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BattleJewels

How to Play

Basic Concepts:

The goal is simple -- kill the monster before he kills you. In other gem-swap games you can basicly play forever .. not here, the enemy is out to get you!

  • Clear pieces from the board (and getting their effects) by matching 3 (or more) of a kind. They have to be in a row, horizontally or vertically. (No diagonals.) For an example, in the diagram below at the bottom of the 'C' region, you will see almost a line of 3 skulls - 1 is higher than the others, but otherwise in a horizontal row. Pushing the leftmost skull down into the line will make it 3 skulls in a row, causing a match to occur.
  • Should you match 4 or 5 of a kind, you get to move again.. so you should always nab such a match (or set one up for the future!) when you can
  • After your move, the computer player gets to do a move (unless he has been otherwise stunned, disabled, etc.)
  • Skulls represent direct damage (think of it like a sword-strike) -- clear 3 of them to apply 3 damage to the enemy. His life bar will decrease, and when he reaches 0 health you'll win. (And if you reach zero life, you'll lose.) The number of skulls in the clear is the number of damage applied to the opponent, though various weapons and skills will increase or decrease this amount. (ie: Heavy armor reduces damage taken, while a magical sword increases the amount dealt, say)
  • Gold rings represent gold, the cash of this world. You use this to buy goods at the store, such as better shields for your warrior. Alway nab some gold when you can.. everyone likes shiny new gear!
  • The 5 other colours (red, black, green, blue, white) represent kinds of 'mana', the magical force used to cast spells in this universe. Clear 4 reds for instance and you will receive 4 (or more) red mana. Mana is mostly used for casting spells. Each spell requires one ore more kinds of mana to be cast (see the spell listing, or in-game spell help, to know what kinds.).
  • Bring up the spell casting menu to obtain a list of spells you have learned; spells let you perform special actions such as becoming invisible, stealthed, launch a fireball at your opponent, turn all colour of one mana into another.. all sorts of tricky mayhem. Spells cost mana to cast, or even your hitpoints. You should learn what colours of mana you need, so you can pick carefully on the playfield.
  • The CPU enemies are chosen from the same classes the player can take as well as monster-only classes. The AIs will react differently based on what kind of class they have, what sorts of needs you have, how healthy everyone is, how aggressive they feal that match, all sorts of things. They don't cheat, and sometimes they're smarter or dumber depending on your luck.
  • Sometimes there will be bonus pieces; clear 5 others in a row and a wildcard with crazy powers might appear on the board, for instance.
  • Experience is awarded at the end of a match, based on the toughness of the opponent(s) and what actions you took. After a few matches you should be able to level up, which lets you assign points to your skills and buy more spells.
  • You start out at level 0, where you have almost no extraordinary talents (and thus it is easy to play and get the hang of the basic concepts of swapping.) After your first match your character will advance to level one and you may purchase some upgrades to skills, spells and gear. You don't have to, but your enemies will so it is usually wise to apply any upgrades you can after a few matches or levelling up. Your character will get stronger with each upgrade.

Controls:

Mouse and Stylus

See the image on the right. Click in the areas highlighted to bring up the following menus. Cursor keys and device d-pads may also be used to move the selection around.

Click A - bring up player character sheet
Click B - bring up opponent character sheet
Click C - place selection cursor down on square
Drag C - push object in square in the direction of drag
Click D - bring up player casting menu
Click E - bring up options, inventory and quit menu

GP2X and PSP

Joystick - move the cursor around; the cursor is used for picking pieces to move or targetting spells. If the cursor is 'selected', moving the joystick will push the piece. If no selection is made yet, it will move the cursor.

X (Spacebar on desktops) - in the main battle screen, this toggles between selected or not selected mode. In a dialog box, it usually means 'go ahead with whatever is selected.'

B (circle on PSP, TAB on desktops) - bring up or dismiss the spell casting screen, to pick and cast a spell. Use X to actually cast the spell.

Left-trigger (L on desktops)- show your characters overall status; skills and spells known, level and name, gear equipped, mana affiliation, that sort of thing. The spell listing will let you know the mana/hp cost to cast a given spell.

Right-trigger (R on desktops) - show opponents character sheet, same as for the players. Lets you know their class and mana affiliation and spell listing, so you can better size up your enemy. You're lucky to have such a careful eye as to see so much about your enemy, so use the information wisely!

START (Q on desktops) - for now, it means 'get me out of the game!'

Options:

The first option you are presented with is a refilling-playfield or not; I've not decided on which is more fun or more advantageous, so I've left them both in the game. A refilling board means you can play it forever, and cleared pieces get replaced with new pieces. (If no possible moves exist, the board always resets.) A non-refilling board will run out of moves after a few rounds, so its easier to see what is left, and lets you mess with the other guy a bit by taking away what he needs or setting up a move for yourself. Still, the board will reset then too, when it runs out of moves.