A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
DIAMOND DIARIES SAGA has a thin story that anchors the matching gameplay. When your Aunt Bernadetta invites you, a jewelry maker, to Paris, you naturally oblige. Later, you travel to New York, London, and beyond -- though, to be honest, it's really the game's fun, physics-based gameplay that will keep you going. Players are tasked with creating jewels and other items by matching three or more objects of the same color, which creates combos. You have a limited number of moves on each stage, so combining as many items as possible is vital to your success.
Is it any good?
While this starts off as a simple, physics-augmented connect-3 puzzle game, it gets increasingly clever and inventive. In Diamond Diaries Saga, there's a large diamond in a tube full of smaller gems. You have to use your finger to link three or more of the same kind, which causes them to disappear, and the diamond to move downward, hopefully past the pearl necklace. Or, if the board is set up differently, you have to link gems that are next to the Russian nesting dolls of the same color, which will release the diamonds instead. You also aren't limited to just ones in a row, you can backtrack and link all that are close together. But while this game starts off familiar, and is often rather easy, it gets increasingly inventive as it progresses, adding bottles of perfume that make diamonds float upward, small birds that can smash barricades, and other clever mechanics. Sadly, the game isn't without its problems. For starters, when you press on a gem, it highlights all the nearby gems you can link to, removing some of the challenge. It also puts gold bars (which are used to keep playing) in your piggy bank as you play. But when the bank's full, there's a $3 withdrawal fee if you want the bonus you've earned for, well, filling the pig. Despite these irritations, though, fans of similar games will find Diamond Diaries Saga to be a puzzle fans' best friend.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about money. Do you think it's fair that Diamond Diaries Saga is free, but you have to pay real money to keep playing if you run out of turns and don't want to wait?
When you press on a gem, all the ones you can connect to are highlighted. Does this eliminate the challenge of the puzzle game?