Kingdom of Gnester iPhone Game Review

I recently posted on the upcoming release of Kingdom of Gnester, and now the game is released on the App Store and there has even been an update. So after the excitement and anticipation, how is the game? Read on and find out!

The Hype:
– Innovative game play, combining a match 3 puzzle game with a side-scrolling platformer
– 30 Exciting Levels containing 3 intense Boss Battles
– Merchant system that allows you to purchase upgrades and customize your gameplay experience
– 2 Additional Game Modes (Puzzle Mode and Gnesters Ranch)
– Open Feint Achievements
– Global Leaderboards
– Post High Scores to Facebook

The Reality:
Kingdom of Gnester follow the story of the gnome prince Gnester as he sets forth in the tradition of his forefathers to create his own kingdom. He is aided by Lune, a ‘capacube’ – magical cube that aids in solving puzzles. From there on out there is nothing but fun in this wonderful hybrid puzzle-action game.

Gnester has to travel a great distance, and as he makes his way he is beset with all manner of challenges, all of which take the form of a puzzle. The puzzles are a basic match-3 style, but with some differences. First off, you don’t have to match to move – that is right, you can simply swap pieces and then swap again to make a match. That took me quite a while to get used to, but in the end it makes sense because there is an entirely separate game overlaying the puzzles.

Kingdom of Gnester is also a side-scrolling ‘platform’ game. After the puzzle starts, Gnester begins traveling the road, and is soon beset by the need to make use of many skills such as shooting, leaping and ducking, among others. These skills integrate into the main puzzle because you start with a limited amount but earn more of a particular skill by matching gems of that color (each skill is assigned a color). Then, when you need to use a skill you simply tap that skill button and get back to matching before the next obstacle comes along.

If that sounds like a significant challenge – it is! Fortunately, the game has loads of helpful tutorials, and even gives you hints during levels to alert to you to what is happening. You will need these and might even need to go back and revisit them later on if you forget. Most things will become more obvious as you play more and more in a single session, and once you master the skills the game is not too difficult.

Kingdom of Gnester also integrates fully with the OpenFeint system, allowing you to upload your high scores and track progress as you proceed. Also, as you complete levels you can publish your results on Facebook. These are all nice optional touches that give you some bragging rights as you make your way along.

Aside from following Gnester’s adventures, you can also engage in Puzzle Mode or head over to Gnester’s Ranch. Puzzle Mode is just as it sounds – you work your way through the puzzle making matches until time expires. As you make matches coins appear which earn you extra cash for the merchant. You also get special powers that allow you to destroy all pieces of a certain color as you play. Gnester’s Ranch is a place where you can hatch eggs and and feed the creatures to have them drop coins towards new statues that you use to buy more stuff at the merchant. It is reminiscent of ‘Plants vs. Zombies’ in this way, and both of these are fun little mini-games.

My sole frustration was trying to watch both parts of the screen simultaneously, but fortunately the game is fairly forgiving in terms of letting you switch back and forth.

Aside from that, I had a blast from beginning to end of Kingdom of Gnester, and also with the mini-games. The art and story are charming, and the gameplay is familiar yet with enough twists to feel fresh. Also, considering the game costs $1.99 and has a free Lite version, there is no reason not to try this fin little game!

Where to Buy: iTunes App Store Link (also available as a free Lite version)

Price: $1.99

Source: Review code provided by publisher

What I Like:
– Solid puzzles
– Charming story
– Budget price for loads of gaming
– Loads of fun and innovative gameplay

What Needs Improvement:
– Difficult to watch both screens simultaneously.

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1 reply


  1. Allistair Lee