Gem Breakers - Free Puzzle Fighter-like Game

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Hey everyone,

I've been working on this game for a while now... It's 90% inspired by Super Puzzle Fighter, 10% Tetris. I'd love for people to check it out and give some more opinions on it. Here's the link:

Gem Breakers - Ad Supported - Android app on AppBrain

It's doing ok, but I want to figure out what to do to take it to the next level. It's nearly impossible to get detailed feedback from just the comments in the Market, so I'm hoping to get some here. Criticism, suggestions, ideas for new features, and general comments are all welcome.


I'll take it for a spin when I get home, but for now I can say it's probably pretty hard to make any "gem" themed game stand-out from the rest. There's so many out there, and they all follow the same basic formula. The only thing that makes one better than others is better graphics and sound. I did play one that used the accellerometer, letting you flip the entire board on its sides and the blocks/gems would all slide into a different configuration; that was a cool twist.

On a side-note, I wish they'd port Puzzle Quest to Android. That game kicks ass.


Thread starter
Yeah... the title of the game does probably make it hard to stand out. That's a good point. I haven't really seen anything else quite like it on the Android Market though. It's not like Bejeweled, but more like Super Puzzle Fighter, so the gameplay is quite different.

+1 on Puzzle Quest, that's a great game. We actually went down mixing in an RPG element at one point but abandoned it in favor of putting out a product quicker... Maybe that's something I'll revisit at some point.


I played until the game was too impossible to play, and wrote some notes for you in terms of suggestions.

Music should start when game starts (menu), and not when you actually start playing. I was thrown-off by this and thought there was something wrong with the volume on my phone.

Tutorial - Needs a "done" option at the end vs having to hit Back. Wasn't sure if I was finished or the Next option wasn't working.

Tutorial - Doesn't explain what a "breaker" gem actually is. Should present goals up-front, before controls; concept. Maybe include images? I figured it out once I started playing.

Screen doesn't stretch/scale for WVGA screen (Evo). HD option would be nice.

Why is there a white border around one gem in each set?

No explanation of the "diamond" gem. Figured-out that it's a universal-breaker. May want to put this in the tutorial as well.

Breaker gem (sphere) could use nicer graphics.

Drop-animations are too choppy.

Game has major scaling issue w/speed. Level 10 is impossibly fast, and only took 15min to get there. Game really seemed easy until level 8, then got impossible to play.

So, those are more QA feedback-type comments. In terms of uniqueness and play-value, I didn't see a whole lot that sets it apart from other gem games. You match colors and like-colors go away. The main difference is the use of a "breaker" gem, but not sure if that's enough to make it stand by itself in the gem-game world.

In my opinion, the scaling issue and the screen-size are game killers. And over-all, I think the graphics could use some more work/refinement.


Thread starter
Thanks for the detailed feedback!

The tutorial is definitely a weak point. An in-game tutorial would probably be helpful, but you're right--even in the current format, the information there isn't presented in the best way and isn't complete. A screen on diamond gems should be in there though. Also, the Next button should turn into a Finish button on the final screen. I will put some time into making that better, but I also realized that the current release of the game is missing a whole layer of graphics on the tutorial... That makes it much less usable already. I'll look into fixing that immediately.

Graphics - There are a lot of tricky points around this that have to be balanced. I'm trying to target the widest audience possible with this game, so the target resolution is currently 320x480. HD graphics would definitely be nice, but I'm a little concerned about increasing the download size, as it's already almost 4MB. Perhaps as a downloadable graphics pack? I'll have to think about that a bit. The scaling/screen-size thing is likewise a tricky thing to deal with, as I don't want to stretch the playfield (making the gems non-square), but it'd definitely be nice to make good use of that extra screen real estate.

Speed-scaling - I've heard that from another user too. I only have a G1 and the emulator to test on directly at the moment, so I haven't done extensive testing on newer faster devices. I'll try to rescale the levels to be a bit more reasonable with the speeds.

The white border indicates the "primary" gem. This is the one around which the pair of gems rotate.

Several users have pointed out that smooth dropping would be much nicer. That'll have to get bumped up in priority on the to do list.

Thanks again for all the feedback! It's really helpful to hear your thoughts on what detracted from the game for you.