What makes it unique? Well I’m glad you asked, I’ll tell you; “gemologist” does something amazing that I never saw coming. It makes a stale genre better, by taking something away, as Halo famously did. For those not in the know, one of the things that made Halo refreshing was that you could only carry two types of guns. What should have made the game crappy compared to Unreal, Doom, etc., where you could simultaneously carry and switch between every gun in the game, made Halo amazing because it forced you to play differently. It forced you to make on-the-fly decisions about what weapons to take, and what to leave behind. This made each subsequent playthrough richer, as with some foreknowledge of what was coming you could make better tactical decisions on how to equip yourself. Deciding what weapons to grab off of the twitching corpses of your enemies, and which to ignore, became a game within a game.
Well, “gemologist” takes away one of the most familiar tropes of the gem matching genre, the auto-connection. In every other falling block/gem/whatever game I can think of, if enough units of the correct colour happen to fall into place, they’ll clear on their own. Not with “gemologist”, you have to manually click *every single combination*. This forces you to recognise each combination, and act on it, and quickly. And I do mean *quickly*, as there’s a serious, no-BS, I’m really not kidding around here time limit that has to be observed.
It costs $1 like all of n-Dot’s games, and like all of n-Dot’s games reimagines key elements of an established genre, and does so for the better. I’d never heard of these guys until three days ago, and now I’m sad that I’ve worked my way through their entire back catalogue already.
Here’s what the publisher (n-Dot) has to say about the game:
“Your objective in this puzzle game is to find similar colored gems in groups of three or more.”