Cursed Treasure: Don’t Touch My Gems is one of the more memorable tower defense games to come out in the past two years. It has some unique gimmicks and a realistic graphical style to set it apart from the pack, and it does its job well enough to make it one of the top TD games today.
It’s not a popularity contest (but if it was, this game would be winning)
So what exactly does Cursed Treasure: Don’t Touch My Gems bring to the table that makes it so popular? There so no one great aspect of the game, to be sure. Nothing really stands out or makes you go “Man, this is why I keep coming back,” but you do keep coming back. You keep coming back until you’ve gotten an Excellent rating on every stage and then you walk away feeling accomplished and wanting more.
Cursed Gems is pretty simple overall. You only have three base towers, both of which with two upgrade variations. Each tower is straightforward, has a very distinct use, and two upgrades with special effects. The Crypt stores two or three charges to fire, then Den acts as your standard arrow tower, and the Temple fires a single target laser. Each type must be placed on a certain type of terrain, either on snow, grass, or dirt respectively (there are very rare all-use tiles as well). The terrain adds a certain strategic aspect that other TDs lack and perhaps is what makes the game so appealing.
Paired with the game’s simple towers are three spells: Meteor, Frenzy, and Cut Out. Meteor is fairly straight forward (I mean it is in every other TD these days) and Frenzy simply doubles attack speed for some time. Cut Out needs some explanation. While some tiles are open for building, others are packed with trees. Cut Out removes these trees so you can build on tiles aside from those initially available. Spells use mana, which you obtain over time either at a normal rate or building on tiles that provide enhanced mana gain.
Is there anything not awesome about it?
Outside of the above, Don’t Touch My Gems doesn’t bring that much new to the table. The enemy units are about standard sans the stealth ones (so annoying), and it has the (now) ever-so-common skill/upgrade tree to enhance your towers, mana gain, and spell powers. The mixture of the new and the familiar is probably what makes me and every other tower defense fan like the game so much. Plus it helps that the game is delightfully difficult — good luck getting “Excellent”s your first time through without grinding up levels for skill points.
With its difficulty and unique terrain system, Cursed Treasure: Don’t Touch My Gems has very much made its place among the other top tower defense games. Even after playing it a year ago, I can come back now and enjoy it just as much as I did the first time. And I’m sure if I did so again next year, I’d have just as much fun playing it a third time.