Original game: Gemwords

Gemwords was my first attempt at a commercial game. It's a gem matching puzzler with anagrams and weird downtempo ambient zen space music. Right.
Gemwords Gems are rotated around the silver pivots to try and form a block of four or more gems of the same colour, as shown by the four blue gems in the image above. Match the gems and they pop, granting you extra time and causing more gems to fall in from the top of the screen.

Gemwords

Some gems sparkle. Match these with other gems of the same colour to pop them and grant you a letter.

Gemwords

Once you've claimed enough letters the board is replaced with a clue to the anagram and you have your remaining time to solve the anagram. This particular one might be a little easy.

Gemwords was not a resouding success. A few positive reviews and even a mention or two by some youtubers was not enough to thrust it into the charts (though it did briefly top the free educational game charts in some eastern european countries!). Marketing aside, I believe the game is too difficult compared to most 'gem' games on mobile devices. The control method is also significantly different; players need to touch the pivots rather than the gems. These differences cause some initial confusion for players expecting Yet Another Match 3 Game and is probably responsible for the low retention rates. Or maybe the game just isn't very good?

Find out for yourself. The desktop version is available from voxel.itch.io. Gemwords is also available for free on Google Play and the Apple App Store.