Developer: Mobile Deluxe
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 3.1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Previously a game only available in Canada, Jewel Factory finally makes its way to everywhere else. Promising to be a cut above the rest of the freemium town building games out there, Jewel Factory offers the all important interactive elements in the form of a flinging game, as well as waiting for things to finish being built, as usual.

It’s an interesting combination of familiar gaming elements, although, ultimately, players are going to need to enjoy slow burning city builders to truly appreciate it. Like many games before it, they must build factories in order to grow your Jewel City, eventually accruing more impressive looking gems. This is done through a mixture of waiting patiently for the buildings to finish on their own, or by spending real money on items that will speed up progress.

So far, so predictable. The more interactive element comes from sorting out gems such as diamonds or rubies. This is done through a conveyor belt system. Enter the factory and a series of gems gradually move down the conveyor belt. It’s then down to the player to swipe them towards their relevant bucket in order to grab them, and gain more points. It’s a very simple idea but adds some much needed interactivity to an otherwise unremarkable title. Combos can be achieved and there’s a fun knack to mastering the speediest of flings.

It’s not quite enough to propel Jewel Factory towards unmissable, but for those who enjoy freemium city builders anyhow, it’s another point in its favor. The fact that such conveyor belt mazes gradually get more difficult also helps matters.

Refreshingly, patience is all that’s needed to avoid paying up for progression, as there’s no significant paywall to speak of. Jewel Factory is also quite pretty to look at and certainly appealing to the younger gamer. It’s just unfortunate that the idea of mixing sandbox gaming with puzzle elements isn’t quite as fully realized as one would hope.

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