Iwin Games makes some pretty nice casual games, but I was a bit disappointed when I booted up Jewel Quest Mysteries: The Oracle of Ur. I was expecting a match 3 game, but I was given a HOM from the beginning. Now, I love an adventure game, and the setting was pretty unique, since looking for artifacts in Mesopotamia does not get as much media attention as Egypt or Central America.
In recent Hollywood treasure-hunting movies, we rarely see anything dealing with Sumer or Babylon. I was up for a nice change of pace, but then out comes the journal, and not one match 3 puzzle… yet. It seems that this game is part of a series that deals with three treasure-hunters living in the 1930s. Two Americans, one Brit, Rupert, Emma, and Sebastian. There are hints at a love triangle, but the focus on finding the “Oracle of Ur” is based in finding jewel boards, and putting them together. Then we get into the sparkling match 3 puzzles we promised.
The storyline jumps from the POV of all three characters, each looking for something the other may have missed, and one other character mentioned often that we never see. I would have like to learn more about Emma’s escort, Muthaib, but we never see him. We only know that he is there on hire by Rupert as a bodyguard to keep Emma safe until the trio can meet up.
I enjoyed the artwork, and the music is spot on with the setting. If this had been a book or movie, I would gladly have enjoyed it, but as a way-too-mixed media game, it falls flat. Iwin, I know you can do better.