BrainJewel is an Egyptian adventure that tests your patience and your brainpower through minigames and puzzles
Feel like traversing an Egyptian landscape while honing your hand-eye coordination, memory, and math skills? BrainJewel is a new social game by TribePlay that aims to bring learning to Cairo through a mixture of puzzles and brain teasers.
BrainJewel follows a model that has been carefully honed in Facebook puzzle games over the past couple of years. Players begin as a lowly rank-one adventurer with just one puzzle stage unlocked for play. Finishing the puzzle with a decent enough score will complete the level and allow the player to progress. Each level in the first board of BrainJewel is unique, featuring a variety of mini games to tease the brain (or stress you out, if you’re not fond of games that use your brain power to play). Mini games include pattern matching, memory, math matching, and rapid clicking to earn a high amount of points. Points in BrainJewel are then turned into stars, with each level having a maximum amount of three stars earned.
Some of these puzzles are particularly fun, such as one that shows a uniquely shaped lock while the player quickly chooses the correct key that fits. Other mini games are boring and stressful, such as the tornado level that shows you several mundane items, and then removes one and asks the player to name which item was lost. Levels have a timer, therefore the objective is to rapidly complete as many rounds as possible before time runs out. BrainJewel features boosts to help reduce the frustration, which do everything from doubling your multiplier right off the bat to giving you shields that prevent you from losing your multiplier. These boosts are purchased with the gems earned from scoring well in the minigame levels.
In addition to the levels and minigames in BrainJewel, there is a global leaderboard that shows how you compare at playing the games in relation to the rest of the world. You can also see how your score fares when put up next to your friends, which can lead to some competitive smack talk. There is also an artifact system that allows you to find rare items throughout the game to add to your personal collection, and treasure points that increase your rank as you play the game and beat various levels.
BrainJewel is certainly polished and pleasing to look at. The art is colorful and clean, the fonts easily readable, the interface windows informative and not cluttered, and the sounds are well-placed and whimsical. However, the game design beneath all the pizazz feels lackluster and rather monotonous at times. Instead of being excited about completing levels and seeing what kind of puzzle is next, I found myself frustrated and wanting the game to be over. However, I don’t necessarily think that experience will be a universal one.
This Brain Age-style game convention is a popular one in the casual games space, and many brain teaser Flash games have done very well on Facebook and the web. There is nothing inherently wrong with BrainJewel; it is a well-executed version of this genre of game, and those who love these kind of games should find BrainJewel to be a worthy addition to Facebook.
BrainJewel is one of those games that you’re either going to really enjoy or you will grow bored within minutes.