Gemsmith


A couple of brand new games being offered by Tonypa on his website that features other excellent casual Web games, as well as tutorials for those interested in creating games in Flash.

Gemsmith comes in two varieties: Ruby and Diamond. Both games feature similar gems and hexagonal play fields, and yet the gameplay for each is unique thus offering two very different experiences.

RubyRuby will seem familiar to anyone who has played Sudoku. The object of the game is to place the colored gems within the cells of the hexagonal play field such that no two gems of the same color appear within the same continuous row. Each hexagonal cell can be part of three (3) different rows, so the challenge is in placing the gems in the correct places as each level has only one solution. You may swap the current gem with one already placed on the board, and there is no time limit imposed.

Analysis: Ruby differs from Sudoku in that the player is not free to choose what symbol to place next on the board. I see this choice of interface as both a strength and a weakness to the game. It is a strength since a player may quickly pick-up and get started with the game simply by clicking on a free cell and placing a gem. The weakness being this same interface may result in a no-win situation and therefore force the player to reset the board and start over.

I like the idea of a hexagonal Sudoku game, and playing with colored gems has proven to be quite popular with the casual games audience. If you like Sudoku, be sure to check out Tonypa's Ruby game.

DiamondDiamond will be familiar to anyone who has played games like Net. The object of the game is to rotate the gems such that connectors form a continuous circuit throughout the play field thus turning all gems from brown to yellow. Each level is randomly generated and there is only one solution that leaves no connector unused.

Simply click on a gem to rotate it clockwise, or press Shift while clicking to rotate counter-clockwise.

A bit easier to play than Ruby, and with levels that increase in size as the game progresses, Diamond is a wonderful game for anyone with even a minor case of OCD.

Note: Since I am unable to link to his games directly, I have not provided my usual "Click" links that open the respective game in a pop-up window. Tonypa's games had previously been looted and appear illegally all over the Web. As a countermeasure to the piracy, he has added scripts to his site that require you to enter 'through the front door' each time you play. Here's the front door: Click.

20 Comments

As usual, Tonypa delivers! I love all of the games on his site. I sure wish he could put up more -- darn piracy.

You also have a great site, Jay. Keep up the great work!

These games have interesting gameplay and nice music, but why do they have move limits? I particularly like Diamond, but with some gems, an accidental click will force you to spend five additional moves to get it back to where it was, since there's no counterrotation. I think that a move limit and a high score list are unnecessary and don't fit with the relaxed mood of the game.

jay, thank you very much for such a nice review :)
Sorry about not allowing direct links, I think you could link to start.html showing the game select menu, it should work.

I hope this is not too much advertising, but if someone wants to comment "Lost Picture" game, I would love to hear what you think.

ACLS: you can hold down Shift key rotate counter-clockwise so after wrong click you do not need to spend 5 clicks.

Thanks, Tonypa - start.html works and I have updated the appropriate links. I thought I had tried that at first but got bumped back up to the top. Oh well.

I also added the shift-click tip to the Diamond info.

And no worries, I completely understand why you chose to handle your games differently. =)

Diamond is just too addictive...

What's really sad though, is that I managed to get a positive score (of 2) before I figured out that you could shift-click.

I wish there were more levels in Diamond. :( If the hexagon had just grown an increment every time, that would be awesome.

I really liked it though!

i really like lost picture! It takes a minute to figure out, but once you get it, it's fun!

Oh man, I can play lost picture for hours on end. I love it!

Thank you, amanda and scramble125, makes me very happy to hear you like it :)

Tonypa, I actually like "Lost Picture" the best of all of them, though i think the dificulty of the pictures varies alittle to much to make competing for the high score very reliable. i mean the star is 10 dots, while i almost lost to the 25 or so on the chicken.

After that i like "Gemsmith" (Diamond) and "Starrunner". thanks for the shift-click to turn other way, very helpful.

But truthfully the only ones that didn't hold my attention for to long where "Full Flowers" and "White is not Enough"

Draffut, I agree that pictures are not equal, but you still need to complete 5 of them to finish the game. Getting 5 small pictures in a row is unlikely (but surely not impossible). Plus for small picture it is easier to miss all the dots while in bigger picture you have better chance to get several hits in 1 move which gives you bonus points.

seems to be not playable anmyore :(

You have to find the word "gemsmith" on the page and click it.

Sorry, I managed somehow break some of older games while updating the site. Hopefully its working now again.

Heh, I decided to come back for a replay on this one. I still love Diamond, but it is insanely hard! I can only get to level 3, at which point all are yellow except two or three, and I can't get the right order for the life of me! I'd better have a go again and see if I can :D

Love your site Tonypa!

Woot! I tried again this morning, and was able to beat it all first try! Much fun ;)

Oh man. You can shift-click?

[bangs head against wall]

Well, I suppose I get bonus points for getting a positive score (14) without knowing.

I always get to level 5 and get stumped--often with more than 200 moves left to go. I just fritter them away trying to figure out what I'm missing. Sigh. I love this one!

Woo hoo, I almost made top 10!

The high scores on Diamond are ridiculous. All of the top ten are above 250, and I can't break 230.

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