Card games are great fun to play with friends, but for those solitary times when there is nothing better to do, patience games are always a fun pastime. The same goes for all those Match-3 puzzle titles on the market, with them proving to be excellent forms of entertainment for up to many hours in one sitting. What would happen if the worlds of patience and Match-3 collided, though? Jewel Quest Solitaire is the result, and the first three entries into the melded series have been thrown together for one big bundle of budget bliss in Jewel Quest Solitaire Trio on Nintendo DS.
Jewel Quest Solitaire Trio takes players on a journey through the South American jungle and African deserts, with the aim of matching cards, swapping jewels and unearthing hidden secrets being the order of the day. The problem with Jewel Quest Solitaire Trio, though, is that it takes two solid concepts, mixes them together, and somehow comes out with a highly watered-down end product. There may well be the inclusion of ”unique tri-peaks solitaire gameplay”, but the whole package lacks enough sparkle compared to other products on the market for DS and, subsequently, leaves players growing weary after only a short time.
The main purpose is to clear away the cards spread before you, each of which is not only emblazoned with the usual number/suit set-up of a standard deck, but also different jewels that get added to your collection every time something is removed from the main playing area. Once the solitaire section is done with, the game moves onto a Match-3 mode.
There is rather odd feature found during the Match-3 puzzle element, though, where the jewels collected must be cleared in groups of three or more of the same colour, as per the standard rules of such games. However, the strange element is how when a set of jewels are matched and removed, if another match is automatically made as a result of new jewels falling onto the screen from above the resultant group is not cleared. Instead the player is more often than not faced with a situation where there are three, four or even five jewels of the same colour sat there horizontally or vertically doing nothing. Therefore, players must actually choose two of the same colour and simply switch them around before the game registers an actual similarly-shaded batch! Given how advanced Match-3 games have become over the years, this approach is extremely antiquated and very awkward on the whole, which sums up the entire Jewel Quest Solitaire Trio package, unfortunately.
Whilst there is plenty of content packed into this trio of games, ultimately it comes down to the fact that there is not really any drive to keep on trucking through stage after stage of the same run-of-the-mill gameplay. A better option would be downloading one of the solitaire games on DSiWare, such as Nintendo’s own 2-in-1 Solitaire, or picking up brilliant Match-3 efforts like Jewels of the Ages from City Interactive on DS. Each game may get progressively better, with varied content being poured in to alleviate the monotony, but sadly even special cards and tri-peak solitaire layouts do not manage to keep your attention for too long.
The basic concept of Solitaire is interesting enough to keep players entertained for a while, but mixed with a very rudimentary form of Match-3 puzzling does not quite gel as well as it possibly could have done.
Very basic visuals portraying the cards and even simpler graphics for the Match-3 element, making this look and feel like a first generation DS title.
Forgettable music that neither irritates, nor pleases.
Three games in one makes for a tasty package, but when the content is not particularly riveting, more of the same does not make for compelling playing.
Read and post comments
Anyone that loves solitaire and Match-3 puzzle games may think that Jewel Quest Solitaire Trio is a match made in heaven for them. However, unfortunately, despite the huge potential, all three games miss the mark slightly and the mixture of two gameplay styles does not quite gel like it possibly could. You would be better off buying two separate solitaire and Match-3 games, both of far better quality.
Avanquest Software Publisher
some guy who loved the pc versions (guest) 05.01.2012 01:31#1
The jewels not clearing when they fall into place like that is actually good! That way you can clear below them and have them fall into place over and over, down the board.
Besides, if they did clear immediately, then the board wouldn't fill up as easily during the solitaire part of the game.