• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

Shop Contact Us Submit Videos Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Apple Watch Best games on Android
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Apple Watch Best free games on Android Competitions
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Apple Watch game sales Android game sales
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Apple Watch game updates Latest Android game updates
New iPhone games New iPad games New Apple Watch games New Android games
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG GERMANY PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects
AppSpy 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
iPhone  header logo


For: iPhone   Also on: Steam

Crystalline defender

Product: GemCraft | Developer: Game In A Bottle | Publisher: NTT Resonant | Format: iPhone | Genre: RPG, Tower defence | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.1
GemCraft iPhone, thumbnail 1
Many of England's old castles stand no more. This isn’t because some pesky invaders came across and dismantled them, but because they were slowly but surely taken apart by locals wanting to build homes.

Unlike real-life, in a traditional tower defence game the tower is the be-all and end-all of defence. They’re constructed and never touched except to be upgraded or completely destroyed - a formula that’s defined the genre for years now.

GemCraft takes a different perspective, letting you take towers apart to build better constructions elsewhere, and it benefits as a result.

Rebuild the defences

On its surface, GemCraft seem like just another traditional tower defence game. There are crudely drawn waves of monsters that walk in a pre-determined path towards a base, towers to pop down to kill said monsters, and a limited supply of cash (in this case, magic) to spend on upgrades.

But that’s where the parallels with other tower defence titles end. GemCraft brings a number of unique ideas table, the most striking being how towers are handled.

Rather than just pop them down and watch them shoot merrily away, you have to craft a coloured gem that sits at the tower's pinnacle. These gems affect both the type of tower (Normal, Splash Damage, Poison) as well as how powerful the towers’ blows are against each type of enemy.

Power up

There are also traps to consider, which perform only a small amount of damage relative to their free-standing brethren, but increase the chance of inflicting the various special attacks of the gem.

As with a more traditional tower defence game, these gems can be upgraded, with each new level costing significantly more than the last.

Combining two gems of the same level also acts as an upgrade. However, this costs you the ability to put one of the gems in another tower/trap once they’ve been combined. As a result, you're afforded more tactical choices when it comes to the longer game types like Survival mode.


GemCraft isn’t the most visually pleasing of tower defence games out there, although it makes up for this with the wealth of tactics and content available.

Extra levels and game modes are wrapped up in a fully-featured levelling system that lets you expand out your abilities. This balanced meta-game adds an extra layer of depth to the formula, pulling you back for another game when you really need to stop and do something else - like get off at your bus stop.

Not everything GemCraft does is completely original or welcome, though. The old practice of suddenly boosting enemy toughness in the latter waves without warning is present, but the game's difficulty curve is fairer than the norm.

For a genre that is as resistant to major changes as the towers it focuses around, GemCraft is a refreshing change. The combination of tactical nous and role-playing, combined with a more welcoming difficulty and a lengthy campaign make GemCraft a fortification worth storming.
Reviewer photo
Will Wilson | 1 May 2011
GemCraft is an unusual tower defence game with a wealth of content and some clever twists to the usual formula
Have Your Say