The great-grandchildren heirs to the legacy of tic-tac-toe have proven once again that the glory of Match-3 genre games has not gone to waste. Today there are ideas out there that, while still based on the original foundations, offer up a slightly different experience that is almost like a whole new game. Jewel Road, edited by Crescent Moon Games is a beautiful puzzle game with relaxing music, lush visuals, and not only that, but best of all it’s now available for free without any kind of in-game buying system. Nowadays, this kind of selfless altruism is certainly hug-worthy.
In this game, you’ll face up against sequences of levels where your main objective is getting your bard across the board in order to reach the castle, stepping on a variety of spaces along the way. On the lower side of your screen, there’s a box with different elements like; prairies, rivers, forests, and cities. Here your objective is to get three or more of the same kind of pieces together in order for your bard to move forward. From there on, things get a little harder as each new world you get to adds on different spaces. Making for a nice and sweet layer of complexity that only improves your gaming experience.
Linking up four or more spaces earns you a jewel which is of utmost importance given that every time your bard moves one space forward, your jewels get used up. This is why you’ll need to keep an eye on your levels of “mana” so that you don’t run out. If you do, you face a restart. Advanced spells will modify how your bard interacts with the game board, but they’re only available if you have enough jewels. These spells take on a greater role as you level up given that they’ll let you get rid of evil elements.
Jewel Road is a nicely balanced distraction that’s actually pretty relaxing thanks to its progressive but manageable challenges that never get too frustrating. Best of all, there are no hearts to fill in here, or Facebook friends to annoy in order to get tools. Gimmicks aside, it’s as simple as: install, play, and enjoy.