Gems of War Reviews

  • RadicalSniper99RadicalSniper991,577,016
    08 Jan 2019 01 Jul 2019
    13 0 0
    Gems of War. I've spent an unreal amount of time on this game since release. I originally started the game when it released, took an extended break before coming back. Since then, Gems has been an almost daily commitment for me. In 2018, this was nearly 400 hours. As such, I think I can talk in depth about my time with this game and give an honest review.

    First of all, what is Gems of War?

    Most basically, it is a match 3 puzzle game with a combat focus. Think Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords more than just plain old Bejeweled. You build a team of 4 troops and take on an enemy team. There are different colored gems on the board that charge special abilities of your troops with corresponding colors. First team to wipe out the other wins.

    Victory brings an assortment of resources such as gold, souls, traitstones among others. These all feed into different system and game mechanics to proceed, advance, and get more powerful. And this really brings us to what is some of the best and worst parts of Gems of War.

    Gems of War is Free to Play. This genre/game type has a bad reputation and usually leads to them being classified as "Pay 2 Win". I will say that Gems does not fall into this trap. Every currency is obtainable and in quantities that let you truly experience the game. You are NEVER required to spend a cent. Will it speed up the game? Yes. There of course is a benefit that players can reap from spending money. I will disclose that I have spent money:

    - Special Armor: The armor in this game can bestow bonus souls, gold, and experience. These 3 currencies are a big part of the experience and the 100% boost the armor I purchased here have been pretty valuable. Even in this instance however, you can get other armors with smaller bonuses. All you need to do is save up some of the gems you acquire to buy it.

    With numerous updates, the developers have done a great job making things streamlined and allowing players to skip things or speed up some of the slower elements. They've added depth through completely new systems and ways to extend the game.

    So everything seems good so far, right? And it is. But I think it's worth discussing the achievements in the game and how much goes into this.

    So we mentioned currencies earlier. But there are a lot. Each one has it's use and their own methods of collection and uses:

    - Gold: Purchase and Upgrade Kingdoms, Pay for Faction Upgrades, Pay into Guild Tasks
    - Souls: Upgrade Troops, Craft Stuff
    - Glory: Open Glory Chests
    - Guild Seals: Open Guild Chests
    - Gems: Open various Chests and Craft Stuff
    - Traitstones: Upgrade Troops
    - Food: Upgrade Pets
    - Ingots (Common up to Mythic): Upgrade Weapons
    - Chaos Shards: Open Faction Chests
    - Faction Treasure: Upgrade Treasure Level for the Factions
    - Troops: Besides placing them in your team, you will need multiple copies to upgrade them to higher rarities.

    And really, all of these are necessary. Nothing is in isolation. And this brings us to what a lot of this site cares about most - Achievements.

    For some people, the developer's continual release of achievements is a good thing. For others, it's been a curse. For completionists, this game is a very long grind and no end seems to be there. And why I said all these currencies are around together is because to be "strong enough" to do most achievements requires not just doing one thing. You need to spread your time amongst all the tasks and currencies to slowly build your power and ability. Slowly upgrade your team and make changes as you begin to acquire better troops. Collect the traitstones to give each character more abilities.

    And this is what makes the game great and addictive but also disliked by many. For players it can burn you out easily. It can feel endless while you don't think you're really doing anything. Almost like treading water. I still play it at least one hour daily probably. Do I regret it? No. I enjoy the style of this game. It's fun. I feel like it's time well spent.

    But I won't deny that at times I've hated it. I've joked to myself that every 5th title update has a "terrible" achievement that makes me question my commitment to finishing it all (Craft Xathenos in TU5 and Exalted in TU10). Do these periods of time mean the game isn't worth you checking out? I can't necessarily answer that for you. I've seen people who loved this game hate it today because of the new achievements and give much less glowing reviews.

    So where does this leave us? Do I judge the game for the countless hours I've played and enjoyed it? Or do I dock it for the grind that wears on you? For me, I enjoyed too much to give a "bad" review of it. But the grind isn't for everyone and that's something people will want to look out for.

    - Tons of content
    - Don't need to spend a dime
    - Great gameplay

    - Too much "content"?
    - The grind is real (and possibly neverending)


    Addendum: In the last couple months since writing this review, I still continue to play and enjoy this game. But I must point out a problem that would inevitably hurt new players. Many strategies and items are based on equipment that is not in circulation. Unfortunately, some items are so ingrained in the strategies to be "good" at Gems of War, that not having them is a serious problem. While the developer has said they are looking into this, it might become a very difficult hill to climb for some people looking to get into the game.
  • BIG ChromerBIG Chromer412,832
    13 Jan 2020
    4 0 0
    **NOTE - Review is done after about 2 months of playing.**

    I downloaded gems of war after much debate about whether I wanted to try this free to play game. Past experiences lead me to believe its another "You can do a few days worth of progress now pay or wait". To my shock, however, Gems of War breaks that mould!

    Gems of War is a match 3 style game, with your troops facing off against opposing troops in a variety of different battles or game styles. It is fairly simple to pick up, and addicting once you do. Now the elephant in the room with free games is whats the micro transactions like? Well I haven't spent a penny, and I don't feel like I am missing out on anything. Sure, I could have got that armour for my hero slightly sooner, but you get gems at a very consistent rate, if playing regularly, and participating in much of what Gems of War has to offer.

    I am going to break this review down into various sections of the game, as I feel this the best way to review a fairly large game. It is worth noting I have not yet unlocked the underworld, soulforge or anything else that comes with that, and shall update the review once I do.

    Before I get into the gameplay, I want to talk about how you earn troops. They primarily come from chests. This is where you'd expect a heavy paywall. When in fact.. there isn't really one. You earn all the currencies at such a steady rate, you don't really feel the need to spend. Troops themselves are diverse, and making a team can be a whole lot of fun. You can level them up using souls, or use traitstones to give them special attributes, or if you have enough duplicates, you could ascend them. There is lots to do on the team making front.

    I am going to start by just talking about Kingdoms, and battles within them. The adventures are generally fairly easy, but with a decent story line to keep you entertained as you face off along a selection of battles in each kingdom. At the end you get to keep the hero you were helping as a troop. Each kingdom has its challenges, and they are sometimes fairly tough for newer players, but do reward very well. Then you can unlock a class at each kingdom, classes give you certain boosts, and you'd want to choose the right class for the troops you are currently playing with. Each kingdom when unlocked also rewards you with a banner, which boosts mana earned when matching certain coloured games, or in some cases, decreases it.

    The second main thing I have found with Gems of War is guilds. I was very fortunate after hopping for a while between guilds to stumble across a great guild. Which as I will mention shortly, is very beneficial to you even as a solo player. Guilds work together to earn boosts, rewards and guild seals. The rewards are earned by spending your gold on the guardians, seals are earned by just playing the game, with a breakdown of this available in the guild menu. Seals are used primarily to open Guild Chests, and depending on how many seals your guild has earned that week, the more likely the chest is to contain a higher rarity troop. I think that is a pretty neat way of working it.

    Also in guilds you have events, Tower of Doom, Raid boss, Invasion and Guild Wars. These are fun events with one on every week in a rotation. Given I have only been playing shy of 2 months, I have yet to properly experience them in great amounts. Though what I have experienced I really enjoyed!

    PVP is another mode in the game, with both ranked and casual, so far I have only played ranked. It gives you a choice of 3 opponents, with their teams strengths listed, along with the rank points earned for beating them, or lost if you lose. You gain a small reward every time you advance a rank, starting at 15 each week. I find this to be a great mode, and can be played fairly casually, or, choose harder opponents for a tougher experience.

    Their is a whole ton more game modes here, but I shan't list them all, they are under than game section of the menu, and all have a little fun to them.

    My last point is how quickly you can earn the various resources, souls, gold, glory, gems and guild seals all trickle in at a very nice rate. As do keys to open chests. That is, so long as you are logging in daily for your daily, weekly and monthly reward, you check the daily challenges, and you participate in a guild. Even if you don't contribute much in a casual guild at first, others buying the rewards grant them for the whole guild.

    All in all, Gems of War is a very, very solid match 3, free to play game. With challenging achievements the 100% may be unlikely, but an easy at least 1,000 gamerscore awaits anyone who has time for a good, free puzzle game. As such, I rate it 4/5.
  • GrobaniteGrobanite2,159,627
    15 Dec 2015 15 Dec 2015
    14 15 10
    External image

    Gems of War is a RPG / strategy / 3-win mix.
    You've an avatar/hero that you level to unlock different abilities and improve attributes. You can select different weapons that actively affect the gameplay. The game has a PVPE system (you are playing against the formation of other players, but against the computer). Arena competitions (hero + 3 units, you have to choose from 3x3 cards), treasure hunts, challenges of varying difficulty, and about 17 countries with its own quest lines (the sometimes more, sometimes less entertaining), provide for varied gameplay.
    There are various things that can be bought for money or earned during the game.
    You are not forced to spend money (who does this has himself to blame).
    Until you've unlocked and leveled all units (over 100 in the game) it takes a few hours of play.

    A very solid addictive Puzzle RPG of the Puzzle Quest creators.