Solve the mystery of Jewel Quest 3

Match jewels in this fun puzzle game, if you can deal with the advertising.

Puzzles are one of the most popular genres of games on the Internet, and in particular, puzzles that involve matching jewels, bubbles, or other like objects proliferate. Jewel Quest 3 is yet another variation on this theme. Although we liked the puzzle itself, there were aspects of the game that we found somewhat off-putting.

Users should be aware that downloading Jewel Quest 3 first involves downloading the Free Ride Player, a game manager that will also download several other games without your permission if you're not paying attention. Once Jewel Quest 3 is launched, it's surrounded by advertising, which we found both distracting and detrimental to the game's performance. We also had to watch a commercial before starting the game, and periodically gameplay was interrupted by more advertising. All that aside, the game is fun, but it's not anything we haven't seen before. It's couched in a narrative about a mysterious game board with a secret compartment full of poisonous, blinding spores, but the game is really just about switching the positions of jewels around on a grid to match three in a row and clear them from the board. Each level of Jewel Quest 3 brings new obstacles--users must match three coins to unlock a locked space on the board, for example--and the game gets challenging pretty quickly. There are in-game instructions for each level, though they're written in such tiny font that we found them hard to read. Overall, Jewel Quest 3 is fun, but it's also a lot of hassle for a game that can be found in many similar formats elsewhere.

Jewel Quest 3 installs a desktop icon without asking but uninstalls cleanly.

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