It is without a doubt that Gem Wars: Attack of the Jiblets has an opportunity to force itself into a niche dying out for high-quality games on the PC – competitive couch games. Queen Birdface Productions have clearly taken inspiration from the likes of console giant Super Smash Bros. It’s a combat party platformer where the last man standing wins. It has all of the right game mechanics to be a great entry in the genre. Where the differences between titles such as Smash and Gem Wars is the key elemental mechanic. Players pick up elements that will transform their weapon with each element creating a different weapon. I can definitely envision a mad scramble occurring for the weapon power-ups as they can and do prove to be the difference in winning and losing.
The single player mode is stronger than I was initially going to give it credit for. Initially, I found that the AI in the challenge modes was overpowered but then I read the actual tutorials – a must read to understand how to play beyond the basic controls – and I was able to find them a beatable challenge. There’s a lot of depth to the single player mode with quite a number of different challenges and a great survival mode giving the game extended gameplay.
As other critics and reviewers have mentioned due to its lack of popularity the online multiplayer is not thriving. That appears to be the biggest weakness for the game and hence why I wanted to provide the game some of the spotlight that it deserved. In the week that this goes to print it is also a part of the Indie Gala Monday bundle which will hopefully further increase the player base. The developers deserve an opportunity for their game to shine as they have been great towards their community for a long time – even before the game was submitted to Steam Greenlight.
If you’re looking for a competitive local co-op game on PC or an ultra-challenging single player experience then give Gem Wars some consideration.