Reviewed by: David Laprad


Diamond Hunter
If you’re on the prowl for a quick download that mixes action and puzzle elements, then give Diamond Hunter a try.

When you first load Diamond Hunter, it resembles a side-scrolling platform game. You’ve got the lead character, after whom this offering is named, climbing ladders, riding elevators and pushing crates in an effort to collect all of the green gems scattered across the levels.

That wouldn’t be much fun without challenges to overcome, so monsters are spread across the maps, too. If Diamond Hunter touches one of them, he dies. Luckily, blue gems that power-up the hero and allow him to take out a single creature are available. He can also shove a crate off a ledge to kill an enemy below him or eliminate two fiends at once by clearing the obstacles between them and causing them to collide. (One of the creatures must be carrying an explosive.)

You’d be wise to take a moment before grabbing a blue gem and plowing through the nearest monster, though, as the game also features metal crates that Diamond Hunter can bust only when he’s powered-up. Gems and crates block the paths of the monsters, so you always have time to assess a situation before taking action.

The developers at FreeStone Group have taken these simple gameplay ingredients, popped them into a blender of ingenuity and poured out a heaping serving of clever levels. They’ve also made it easy for you to restart the current map if you get stuck (press the Space bar) and gave Diamond Hunter an unlimited number of lives. You can also play the game’s 30 levels in any order you wish.

Best of all, the controls are straightforward and responsive, and Diamond Hunter runs along at a good clip. This gives the game an arcade feel at times, such as when you race to climb a ladder before two creatures converge on you from either side.

Visually, Diamond Hunter could use a little polish. The graphics are 3D accelerated, and while the level architecture is sharp, the character models lack detail. That said, the clarity of the graphics is acceptable, and Diamond Hunter should work well on older machines. If you have a newer PC, you can pump up the resolution and color depth.

So give Diamond Hunter a try. You won’t reap untold riches, but you will be rewarded with fun gameplay.

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Games FreeStone Group