Game Description: Play an exciting match 3 game against a human opponent in real-time! Collect gems and try to defeat your opponent through the clever use of your spells and gems. Battlegemz is a mix of gems, strategy and roleplay elements.

Before you begin to play Battlegemz, I suggest that you read my entire review. That way, you will have at least some idea of how to play the game.

How to Play Battlegemz:

  • The Lobby usually loads first, and so it will probably be the first thing you will see. You will probably also see a message that says 'Connecting to the server' near the middle of the screen. At the right, you will see a list of players in the Lobby. These are people who are either already playing Battlegemz, or are waiting to play. There are two types of players in the Lobby: registered users and guests. Registered users can give themselves a user name and win points when they win a game. Guests are assigned a random number and do not win points. You will play as a guest.
  • Once the game loads, click the 'Start Game' button.
  • You may see a message that says 'Waiting for an opponent'. Warning: Battlegemz is not on a popular server. This means, quite often, you may have some difficulty finding an online opponent. I suggest that if you do not find an opponent within two to three minutes, that you may want to consider playing another Multiplayer game here on Richard's Game Reviews, and then try again a little later. Bubblez is a good choice. It is on a very popular server and usually has lots of people ready to play.
  • Okay. Assuming that you were fortunate enough to find an opponent, here is how you play Battlegemz. The first thing you may want to do, if you have difficulity seeing the board, is to increase the zoom level on your computer to say 125%, or 150%, or to whatever size you need that lets you feel comfortable.
  • At the beginning of a game, both you and your opponent will each have 30 health points and 15 shield points. See Figure 1 below.

Battlegemz Figure 1
Figure 1

  • The best way for me to explain Battlegemz is to use an actual example. For the rest of these 'How to Play' instructions please refer to Figure 2 below. Figure 2 is a game I played (and eventually lost). Let's examine Figure 2 more closely.
  • Your game progress is always shown on the left side of the game. So, in Figure 2, you can see I was guest_128898 and my game progress is on the left. Your opponent's game progress is always shown on the right side.
  • You and your opponent play on the same board.
  • You and your opponent take turns playing. Battlegemz will always tell you whose turn it is at the top of the screen. As you can see in Figure 2, Battlegemz was telling me 'It is your turn!' So, it was my turn to make the next move. If it had been my opponent's turn, Battlegemz would have flashed the message: 'It is your opponent's turn!'
  • Each player has 30 seconds to make their move. The clock, shown at the bottom of the screen, will count down the time from 30 to zero. If you do not make a move within 30 seconds you lose your turn. As you can see in Figure 2, at the time I captured this screenshot, I had 28 seconds left to make my move.
  • There are two kinds of moves that a player may make when it is his turn. A player may collect gems by matching 3 or more gems of the same color on the board, or a player may use one of his spells (weapons) to either strengthen himself or to weaken his opponent. (Remember, when it is your turn, you can either collect gems from the board or use one of your weapons... but, you cannot do both in the same turn).
  • There are 5 different colors of gems to collect. They are: blue, green, yellow, purple, and red. There are also black skulls (more about these later).
  • To collect gems from the board, you must make a match of 3 or more in-a-row of the same color. To make a match, you must swap the positions of two gems that are next to each other either horizontally or vertically. To swap the two gems you click on them one at a time with your mouse. The gems will only swap positions if there is a resulting match of 3 or more in-a-row. If you made a mistake, and there is not a match of at least 3 gems, you may try again as long as you still have time remaining on your 30 seconds.
  • As you and your opponent collect gems, the gems each of you collect are displayed on the screen for both of you to see. Let's refer once again to Figure 2. Let's examine the gems that both I, and my opponent, have collected so far. Remember, each time you play, your stats are on the left. The opponent's stats are on the right. So, my stats are on the left. I have, up to this point, collected the following gems: Blue 25, Green 16, Yellow 18, Purple 13, and Red 21. My opponent has collected the following: Blue 22, Green 17, Yellow 21, Purple 21, and Red 18. Why this information is important I will explain in a bit.
  • You are only allowed to collect a maximum of 50 gems in each color.
  • Now, lets take a look at the spells (weapons). There are five types of weapons: Fireball, Thunder, Earthquake, Healing, and Shielding.
  • Three types of weapons are offensive: Fireball, Thunder, and Earthquake. You use these weapons to attack and weaken your opponent. Your opponent can do the same to you.
  • Two types of weapons are defensive: Healing, and Shielding. You use these weapons to strengthen yourself. Your opponent can do the same for himself.

Battlegemz Figure 2
Figure 2

  • You can only use a weapon if you have collected enough gems of each color. Lets refer again back to Figure 2. Notice that on my side of the game (the left side) all of my weapons are lit up. This means I currently have enough gems collected to use any of my weapons. Now, look at my opponent's side (the right side). My opponent has all of his weapons lit up, except for one. Did you notice that my opponent's Earthquake weapon is not lit up? It is dim. Let me explain why that is. On each weapon type you will see colored gems with a number underneath it. These numbers tell you the minimum amounts you must have collected of each color in order for the weapon to be lit up, and ready to use. In order to use the Earthquake weapon you must have collected a minimum at least 5 purple gems. (My opponent has 21, so he has more than enough purple). 5 blue. (My opponent has 22 blue which is way more than he needs). 12 yellow. (My opponent has 21 yellow. Again, much more than he needs). 12 green (My opponent has 17 green. He is fine there too). And 20 red. (Oop's! My opponent does not have enough red gems collected. He has 18 and is 2 short). Only because my opponent is lacking in one color... red, his earthquake weapon is dim and cannot, at the moment be used. As soon as he makes one more match of red gems (remember the minimum match is 3 in-a-row), he will have his Earthquake weapon and I am in big trouble!
  • When you use a weapon, you reduce the amount of gems you have collected. Remember those little numbers underneath each colored gem for each weapon we talked about above. Those are the same amounts each color will be reduced when you use each weapon. Let me give you an example. Refer to Figure 2. Let's look back again on my side of the board (the left side) and consider my Fireball weapon. What would happen if I used my Fireball weapon on my current turn? Well, first I should tell you my opponent would lose 6 points. But, that is not the part I am talking about here. I want you to understand what would happen to the gems on my side of the board. A Fireball weapon costs 6 red and 5 green gems. So, if I used a Fireball my red gems would decrease to 15 (21 - 6) and my green gems would decrease to 11 (16 - 5). See how it works? Now, let's discuss each individual weapon and see what it can do.
  • Fireball... A Fireball takes 6 points away from your opponent.
  • Thunder... Thunder takes 12 points away from your opponent.
  • Earthquake... Earthquake takes a whopping 30 points from your opponent!
  • Healing... Healing adds 10 points to your Health. Your Health points cannot go beyond 50.
  • Shielding... Shielding adds 10 points to your Shield. Your Shield points cannot go beyond 50.
  • Besides your weapons there is one more way to do damage to your opponent. Did you notice the black skulls on the playing board in Figure 2? If you match 3 black skulls in-a-row you take 3 points from opponent. Match 4 black skulls in-a-row and you take 4 points from your opponent. And so forth.
  • You win, if your opponent loses all of his health and shield points! If you lose all of your points first, your opponent wins.
  • When the game ends, you can replay the same opponent if you both are willing. Or, if you, or your opponent leaves, you can search for a different opponent to play.

Battlegemz Game Options:
  • The music may be turned on or off by clicking the musical note icon located near the lower right corner of the game.
  • The game sounds may be turned on or off by clicking the microphone icon also located near the lower right corner.

Battlegemz Playing Tips:
  • Knowing when you should use a specific weapon is undoubtedly the most important part of Battlegemz. This takes practice.
  • Analyze the board. To do this you have to pay very close attention to not only your numbers, but also to your opponents numbers. What weapons do you have available? What weapons does your opponent have available? How close are you to getting a weapon you need? How close is your opponent to getting a weapon they need?
  • Do not use your Healing weapon if you are already near the 50 point Health limit. This would just be wasting your gems.
  • The same thing applies to your Shielding weapon. Do not use your Shielding weapon if you are near the 50 point Shield limit.
  • Remember, you are only allowed to collect a maximum of 50 gems in each color. So, for instance if you already have the maximum number of 50 red gems collected it does no good to match more red gems.
  • When you attack your opponent you cause your opponent to lose points, but you do not cause your opponent to lose any of the gems they have collected.
  • Know when you should go on defense or offense. If you have 30 points or less and your opponent gains access to their Earthquake weapon... guess what? As soon as they click that Earthquake weapon... it's game over! If your points are getting dangerously low (30 or below), and you don't see any quick way you can knock out your opponent, then you probably need to use your Healing or Shielding weapons because these will add points to either your Health or Shield. The question becomes, can you gain access to either your Healing or Shielding weapons before your opponent gets his hands on that Earthquake weapon? How would do you do this? Let's refer to Figure 2 once more. Notice that there are no red or yellow gems needed for Healing or Shielding. So, to gain access to your Healing or Shielding weapons you would want to make matches of purple, blue, and green. Now, lets take the reverse situation. Suppose your opponent is dangerously low on his points (30 points or less) and maybe you are okay with your own points, lets say at least you have more than 30 points. The question now becomes can you gain access to your Earthquake weapon before your opponent can gain access to either his Healing or Shielding weapon and replenish his points? How would do you do this? Let's refer to Figure 2 one more time. Reds and Yellows are the primary colors you need to collect for offensive weapons. You will need some green too. You may need just a little purple or blue.
  • Collect lots of green gems. Green gems are the only color you need for every weapon. So, having an abundance of green gems is always good.
  • Making matches near the bottom of the board can be good strategy. This allows more gems to fall and can sometimes result in making many matches, causing a chain-reaction.
  • Be prepared to lose! There are a lot of experienced players who know the game exceedingly well. When you are first starting out, unless you happen to get matched with an inexperienced player, be prepared to get soundly beaten again and again. I have played the game for about a total of 2 hours. I can already tell by the first or second move how experienced my opponent is. I also just played an opponent you had 575 points. Right there, that tells you they have played... and won, a lot of Battlegemz games. Don't be intimidated or get discouraged. At this point I usually lose. But, I have won some games too. Just get in there and play.

Richard's Rating: 5 out of 5.

Pro: Battlegemz is an exciting game of Match 3, strategy, and roleplaying all wrapped up in one fantastic package! It is a brilliant game!

Con: It does take quite a bit of practice before you can start winning. As I mentioned before, there are a lot of experienced Battlegemz players just waiting to pounce on a newbie. Don't let this discourage you. Just keep playing. This game is well worth learning and mastering.

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