Diamond Speedy is a Facebook game from Speedy Winner Holdings Ltd. It’s been showing activity since October of this year and appeared as the No. 15 emerging game at the end of last week. It’s also available on iOS, Kindle Fire and Google Play, but this review is based on the Facebook incarnation of the game.
Diamond Speedy is, as its name suggests, a social puzzle game that follows the Diamond Dash formula and adds a few small twists to create a distinctive, if rather familiar experience. Players must click on groups of three or more contiguous like-colored gems to remove them from the board and score points. The game adopts the “blitz” puzzle style, whereby players have a minute to score as many points as possible, rather than a linear level-based mechanic. Unlike Diamond Dash, which uses a 10×10 grid, Diamond Speedy uses a somewhat more cramped 8×8 grid reminiscent of that seen in Bejeweled Blitz. The gem designs are also clearly inspired by PopCap’s title, each having their own distinct shape as well as color — good for color-blind players.
Diamond Speedy encourages repeat play through a combination of mechanics — firstly, there is the usual weekly leaderboard, allowing friends to compete against each other for the highest score. Secondly, however, is a role-playing game style leveling system, in which players earn experience after each game, and may assign “skill points” to three different statistics upon each level up. The three statistics include a score boost, an increase in the amount of “mana” earned for each match, and an increase in the amount of time the player may remain in “lightning mode.” Mana builds up in a meter at the top of the play area as the player makes matches, and zaps a number of gems out of the way when it fills up — but it also declines over time or when the player attempts to make an illegal move. Lightning mode, meanwhile, is similar to Bejeweled Blitz’s “frenzy” mode — making a large number of matches in a short space of time causes special visual effects, and for each match to also destroy the gems around it, making for much more fast-paced play. (more…)