Jewels of the Tropical Lost Island (Nintendo DS) Review

By Adam Riley 19.11.2010 2

Review for Jewels of the Tropical Lost Island on Nintendo DS

The Nintendo DS has quickly become a haven for puzzle fanatics, with numerous differing styles of brain-teasing efforts appearing on the touch-screen portable. From games such as 7 Wonders II to Jewel Quest Mysteries: The Curse of the Emerald Tear, the ‘Match 3’ mechanic has become increasing popular and now City Interactive has a new entry that it hopes will entice gamers considerably in the form of Jewels of the Tropical Lost Island.

Jewels of the Tropical Lost Island starts off by setting the scene and giving purpose behind exactly why the player must keep grinding through level-after-level of matching three-of-a-kind in order to progress further. The player takes on the role of a chap who just happens to look exactly like a wannabe Jack Sparrow who has inherited his uncle’s old sea vessel, and an old journal full of clues about how to find the numerous treasures he has left around none other than…the Caribbean! Throughout your journey you will meet many Pirates of the Caribbean, cross paths with the Spanish Armada and even have to do battle with fearsome sea monsters, before eventually uncovering Captain Bluebeard’s biggest secret, the legendary Mayan treasure.

How exactly are you meant to plunder all the gold and precious jewels that have been left behind? By setting sail on a ‘Match 3’ voyage where your puzzle-solving skills will be tested in what turns out to be an amazingly simple, yet highly addictive formula that surprisingly does not grow old. Generally to clear one of the plentiful supply of tile-filled boards, it is a case of matching three or more of the same item, ensuring at least one item on every square of a board has been cleared before the timer runs out (the background colour of each tile will change to indicate when something has been cleared there). This is not like Puzzle League, however, where two tiles can be moved right across the entire board. Here everything is locked within a particular location and only two tiles can be switched horizontally or vertically in order to obtain the required three-or-more matches.

Screenshot for Jewels of the Tropical Lost Island on Nintendo DS

There is also variety mixed in, though, such as having to clear a set number of items at times, or collecting enough supplies through matching three-of-a-kind to re-stock the ship you sail around the islands in. The early stages involve simply switching various tiles around, but further into the game there will be objects like large stone blocks that appear every now-and-then, which can only be removed by using the special cannonball function that appears infrequently during particular stages (when it appears, tap on the stone and *boom* away it goes!). There are also padlocked icons that can only be unlocked by completing a chain of three or more around it, including said icon.

In terms of layout on the Nintendo DS, Jewels of the Tropical Lost Island mainly makes use of the touch-screen for tile manipulation via the stylus, with the timer and points total appearing on the top screen. The top half also shows how far along you currently are with the present objective, be it collecting a certain amount of items by matching specific blocks, or reaching a set target. With 109 levels to play through, the intriguing inclusion of duel stages (where the quicker items are cleared, thus gaining chain combination moves, the more damage is dealt), 16 special challenges that open up during play to test veteran gamers, and lots of different bonuses to make use of during the main game, Jewels of the Tropical Lost Island is definitely one of the best Match 3 puzzlers on the Nintendo DS so far.

Screenshot for Jewels of the Tropical Lost Island on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

7 Wonders II was a great example of how well the Match 3 puzzle mechanic can work on the Nintendo DS, and now City Interactive’s Jewels of the Tropical Lost Island has upped the ante. There is still room for improvement, but for now puzzle fans should definitely give this a chance.

Developer

City

Publisher

Mastertronic

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Our member of the week

The concept seems to be almost identical to Animatch, which comes built-in the memory of the GP2X Wiz, except that you have to clear a certain amount of each type of tiles there. It's addicting Smilie

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

Very addictive indeed and it's good to see City Interactive adding some variety into the mix to help keep things fresh. I always shy away from Match 3 puzzlers thinking I'll be bored...yet once I start playing, I can't stop Smilie

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Watch Adam on the BBC! | K-Pop Korner FB Page | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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