I have been playing Words with Friends , and Scramble with Friends on my iPhone for quite some time. I recently found a new game I love, called Gems with Friends. The game was free so I decided to give it a try. I really enjoy this game and once you get the hang of it you will be hooked like me. The only problem I am having is that not many of my friends are playing yet so I am hoping it will become more popular.
Downloading The Game
This was a simple download from the App store. I only downloaded this on my iPhone because I think it is easier to play this game on a smaller device. I have not tried it on my iPad. On my iPhone I downloaded the free version first to try it. It was an easy download and this game has worked flawlessly every time that I have played it. Gems With Friend is make by Zynga.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
In App Purchases
The game has a lot of in app purchases that you can make. I would guess the most popular would be the one to remove Ads. The ad free version of Gems with friends is a one time purchase of $1.99 Other in App purchases are coins or extra spins. I am not sure if the Ad Free version has different prices for in app purchases. I tried to find this information at the app store but could not see a difference except for no ads.
How to Play The Game
Connecting with Friends: In order to play this game with friends, you have to connect with a Facebook account, or sign up to have a with friends account. I find it easiest to have a Facebook account, and connect with friends there. I wish more of my friends had this game, because it is a lot of fun to play.
Starting the Game: When you first open the app, and are connected with Facebook you can go to see which friends are playing the game or send email invites. You can post an invite on Facebook too. If you can not find anyone to play, and want to just see how it works you can choose to play with a random player. This is a great way to see if you like the game or not.
Before you start playing you can get your five daily spins which pays you in coins. Once you find an opponent and open the game to play you will see a screen where you can buy some different wild pieces. Be careful how much you spend or you will not have any left for future play. I usually just get one thing because I do not want to get roped into buying coins to get more of the wild pieces. the game is a lot of fun without having a lot of wilds.
Daily Spins: Each day you get 5 free spins. With the spins which are on a slot machine type wheel you can earn points to use to buy special wild cards.
Game Play: When you start the game, you will see a few gems on the board in a different configuration each time. You will have a tray with some gems below the game board. You can use your finger or a stylus to drag gems up to the board. The game is timed so do not waste too much time deciding. You get 2 minutes to play the game. As you place gems on the board, more will appear in your tray.
Each gem is numbered from 1 to 9 and you have to put three next to each other to clear the gems from the board. If for instance you put three #1 gems down next to each other you will score some points and then they will disappear and be replaced by a #2 gem, in the spot where you placed your last #1 gem. You get more points for the higher number gem matches so you want to keep getting higher numbered gem matches.
You can match more than just three gems depending on how they are placed. If you put two on one side and two on the other and then place one in the middle you can clear five and get more points.
Combos: One way to get more points is to clear gems in a combo fashion. To do this you would place two #2 gems side by side, and then match next to them three #1 gems. Make sure to position your gems so that the last #1 gem is beside one of the #2 gems. This way you will clear your #1 gems, leaving a #2 gem which will then give you three #2 gems. This will clear and leave you with one #3 gem. You can get clever with these combos and that is a great way to score points. If you have any wilds save them for your combos, especially with higher numbered gems.
Special Wild Cards: You do not need to play with wild cards, but you can score higher if you play with them. Some of them will freeze time for a few seconds while others will increase your score, or just act as wilds in different ways. There are several different ones available before you start playing. You can also increase the value buy spending more points. I think it is a good idea to agree with your friends about how many wilds you can buy, in order to keep scoring equal. I am not super competitive so I really just enjoy playing the game to see how well I can do and improve my speed. I sort of wish they would have left off the special wilds or just have everyone get the same chance to get them, to even the playing field.
Rounds: There are three rounds in each game. At the end of each round your score will tally, and you will get extra points for gems left on the board. You take turns playing and can go back at any time to see if your friend has completed a round. You can go days between rounds if you or your friend are busy and do not have time to play. At the end of round three the game will total up and tell you who the winner is. Then you can choose to challenge your friend to a new game.
How many games can you play at once: You can be playing a total of 20 games at once with one player or 20 different players.
Final Thoughts and Rating
I love this game and am giving it 4 stars. I would give it 5 but feel that the scoring is skewed to those who spend money on the app. I am not competitive so this does not bother me much but I do think you really should agree with your friends beforehand on how many special pieces you are going to buy… I am not going to be buying coins so if I have a friend who has purchased a bunch of coins I will lose every time regardless of my game playing skills. In other words you can easily purchase the win if you start out with more wilds than your opponent.