Instead of swapping two gems either vertically or horizontally, matches in Diamonds Blaze are made by tapping and drawing your finger around the screen, making matches that contain far more gems than just the maximum of five that you'd find in a traditional match-three game. This mechanic itself has also been seen before in many casual PC download titles, but mixing it with this blitz-style experience does make it rather unique. The more symbols you match in one swipe of your finger, the better bomb power-up you'll create. These bombs act as wild cards, allowing you to use them to make further matches, only to destroy whole sections or patterns of the game board as they explode. That is, one may take out all gems of that same color, regardless of whether they were touching, while another might explode in a + shape across the board.
At the end of each level, you'll earn coins that can be used to purchase further power-ups, like one that allows you to swap out your symbols for a better layout (usually containing large groupings of like-colored gems), another that gives you three bombs as you start your game, or one that simply adds more time to your 60-second gameplay clock. Different power-ups cost different amounts of coins, so there's always an incentive to keep playing, if only to earn more coins and keep yourself in a usable supply of boosts.
Another similarity to Bejeweled Blitz comes with the ability to login to your Facebook account and compare scores with your friends on the in-game leaderboard. Twitter integration is also present, as is the ability to compare your scores with players worldwide on a weekly schedule. Finally, you can send out text invites to your friends for additional in-game coins. Unfortunately, that seems to be too prevalent a requirement in the game - sharing the game with your friends through various social media outlets in exchange for free coins, but since the game itself is free to download (and comes without ads), I suppose that's the price we pay.
Gallery: Diamonds Blaze on Android
Diamonds Blaze may ultimately have a similar setup to many of the match-three games we can play on Facebook or smartphones, but if you're looking for a new (incredibly colorful) way to pass the time, with a slight variation on the standard match-three template, make sure to try Diamonds Blaze for yourself.
Click here to download Diamonds Blaze on Android --->
Have you tried Diamonds Blaze or another game like it on your Android device? What do you think of this variation on the standard match-three gameplay? Sound off in the comments.