Biogems


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Rating: 4.5/5 (110 votes)
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joyeBiogemsYou wouldn't think it, but cute animals face a lot of peril in Flash games. Sometimes they're under suicidal pressure from humans. Other times, like in Biogems from Mochi Games, adorable little creatures are locked in some kind of internecine conflict... in space. And it's going to take all your match-3, turn-based battling skills to defend your puppy, kitty or bunny against bears, snakes, and bugs. All of which are also pretty cute, to be honest, but they're the designated villains here.

The match-3-as-battle method has really come into its own lately, and Biogems takes it a little bit further in terms of strategy. Both you and the dueled enemy use the same board to make your matches, so in addition to considering what the best combination is for you, you also want to avoid giving your opponent opportunities. You click on a gem and then click on another adjacent gem to swap it. Some gems attack, others heal, restore energy, up defense, load a counterattack, or fill your rage meter. Once your rage meter is fully charged, you unleash an extra powerful attack. Any row of 3 or more grants you some attack or benefit, 4 or more gives you an extra turn, and 5 or more gives you a rainbow gem, which you can swap with any adjacent gem to claim all gems of that type on the board. Some gems have shiny, metallic borders, and making chains with those gems grants you extra rubies, which you use between matches to upgrade your character.

BiogemsAnalysis: In addition to the strategic consideration of your opponent's next turn, the ability to shield or load a counterattack adds an additional dimension for the budding Sun Tzu of gem-swapping. If you're fully shielded and have a counterattack ready, your opponent's attack can actually be turned against him without you taking any damage. However, if your opponent doesn't attack, the shield and counterattack go away when your turn begins again, thus making it a wasted effort. Luck plays a large part in the game, as it does in any match-3 game, but it requires a keen eye to grab those lucky opportunities while the timer is counting down. The AI of the opponent is on the dim side and it's often possible to predict that he will go for the three special attack gems rather than the five energy gems.

You proceed from opponent to opponent until you reach the final boss. You can use MochiCoins to buy rubies to upgrade yourself, but that really isn't necessary, as you get to keep any rubies you earn in a lost match, and you can play previous opponents for even more rubies if you want to. This makes the game's microtransactions more of a shortcut cheat for impatient players than something that the game feels incomplete without. The high energy electronic soundtrack and effects keep you pumped up even through a few defeats, anyway. The only mystery is why these cuddly astro-pets feel the need to wail on each other anyway. If snuggly little kittens can't get along with giant squids, is there hope for the rest of us?

Play Biogems

Walkthrough Guide


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Biogems Tips and Tricks

General Match-3 Tips:

  • The most important principle is to always, always go for an extra turn if possible. Even if you're full up on energy and the swap is for energy. Your taking an extra turn might open up more combos, and every extra turn you take is a turn your opponent doesn't take.

  • In conjunction with the extra turn tactic, if you're lucky enough to have TWO opportunities to make a four combo, choose the one on top first, as it's unlikely to disturb the other combo.

  • If you're not going to get an extra turn from your initial swap, try to make rows at the bottom, all other things being equal, as the shifting is more likely to give you combos.

  • Five in a rows give you a rainbow gem as well as an extra turn. ALWAYS use the rainbow gem right away, because the opponent will use it on his turn if you don't.

  • L shapes and T or cross shapes (that is, each "arm" of the T, L, or + shape is at least 3 long) give you the bonus of a "bomb" in addition to the normal use of the gems. The bomb appears at the intersection and goes off destroying the gems around it and giving you their attacks, heals, etc as well. This doesn't give you an extra turn unless part of the shape is 4 or longer.

  • The metallic bordered gems give extra rubies, but generally it's not worth it to go out of your way to make those combos. Only try to do so if all other things are equal.

Specific Strategy Tips:

  • Opponents tend to go by what they need--heals when they're low on health, energy when they're low on energy, and attacks all other times--rather than what is the best move on the board. You can sometimes take a gamble and set up a four or 5 row and the opponent won't take it, if, for example, it's a defense row and a special attack row is available. This is a gamble, of course, and won't always work.

  • Watch your opponent's defense and counter like a hawk. DO NOT unleash your rage attack when your opponent is fully shielded, or even worse, shielded with a counter!

  • Also watch your opponent's rage. In the early game, the opponent probably won't have time to build up a rage meter, but he might in the later game. If he's close to getting full rage, try to have as much defense and counter on as possible until he unleashes it.

  • It takes some time to build up rage. With the early enemies, don't bother, because the match can be won more quickly just by attacking constantly. With later enemies, it's worthwhile to try to build it up.

  • The final boss has two stages. In the first stage, he has low health and doesn't hit too hard. In the second stage, he has very high health and hits very hard. Try to hold out on killing the first stage until you have your rage meter nearly full. Then kill him and quickly use your rage on the second stage version. That'll give you a good start on killing him.

  • In upgrading your skills, energy is probably the least useful. I never once ran out of energy in my entire game, and I only upgraded energy once. All the others are useful, but wait to upgrade rage, because it's more useful later in the game.

  • If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Yeah, it's trite, but you get rubies for failed attempts, and there's a significant amount of luck involved, so don't get discouraged by a loss, especially against the final boss.

12 Comments

Nice! I've recently become a fan of this genre and this is one of the better choices--not just because of the strategy, but because I dig the characters, too.

While there is a lot of luck involved in what might fall to give your opponent multiple combos (I was destroyed by a lucky 8X combo in the second game), I found one really valuable strategy as I leveled up:

When your opponent begins to get close to maxing out on rage, try to increase healing and always end with a counter attack in your dock.

I was able to kill the shark with that strategy and it felt good. Yep. There was celebrating going on.

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Fighting final boss. Get 5x match at beginning, take all the counters. 434% counter bonus. Boss uses energy restore.

ALL MY HATE!

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This is a great looking game that polishes a solid concept, and while it's pretty fun for most of the run it's essentially unbeatable without a huge helping of luck on the final fight. The reason is that there's no way to boost how much you can heal yourself over the course of the game - no purchasable item boosts healing volume, and it sticks at the same amount the entire game even as your maximum health increases as necessary to last against increasingly tougher opponents. That means it's a core part of your strategy until the last few fights, which is usually the sign of a crafty game. However, since you can't really heal, and even with maximum health you die after only a few undefended hits at the top levels, you're stuck constantly defending and praying that a combo or 4-/5-of-a-kind comes your way. Your ability to plan for your next turn is severely limited by the fact that the opponent plays off the same board as you.

There are some clever strategies you can pull, like setting yourself up with a defend+counter and creating an unmissable magic attack opportunity for your opponent, or clearing out the energy restores and rope-a-doping him. But when these advanced strategies require more stars aligning than a 5-of-a-kind mega-attack, you're kind of stuck with your fingers crossed until you just give up.

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SonicLover Author Profile Page August 16, 2011 8:45 PM

I really enjoy this game for some reason. I noticed a little oddity...

If you knock your opponent's HP to zero with an attack while their counterattack is active, they'll counterattack before dying. Thus, it's theoretically possible for both opponents to KO one another at the same time. I wondered what would actually happened if both protagonist and antagonist hit zero simultaneously, and against the final boss I found out when I zeroed it and it zeroed me with its counter.

The match was declared in my favor anyways. No draws.

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There's another combination worth mentioning here. If you get an L-shaped match like this:

***
*
*

A bomb appears at the intersection. It goes off when the chain reaction finishes, blowing up everything in a 3x3 area, and you get the benefits of every gem it destroys.

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Anonymous August 16, 2011 10:08 PM

The final boss is TOUGH. Like real tough. His damage is just ridiculous to the point that you have better luck luring him to attack you when you're def/countering than bother attacking him. I was able to reach all the way to the 2nd to last dying like twice. By the time I finished, I had upgraded all my things from lvl 2-3 to almost max.

Another thing that annoyed me is that there are times where it was a good tactic to just time out and wait for him to take something, so that you could combo or get a new board, etc. That and how bad the ai is at times. It was a blessing for the final boss, but still. I just left a 5 in a row for 2 turns and he didn't bother getting it. It was a lure as I had counter but still. Often he'll choose a group with possibility for a 4 combo... but use it in a way to only get a 3.

Anyway, I still enjoyed it and the music and animation were very polished though it got a bit repetitive at the end.

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I'm getting nothing but a loading error. I even went to the Mochi Games site and tried it from there; it told me I needed Flash so I installed it and still nothing.

[What sort of loading error? What version of Flash do you have installed? What OS and browser versions are you using? If you'll leave more details, I can try to reproduce the issue you're seeing. The game is loading just fine in my OS, browser and Flash Player versions. -Jay]

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I'm getting a little bug with the final boss, actually. I reduced him to zero HP, but he didn't go down. Then he used some healing blocks and beat me, and I haven't been able to get him down to zero since, due to how much luck I didn't have. How frustrating!

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SonicLover Author Profile Page August 17, 2011 9:18 AM

Weird, the game's not loading for me all of a sudden. It just goes transparent, nothing more.

[I'm not getting the same thing. What browser are you using? Try emptying your browser cache and reloading the page. -Jay]

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Evergreen August 17, 2011 4:35 PM

@justin - That's not a bug. The final boss regenerates himself once and gets tougher. The second time you put him down, he'll stay down.

The best strategy I found for him and all the later guys was to have defense up constantly, if at all possible, and just be patient about doing damage yourself. Even a Rage attack practically bounces off you if you have shields active.

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I love this game.

The graphics are really well done. I like how the characters have different moves when they attack. I especially like the Bunny's special attack (purple gems).

There is luck involved, but there is a degree of planning. Make sure to get defense (blue gems) if your opponent is getting ready to Rage.

I suspect the computer is designed not to take the best gem combo and go for the most aggressive one. Otherwise, you'd be crushed.

I think that the appeal of this game is like playing a slot machine, but with skill involved.

Way to go!

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