Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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Part point-and-click style adventure, part Match-3 puzzle game, Flora: Jewel Quest is quite attractive to look at. But its sluggish gameplay and reaction times might prove off-putting during long sessions.
Exploring a somewhat mystical world full of strange creatures and plants that can be grown with the use of energy, initially Flora: Jewel Quest seems a little out there and not entirely logical. Stick at it, though, and it all becomes clear. Basically, players complete a series of Match-3 puzzles; collecting energy before switching to solving minor issues amongst the landscape. This is frequently done by combining a couple of objects to gain a new item, which is then used to unlock new Match-3 sections. It's remarkably simple stuff which is also where Flora: Jewel Quest doesn't always hit the spot.
The Match-3 puzzles themselves cover many of the usual bases. There's a lot of clearing gems within a set time limit, as well as clearing specific bomb gems so that nothing explodes. It's not so much that Flora: Jewel Quest doesn't offer a reasonable Match-3 experience, it's just not particularly eventful or different from everything else within the genre. Exploring the landscapes to solve puzzles is similarly fine but unexceptional. Often quite straightforward, the only real gripe here is that interacting with things is somewhat slow with the game taking a split second too long to react properly.
There are in-app purchases available for those who want to skip past certain objectives, but I wouldn't recommend it as what's the point of playing the game if only to skip ahead? A little too highly priced for what it offers at $2.99, Flora: Jewel Quest might be gorgeous but it lacks more of a wow factor and could really do with some optimization. On paper, it's a better idea than it actually proves to be.