While most match-three Facebook games revolve around earning as many points as you can within a 60 second window, Qublix's Jewel Journey is instead focused on gathering treasure, as you'll complete dozens of levels with the overall goal being to move special treasure fragments to the bottom of the screen to collect them.
What starts as a simple setup becomes more complicated, as the board changes shape in each level, oftentimes creating mid-level barriers that you'll have to navigate the treasure around in order to collect it. In addition, some gems may become frozen or locked behind chains, requiring you to make matches with them before they can be swapped as normal. As you make horizontal or vertical matches of at least three or more like colored gems, you'll quickly come upon multiple power-ups, like those you've seen time and time again, specifically in Bejeweled. Some wipe out all gems of a single color, while others clear out a group of surrounding gems like a bomb, as just two examples.
There's not a traditional "lives" system limiting your play in Jewel Journey. Instead, each level's timer can run down and cause you to fail and try again, but you can also spend coins, the game's premium currency to shuffle all tiles on the board, blow up specific pieces that might be in your way and so on. These coins are handed out pretty regularly with continued play, as you'll earn experience points for completing levels, and each level earned rewards you with coins. You can also earn coins by playing continuously for 10 minute chunks of time, and will earn trophies along the way for performing exceptionally well. Of course, if you run out of coins and then fail a level, you might need to wait a bit before more coins are allotted to you to try again.
Interestingly, while Jewel Journey allows you to make matches while others are still disappearing from the board, it can be incredibly easy to get ahead of the game if you're fast enough. That is, you might make a set of matches at the bottom of the screen, but animations are still continuing at the top, forcing you to wait for the game to catch up to you. This isn't a deal breaker, but it is a nice ego boost, as you're "better" than the game in these instances.
Additionally, the game's Indiana Jones graphical theme is an interesting one, especially considering that the beginning of the game places you in the Grand Canyon, but this theme only seems to go so far as the main menu. Even the game's music is rather basic, as though the Indiana Jones design of the game's mascot was an afterthought. Either way, there's a lot of fun to be had with Jewel Journey, especially if you're a fan of the many similar iPad games that have been released on iTunes over the years. If you're ready to join the game's user base of over 1 million players, you can now do so for free on Facebook.
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Have you played Jewel Journey or any similar Facebook games? What do you think of this level-based gameplay? Sound off in the comments!