Developer: GAMEVIL Inc.
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

The story of Spirit Stones centers around a band of warriors who must set off on a noble quest to collect the 12 spirit stones; the only things that can stop the terrible reign of an evil dragon.

It’s pretty standard fare when it comes to the upgrading, evolving, and collecting of character cards. In-app purchases are available for those players who wish to obtain better, rarer characters sooner rather than later, but there’s no real loss to gameplay if they decide against doing so. That’s fortunate too, because it’s during gameplay that Spirit Stones really comes into its own.

During a battle, players will find a game board beneath their team made up of colored gems that correspond to a specific character class. Attacks are launched by linking these gems together in a chain, to inflict as much damage as possible. Combinations can be achieved by connecting colors via rainbow gems, motivating several characters to attack at once. Special gems such as bombs and potions, alongside unique special attacks available to certain characters, will each have a significant impact on how a battle ultimately plays out.

20131031-155442.jpg 20131031-155545.jpgPlayers are encouraged to get their friends involved in Spirit Stones (through Facebook or Game Center). Whether it’s battling creatures side-by-side at the Hellgate or battling each other for bonuses, there’s plenty of longevity to Spirit Stones besides the Main Quest mode.

I have to admit, I’m generally not a huge fan of trading card games or gem-matching games at all. I was therefore extremely surprised at just how playable Spirit Stones is, and how much I’ve enjoyed it. It has all of the shameless hoarding of a trading card game, while retaining the casual allure of a gem game. It’s an enjoyable and user-friendly experience, so for those like myself who usually find card-based RPGs inaccessible, give this game a try already.

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