BrainJewel from Chinese developer TribePlay has been available on Facebook since August of 2011, but now the developer has taken on the challenge of bringing the game to the iPad. Rather than completely reprogramming the game from the ground up for the iOS platform, TribePlay made use of a solution whereby it was possible to convert the original Flash package to Adobe AIR. The developer intends to make use of this technology for quick deployment of future Android and mobile versions of BrainJewel in the future, but the iPad version is coming first — at the time of writing, it’s undergoing approval by Apple, and should be in the App Store later this week.
BrainJewel is, as the name implies, a puzzle game. Rather than focusing on one specific type of puzzle, however, the game sees players working their way through a series of minigames. These range from memory tests to mental arithmetic, culminating with a Bejeweled-style timed match-three game.
The game carries the theme of exploring Egyptian ruins, and consequently all the minigames are themed around either Egypt or adventure. The first game, for example, sees players remembering the locations of Indiana Jones-style items — fedoras, whips and other equipment — on a grid of increasing size. Later, the player is tasked with spotting pairs of mummies, remembering sequences of hieroglyphics, and spotting Egyptian-themed objects such as scarabs and cat statues.
Progression in the game is determined by the number of stars players acquire throughout the course of the minigames. Achieving a higher score in a game means the potential for up to three stars, with the next minigame normally requiring a minimum of two stars to unlock. Players also unlock Artifacts throughout the course of their adventure, and these mark specific achievements such as unlocking all the minigames, achieving a three-star rating and achieving a high score without any mistakes.
Players also acquire soft currency each time they play a minigame, and this may be spent on three different booster items — a five-second increase to the time limit for a round; protection against losing the score multiplier when a mistake is made; and starting the round with a 2x multiplier.
In the Facebook version of the game, players could spend Facebook Credits to acquire more currency, but this facility is not present in the iPad version at the time of writing. There is no reason that it could not be implemented as an in-app purchase at a later date, however, as it’s clear from the number of “Coming Soon!” placeholders in the game that TribePlay is planning on updating the game on a regular basis. At least two additional minigames are on the way, and a variety of new Artifacts for players to acquire will also be on offer.
There are also no social features in the game at this time. Although the game stands up as a challenging puzzle title by itself, part of the appeal of the Facebook version came from comparing scores against friends and challenging each other to be the best at a particular minigame. Game Center or Facebook integration would add some long-term appeal to the game, but it’s not yet known if this is planned. We’ve contacted TribePlay to clarify its plans for the future of the game and will update this story accordingly when we hear back from them.
BrainJewel is set to launch this week on iPad, with Android and other mobile versions to follow at a later date. When the iPad version launches, you’ll be able to track its progress through the App Store charts using AppData, our tracking application for social and iOS games and developers.