Gem Well is a puzzle game that is available in the Windows Store that challenges you to shoot a series of bouncy balls into an assortment of slots, each with a points value. In many ways, gameplay is similar to a Pachinko game just replacing the pegs with boulders, fireballs and moving obstacles.
Each level has a limited number of balls to throw and you'll have to match scoring goals with each level to advance in the game. Gameplay does have a casual pace and combines pure luck with skills at bouncing your ball in the right direction.
Available for both Windows 10 PC and Mobile, Gem Well is a free, ad-supported game that may not set the world on fire, but is still a fun gaming title to spend a little time with.
Gem Well lacks a proper main menu and instead jumps right into the gaming screen. You can pause gameplay to mute the sound or restart a level. The game also lacks a help section but does have a very brief tutorial at the beginning of the first level.
The layout of the gaming screen has your points board displayed at the top of the screen along with the number of balls you can throw and the number of stash balls (more on this in a second). Along the bottom of the screen, there are a number of slots with assigned number values.
To the right of the gaming screen is a meter (blink and you'll miss it) that gauges the strength of your throw. The ball launches from the upper right corner of the gaming screen, and to initiate a throw just tap and hold the screen. You see the strength meter begin to rise and when it reaches the desired level, release your hold on the screen.
The ball bounces around the gaming screen and eventually settles in one of the bottom slots. The number value represents points earned and the scoring board slowly fills up (each point represents a diamond symbol on the board). Your scoring threshold that is required to advance to the next level is indicated by a lighter colored diamond on the scoring board.
While gameplay sounds straightforward, each level has obstacles ranging from stationary cliffs to moving boulders that get in your way. There are also fireballs that appear and destroy your ball and blocks that can be destroyed with hits, opening up a clearer shot at the slots. Obstacles can be used to your advantage by ricocheting throws off them to get your ball bouncing in the right direction.
If you fail to reach the minimum score the game offers you two options: replay the level, or use your stash balls to continue playing. Think of stash balls as extra throws if you are close to reaching your scoring goal.
Stash balls are limited in number but have the chance to replenish as you progress through the game. There are also opportunities to watch ad videos to earn bonus stash balls.
Overall, I doubt Gem Well will set the gaming world on fire, but there is a slight addictive pull to the game. Graphics are decent and gameplay has its fair share of challenges. I found Gem Well to be one of those games that is fun to pick up from time to time. I can see Gem Well being a great option to help you pass short bits of time, such as waiting in the doctor's office for your name to be called or waiting for a table at a restaurant. However, I'm not sure it's a pin-worthy game that you will play day in and day out.