May 18, 2011 | Andy Boxall
I’m always a little wary of games featuring gems or jewels, as they seem to only be included in yet another match-three type game that does absolutely nothing new. But there is always an exception to every rule, and in this case it’s Greedy Bankers – a game which has mercilessly eaten up my time over the past couple of days.
In Greedy Bankers the action takes place in a bank vault where gems litter the floor and fall from the ceiling. You’re given a 60-second time limit and a certain amount of money to reach, which you do by joining together gems of the same color. Each single gem is worth $100, but when they’re joined up in blocks of four or more, they’re much more valuable. Tapping a block cashes it in and the cash is added to your total, but beware, as the vault can be robbed and your precious gems stolen!
By my own admission, Greedy Bankers shouldn’t be a game for me, but I’ve enjoyed it immensely! For a start it’s very simple to play. At first I was looking for something more – like only being able to move gems in one direction, or only if it was a Tuesday – but sensibly there are no such restrictions, and the only thing you have to worry about is the timer.
Gems can be made as large as you like, and there are Game Center achievements to reward you when they net a really large amount of money, and can be moved around the screen to blow up bits of rubble which randomly appear. Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean you can’t have a strategy though, as while the early levels are easy to pass, it’s worthwhile building up some blocks ready to cash in when the going gets tough.
As you progress, the amount of money you need to bank increases, as does the rubble and the appearance of the robber. I never expected to develop a pathological hatred of this thieving little *ahem* rascal, but I did. Once he’s on-screen there’s no way to stop him nicking your gems except to move them around or tap them for $100, and when it’s 30 seconds into level 10 and you’ve still got $8000 to find; he’s a problem you really don’t need.
It’s on these higher levels where Greedy Bankers gets really frantic as you jostle gems, avoid the robber and attempt to clear the rubble. It’s quite a challenge, but with some early, strategic decisions and a calm head, you’ll get that little bit further with each go. Because the game is fun, there’s plenty of incentive to give it another play and I became so invested in bettering my score, I found myself pausing a game and coming back to it later – something I very rarely do.
The only slight problem I encountered was when trying to grab and drag gems around the screen, as at times they refused to be grabbed or dragged. They’d also be halted mid-drag by another falling gem or piece of rubble – unnecessary when already in motion I thought.
Greedy Bankers’ graphics have a hand-drawn look, and the banker characters who pop up when you pass a level wouldn’t look out of place in a Private Eye cartoon. I’m not a big fan of this style, but it does suit the game and there’s no denying they’re of a very high quality. A funky soundtrack accompanies the action, and is subtle enough not to intrude.
I’m expecting to keep returning to Greedy Bankers, and I love that one-more-go appeal to beat a high score. I highly recommend it to any puzzle game fans, even if they’ve had an aversion to gems in the past!
- Simple, fun gameplay and an addictive high-score challenge.
- A unique hand-drawn graphical style.
- Game Center leaderboard and achievements.
- Gems are occasionally difficult to drag around.
- Long term interest?