Breakout was created in 1976 as a cabinet arcade game. Since then, we have seen a plethora of clones, rip offs and homages. There are so many games like it that it has its own genre. Gem Smasher is a breakout type game with an adventurous plot that will give you a reason to keep going.
Players choose from a crab, chicken, or hedgehog to play the game with. The crab, named Bau, is free, but the others, Bam and Bom, cost $0.99 to unlock.
To unlock the exit portal, players must rescue all of the kidnapped creatures. Creatures are all inside gems, but be sure to smash the stones, too. There is always something hidden in them. In fact, there is a key hidden in one of the stones that unlocks the final boss level, allowing you to move on to the next world.
Each smash-em-up level has evil henchmen waiting in blocks to kill you off. If you bounce on one of these henchmen, you’ll lose a life. Luckily, there is no penalty for losing a life other than the time it takes to refresh.
After a certain amount of time, the evil scientist IMBU will come out of his lair and chase you around the screen. He moves like a ghost, so you can avoid him fairly easily, but it adds to the difficulty of clearing the screen when you have IMBU chasing you and four henchmen waiting to turn you to worm food.
There are two levels in the first world that have special stones in them. These stones can only be busted open by Bam and Bom. In order to clear every stone on these two levels, players must purchase the additional characters.
That means that you can’t clear the entire screen on those levels. Remember when I told you that some stones have hidden keys in them to unlock the boss level? Well, the keys are hidden in those stones. You can’t complete the first world without buying the additional characters.
This game is lots of fun and worth the low price of $0.99 to unlock the additional characters. I recommend playing a couple of levels and then unlocking Bam and Bom right away so that you can move on with the story faster. You’ll have to replay levels that are meant specifically for those characters anyway.
What I liked: As breakout type games go, this one is fun. There are interesting elements to it that make it worth continuing on.
What I didn’t like: The graphics are pretty low-fi. It’s not like a retro game either. They are just kind of weak.
To buy or not to buy: If you like games from the breakout genre, give this one a try. You’ll probably end up paying the $0.99 to unlock the full game because it is fun.
- Name: Gem Smashers
- Version Reviewed: 1.2
- Category: Games
- Developer: Thumbstar Games
- Price: Free