competitive with their casual gaming.

Final Words:

Scan this with your Android phone’s barcode scanner to download Jewels

Jewels is a fun little game which is easy to get addicted to. It is great for short bursts of gaming, and since it is a rip off of Bejeweled it is pretty much guaranteed everyone is going to like it. I’ve been through a few similar games from the market, and I can safely say Jewels is the best match-three puzzle game on the Android platform at this time. For free, at least. Does that make it a great game? Not really, but it does do enough things right to warrant space on your phone.

Score: 7.75/10 (Very Good)

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