BioGems is a fast-paced puzzle battle game with cartoon animal characters; the gameplay is simple yet fun and good for repeat plays. It uses the tried-and-true formula of swapping blocks on a grid to match up like colors in groups of three in a row or more, but the twist is that the colors each have specific effects rather than being arbitrary. Depending on the blocks you eliminate, you can heal and recharge your character, get shielding or counterattacks, or deliver three different types of attacks against the opponent.
This means that BioGems is not simply a matter of eliminating as many blocks as possible with as few moves as possible; the battle effects must also be considered. Eliminating larger numbers of like blocks at once gives extra bonuses: the player can earn a free turn and even get special bomb tiles to create even bigger chain reactions. Each turn has a time limit, and if it is exceeded the player forfeits the turn to their opponent, so you have to think on your toes.
Between battles, the player can upgrade their character’s stats by spending the rubies that they’ve earned. There are three ways to get rubies: at the end of every battle, rubies are awarded regardless of whether or not the player won the battle; rubies can also be earned by destroying special highlighted blocks during a battle. Registered players can also buy rubies to upgrade faster, but this is optional; the free-to-play experience doesn’t feel crippled in any way.
Biogems is quite well animated; the battle moves look dynamic and forceful in a cartoony sort of way. In the beginning, there are two characters to choose from; beating the game once unlocks the third. Each character has somewhat different strengths and weaknesses. At certain points in the game, there’s a little bit of storyline presented in comic book format; it’s simple but a nice extra.
There are only two music tracks in the game, but the battle music is nice and catchy so it doesn’t get too grating. Biogems, a game by Mochigames, does have a couple minor issues, though. Sometimes the opponent AI is reluctant to take the big rows of blocks; perhaps this was done on purpose to keep the game from being too difficult, since the opponents generally have better stats than the player, but it often makes them look dumb. Also, the final boss is quite large and makes it a bit difficult to see the rightmost column of the play field.
There are some perks for signing up for the free registration, but they’re limited to saving your game between sessions, sharing high scores, earning achievements and buying extra rubies for upgrades. You can only play against the computer, not other human players, aside from comparing scores.
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