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Jewel Master Collection: Cradle of Mediocrity


Jewel Master: Egypt and Jewel Master: Cradle of Athena were not brilliant games. At best, they're average match-3 titles that, if nothing else, are okay for gamers that are either so addicted to the genre that they've played everything else on the market or insomniacs looking for a DS title to put them to sleep. (The review for Jewel Master: Egypt can be found here, while the review for Cradle of Athena is here.)  Now, however, Storm City Games has seen fit to include both titles on one DS cartridge, Jewel Master Collection, which, considering the lack of unique content in each of the games in question, isn't an entirely bad idea.


In porting both of the Jewel Master titles to the same cartridge, nothing of the individual titles has been lost. Both games remain relatively lengthy and unexciting takes on the match-3 formula, asking the player to match tile after tile in a vaguely historical setting. Both games operate under the pretense that this tile matching is somehow building mighty empires, but, unlike more RPG-esque match-3 games, this has very little effect on the actual gameplay. Still, the games don't freeze or crash, and there's no basic problems with the tile matching itself. While the gameplay in these titles is not extraordinary, it's also not horrible.


What can be said about Jewel Master Collection is that, in combining the two games and selling them for twenty dollars, Storm City has come up with a game that's an excellent value. Although your enjoyment of the game is entirely dependent on your ability to sit around and match tiles for hours on end, if that's the sort of thing that you like to do, this game certainly offers as many hours of gameplay as anyone could possible want. Since neither of the games is abhorrently bad, it's not difficult to imagine someone buying and enjoying this, even if a lot of gamers will find it a bit tedious.


If you've read this much of this review and are still considering a purchase of Jewel Master Collection, it would be difficult for me to discourage you. The visuals, sound, and gameplay don't stand out in any way whatsoever, but both titles were programmed onto this cartridge flawlessly, with clean and easy to use menus and exit options tying them together neatly. Even if it's not an impressive game that players will be talking about for years to come, it's safe to say that players expecting a basic match-3 experience will come away from Jewel Master Collection having gotten their money's worth.

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