Jewel Match Solitaire is a video game developed by Suricate Software. It is a pyramid style game with a regal coat of paint put on it. It is part of the Jewel Match franchise but do not be fooled; while there are bonus games, there is not really much in the way of matching gameplay.
The game’s visuals are very pretty, and in a way keeping a solemn tone. On its most important visuals, that is on the building space, there are no shining lights or big bright colors. This keeps with the theme of a lovely, grand castle where you could envision yourself ruling over a kingdom. As you build it, you can keep adding to the feel of the place as you add decorations; nothing too out there, as we discussed, but still charming visuals like watchtowers that give a militaristic mood to the otherwise peaceful landscape. The cards maintain their classical look, since they already fit the tone desired for this title.
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In terms of gameplay, there are quite a few layers to it, so let us start at the main attraction that binds them all together: Solitaire. If you have played the game before, you should know the rules are a bit different here, hence why it was mentioned previously that this is in a pyramid style. What matters most to match are the numbers, not the kind of card (hearts, diamonds and so forth), and you can only match them to the deck of cards that you have at the bottom of the screen. You choose a stage from a map given to you at the start of the game and interestingly enough, if you do not manage to get rid of all the cards, you simply get a low score but you get to continue along the map. You can, of course, re play any given unlocked stage as many times as you want.
To differentiate itself from other solitaire games, this one has some special tricks up its sleeve in the form of obstacle cards. These can be either obstacles or normal cards with something on them, and you must clear that before you can use them. If the card is locked, you must find the key hidden in the deck. If it is frozen, you have to use it twice (handy for combos). If they have a ribbon, you have to find scissor cards, and so on. So if you were afraid this was just going to be about one hundred stages of simple solitaire, think again.
As you beat stages, you make points that transform into coins, one of the game’s currencies. With them, you can buy power ups for the solitaire levels, which come quite in handy when you feel you have been dealt a raw deal. You can, for example, buy joker cards that can be used whenever you wish, allowing you to make difficult matches that were otherwise impossible. Or you can buy permanent upgrades, like increasing the ability to undo a move, or even to passively gain joker cards without having to buy them.
As you play, you might notice that some cards have red gems behind them. They are used to build new rooms and upgrades for your manor, and you get them by clearing the cards covering them, not by beating the level. This changes how you strategize, since if you feel you might not succeed in clearing all the cards, you might want to prioritize the ones with gems behind them.
If you perform exceptionally well in any given stage, you will be rewarded stars. This is the third and final form of currency in the game, and this is used automatically to unlock the bonus levels. These are all over the map, and offer a different kind of challenge for people used to the solitaire gameplay and want to try a different style, like spider solitaire.
Jewel Match Solitaire is definitely a fun twist on the formula, and it will certainly get you hooked trying to get the high score on each of its widely varied levels. And the art style comes quite in handy to get in the mood for the spooky festivities.
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