All that glitters is not gold. In this case, it's a fantastic hoard of gems that everyone and their sneaky ninja wants to get their hands on. What's a poor, defenseless Gem Keeper to do? Why, build crypts full of terrifying ghouls, temples to unholy forces that can scorch the earth, and dens packed with malevolent beasties, of course! Cursed Treasure Level Pack from Gem Masters Iriysoft offers up another dose of the same action-packed gameplay found in the original. It's more of the same addictive, strategic tower-defense gameplay we know and love, and will help scratch that itch for calling meteoric hellfire down on your foes we know you've been having.
The premise for newcomers is thus; you've got a rad volcano secret base packed full of gems that everyone wants because... well, because they're gems the size of your head most likely. Everyone from lowly peasants to sneaky ninja to overpowered champions wants your gems, and they'll stop at nothing to get them unless you use the various towers at your command (dens, crypts, and temples) to blast them into vapor before they cart your gems away. Success depends on figuring out the best locations for your towers to not only take advantage of the terrain and any bonuses, but rack up enough kills that you can upgrade them to become stronger or even unlock a new ability. Allow all your gems to be pilfered and it's game over, but save just one gem to the end of the stage and you'll win, gaining experience and skill points to spend on passive abilities that increase your offensive and defensive capabilities in a variety of ways. As before, surviving to the end of the stage by the skin of your teeth can be easy, but achieving the highest rating (obtained by not even having a single foe touch a gem) is the true challenge.
There are only fifteen levels, and if you played the original you'll probably have a sense of deja vu, since apart from the various level designs not much has changed. As the stages progress, you'll have to contend with more waves packed with more enemies and figure out how to make use of the increasingly miserly terrain to place your towers. If, like me, you loved the original, then you'll probably welcome this pack of official stages to grind and attempt to score a perfect rating on. But at the same time, the lack of anything new to speak of makes that grind all the more apparent, and if you've already perfected all of the original levels than being asked to do it all over again might not put a spring in your step. It sort of makes one wish there was a level editor available for us to create and share our own stages, because boy howdy, the hurtin' I know you guys could put on a Gem Keeper with the proper tools at your disposal. But if you've been dying for another excuse to destroy destroy DESTROY all invaders, you could do much, much worse than this assortment of challenging stages. Cursed Treasure Level Pack offers up another dose of addictive, evil overlord-sy power with the same brilliantly simple and strategic gameplay that made the original take home the gold in Best of 2010 Strategy Games.