Posted by

Katy England Katy England
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
edge staff writer


Time Waster - GemCraft 3: Chasing Shadows'

Rate this item
(1 Vote)

If you have any pressing commitments, homework that is due or anything that resembles a social life, leave now. Once you start playing 'GemCraft 3,' you will not be doing any of those things. This game and its predecessors are the tower defense games (TDG) that all other TDGs aspire to be.

This game is massive and well-structured. The first few maps serve as a tutorial and even if you're a veteran player, they will help you get the hang of some of the new features.

You are a wizard fighting off the hordes of the mysterious 'Forgotten.' You conjure gems of various shades that destroy the onslaught. The gems can be placed in towers (where they shoot things), in traps (lower base damage, but they automatically bypass armor) or dropped as bombs on the monsters. Each map has different stones you can use: each color does a different thing, like degrade armor, poison the foes, do damage across multiple targets, slow them down or leech mana for you. You can also combine gems, which increases the base damage of the gem and allows the stones to have a combination effect (e.g. poison and slow, but at a reduced magnitude for each). The higher level the gem, the higher the cost to your mana to create.

Another new feature is the Talisman. Monsters and sometimes containers on the map will contain fragments of an artifact, the pieces of which will vary in rarity (the higher the number, the rarer the fragment). They allow you bonuses on certain monsters, buffs to your starting mana or percentage increases in experience points.

The monsters come in waves, and you can call them early for rewards in mana (which you need to make the gems and other accoutrements). They are making a line for your presence orb. Now if you have enough mana when they arrive, you banish them at a cost. If you run out of mana, you lose.

When you clear an area, you are awarded with shadow cores, which allow you to level up talisman pieces, add challenges at the beginning of the map or purchase orblets (see below).

Now, it should be noted that you cannot play the Endurance mode without paying I still had some Kongregate Kreds left over from the last time I did a paid level-up of a game, and gave it to them. This money goes to the developers to keep high-quality games coming out. And unlike other 'free to play, pay to win' games, it's a one-time deal with some quality bonuses Endurance mode being one. You can still play all the maps (at least all the maps I've encountered by level 67). This incentivizes players to pay, rather than punishing them for not paying. It doesn't get any classier than that.

You can opt to play Endurance mode after you beat the basic map, and it allows you to keep garnering experience and shadow cores. The monsters get hard rather quickly, but it's great fun if you've entrenched yourself behind some epic defenses and want to see how long you can last.

Getting the Magician's Pouch also allows you to purchase orblets at the beginning of a map. These enhance your mana growth while in your possession. Also, when a monster reaches your orb, he will snag an orblet instead of being banished by your big orb this saves you mana. But if they leave the field with your orblet, you take a 10-percent hit on mana regen.

There are tome levels and wizard tower levels. Tome levels require you to meet a specific monster-kill challenge, such as killing so many swarmlings in a specified area. When you do, you get a spell or skill that you can level up between maps. The tower levels require you to unlock abandoned wizard towers by destroying locks during gameplay.

One of the brilliant pieces of this game is how engaged each map keeps you, whether you are building mazes for the monsters or managing your active spells. That is why this game is so deviously addictive.

'Game in a Bottle has really hit this one out of the park.' You can play for free at or (but I suggest you get Magician's Pouch, because it's awesome).


The Maine Edge. All rights reserved. Privacy policy. Terms & Conditions.

Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine