Gem Hunters is a fantasy match-3 RPG. Players can choose to be a knight who has high defense, a rogue who has a greater attack, or a Mage with raised magic. You’re on a quest for adventure and yes there is a story. There’s a helpful crab that acts as your guide along with NPCs and enemies that’ll exchange dialogue with you. Sadly it’s not interesting, or funny. It’s just kind of there to give the player a sense of minimal immersion I guess.
The game is similar to other games in the genre albeit with a few twists. Players will hop from level to level facing against one or more opponents. There are four elements to keep track of: fire, water, lightning, and nature. Matching three or more elemental cubes of that same type will produce an attack against the enemy. You win when their HP reaches zero, obviously, awarding you with items, gold, and experience. If players die then they lose a heart.
If all hearts are lost then one can’t tackle any more stages until at least one heart recovers over time. It’s in the same vein as energy resources in other free to play games, but less intrusive as playing a stage doesn’t consume health unless it results in a loss. Now there are trappings in Gem Hunters that are annoying including pop up ads every few rounds, but they can be skipped easily.
When a hero levels up one can increase their attack, defense, or magic stats. Equipment, gained through battles, can also increase stats and can be upgraded with gold and scraps. Attack objects can also be used, charged by using that element in battle. For example, using fire attacks will charge up a fire elemental object, which can be used freely as an extra turn.
With all that jargon out if the way here is my impressions: I love Gem Hunters. The colorful art style and overall design is great. It’s addicting in the best kind of way, even when dying multiple times. Gem Hunters can be unbalanced against those that don’t grind, or pay to win but it’s definitely worth a shot for those looking for the next great match-3 experience with some excellent RPG hooks.