App Review: Monkey Jewels by Pocketfun/Neil Balharrie
I am not quite sure how or why this app got the name that it did other that that monkeys seem to be popular among iTunes apps. Monkey Jewels is a fun and addicting game, though. It is not difficult to pick up on, but as the difficulty increases from one level to the next, the game does become a challenge. The premise of the game is very similar to Bejeweled. However, the goal is achieved in a different way. The “jewels” on the screen are all hexagons. You must try to get 3 or more hexagons of the same color in a group (forming a triangle) to remove them from the screen. The more hexagons in the group, the more points you get. When jewels are removed, they are replaced by others. To get the jewels of the same color to line up you slide one line of jewels horizontally or vertically past the others until the same color jewels match up. You do this by placing your finger on the line you wish to move and dragging it. When the same colored jewels are lined up they start flashing, and when you pick up your finger, they pop and disappear.
The hard part of this game is that each level has a quota that you must fill and a timer. The quota tells you how many clusters of each color you must remove before you advance to the next level. It would not be hard to meet these quotas if you had an unlimited amount of time, but you don’t. The timer is always going. Each time you remove a grouping of jewels a little bit of time is added to the timer, but it is hard to keep up. Especially as you advance to harder levels and there are more colors on the board. If you need to pause the game, there is a pause button at the bottom of the screen. Don’t think that you can pause it and look for your next move though. As soon as you press the pause button, the screen flips over to hide the jewels. You can even exit out of the app and it will remember right where you left off. It even puts a number one on the icon on your screen to let you know that there is one game in progress (nice). At the end of each game, the app gives you your score and your ranking. That gives you a goal to beat for next time.
This game is fun and easy to play. I enjoyed trying to beat the timer and my own top scores. Having a timer on each level was a fun twist that kept the games from dragging on and on. Overall, a fun game for everyone, but maybe a little pricey.
Monkey Jewels is $2.99 in the iTunes App Store.