Review Gunspell - Epic Adventure!
Jewel matching game with a detective story on the side
Author: Kevin Vadala
Date: 04 Jul 2017, tested on Samsung GT-I9500 Galaxy S4
Good jewel mechanics
Gunspell- Epic Adventure! for Android is an adventure game with the main component consisting of jewel fights. You play a police officer who is looking for his sister, and you get tangled up in fights with undead and various urban fantasy creations. When you fight a creature, suddenly the game becomes bejeweled as you match diamonds, skulls, and other intricate stones to attack your opponent. You can also use weapons by tapping on them to release an “attack”, which gets powered up from your jewel combinations.
In a lot of ways, Gunspell feels like a very creative attempt in which the developers asked themselves something. “How can we make a game without creating any really unique gameplay, but tack a story on it that makes the game seem interesting? But then, also add a few gimmicks here and there to spice things up and make it more sellable.” That’s really what the game is and while the experience is pretty painless and the story can be interesting (when you get to read it), it’s not an interesting game, nor a revolutionary one. When a game reminds you to play it because your “stamina” ran out, it’s a bad sign; no matter how effective it is at getting players to come back to enjoy the game. As South Park understands and mentioned in its episode, it's a way to call back players. “The industry calls these players whales” addicted to the game.
The graphics in the game are decent. Well, depending on how you look at it, as these games tend to have them. There’s no moving around in the world, and the story takes place through a series of still-art scenes with the main character floating over backgrounds. The stones and tiles in the jewel combat pieces look very detailed and have a variety of different colors and textures. I particularly liked the green gems, which actually refresh your health as you are fighting. The developer’s did do a good job with this sort of system in that you can get gems that you need during a fight, so some strategy is involved because you pick combos that you need at a certain time and it also gets tricky because your opponent plays on the same board.
Gunspell has very solid bejeweled gameplay, but it has all of the common free-to-play gimmicks along with it. I can say that it’s good for a mobile freemium game, which isn’t much of a compliment in some ways. But it isn’t a game that I would play or feel the need to return to, even though it won’t stop asking me to do so.