Jewel Fever 2 review
May 11, 2020
I love Bejewelled - specifically Bejewelled 3 . It is perhaps the most accessible, relaxing, and stimulating puzzle game I’ve played. It is immensely casual, and the premise is match 3 or more gems together to clear the board and progress. If you run out of gems to create 3 or more, the game is over.
It’s simple, yet incredibly fun and addictive - a lot of that is because of the polish that went into these games - the presentation is always immense and leaves you thoroughly engaged in what is essentially a match-3 puzzle game. At the same time, Bejewelled 3 has not arrived on the Nintendo Switch (very likely because the game is a decade old), making paths clear for copycat clones to enter and attempt to steal its thunder.
Which leads us onto Jewel Fever 2. I had bought a few games and I had some Nintendo Gold Points to spend, and the game was significantly cheap that I could use my points and still have some more to spend afterwards. Nintendo tells me I spent 89p worth of Nintendo points on this game. And sadly, I regret my purchase - and that’s with the discount (apparently the game costs ~$5 without discount, which I think is an absolute rip-off).
Fundamentally if I was to strip out all the fancy animations, graphics, music, etc from Bejewelled, I would be left with Jewel Fever 2. And by that I mean that in terms of how gems are created and how they are laid out across the board, it is the one thing that the team behind Jewel Fever 2 cloned accurately - I’ll give them a point for that. Also, the art assets, while looking somewhat cheap, do fit the bill. However, everything else from the animations, to the music, to the sound effects are so incredibly cheap that it does more damage to the game.
Lets start with the animations. In Bejewelled, all the gems would gracefully fall into the missing slot in a way that was consistent and wouldn’t actually stop me as the player from selecting the next move - it was incredibly forgiving.
However in Jewel Fever 2, gems either slide or bounce in an inconsistent way where things either bounce erratically or they just slide in. The timing is the same, but the animations of the gems filling in the column just throws me off every single time. The animations are a jank fest, deliberately desgined to pull you out of “the zone”.
The presentation is incredibly low budget with the only thing that seems to have any serious money spent on it is replicating the Bejewelled icons. The background is some generic purple clouds with compression artefacts in them along the stars.
The UI looks incredibly tacky and garish, with it not really matching the whole clouds vibe - the buttons all have this weird gummy-bear look to them. There is little in the way of a consistent theme - just anything that can be thrown together, even if the overall presentation is all over the place. Messages pop up out of view and are easily missed.
The music - the little music this game has - is of the same, awful calibre. During gameplay, this game has one song that loops over and over, and it is some gentle guitar tune that would be OK in some setting where the game is introducing some plucky protagonist, but not something that should be looped over and over in the background - listen to this to see what I mean.
But then again, that link really doesn’t do it justice - the song ends and I hear this abrupt awkward pause for several seconds. It is just so thoroughly terrible that I don’t feel like I’m playing a satisfying game, but being put in a mental asylum forced to endure what I feel is a slow form of torture. For comparison to Bejewelled, that was a game I could - if I’m not careful - spend an entire day playing due to the casual relaxing nature of it.
The sound effects in this game are pathetically generic - I understand what the creators were going for, but the sounds never mesh with the entire theme of the game - often making me feel like I must’ve misheard and the sounds came from somewhere else, like the TV. The sounds are incredibly generic.
One of the memorable bizarre sound being the one where if the user switched the wrong gem, a sound like Mario shooting a fireball plays. The absolute worst offender has to be when the game ends, to which I was presented wtih a sharp, abrupt buzzer sound with the text “Game Over”. breaking what focus I had.
If I had to guess the financial budget for this game, I would probably guess in the tens. The game feels so shoddily slapped together that I wouldn’t even be surprised if some art assets like the images, the background, the sounds or the music was stolen.
I haven’t even talked about the lack of power ups, or the lack of any distinct modes because it isn’t even worth talking about in the wake of the core game being so unappealing to play.
I boot up the game, and there is a logo proudly proclaiming the developers - Sprakelsoft GmbH mobile game developers. Doing a quick search online does confirm that the Nintendo Switch version is a port of a mobile version that is available for free (bear in mind the original Switch cost is $5).
Sprakelsoft offers Jewel Fever 2 on Android, which looks significantly different to iOS’s Jewel Fever 2. Except on iOS, that isn’t Jewel Fever 2 - it is actually Jewel Fever 2 HD and Android sells iOS’s Jewel Fever 2 as Jewel Fever. Sprakelsoft GmbH are incredibly clear and straightforward with their games, as you can tell.
But it isn’t just Bejewelled clones they offer! They’ve also ripped off Super Mario with Croc’s World, Croc’s World 2, Croc’s World 3, and they’ve even cloned Super Mario Maker with their own Croc’s World Construction Kit. If you were worried about originality at Sprakelsoft GmbH, then worry no more - they never had an ounce of creativity to start with.
Jewel Fever 2 is an awful, poorly assembled game by developers desperately trying to make a quick buck that nobody should waste their money on buying. Furthermore, based on my experience with Jewel Fever 2, you probably shouldn’t even bother downloading the free app equivalents.