goldandgems1.pngIf you've finished Candy Box and A Dark Room, and you're looking for something to fill the void, then Gold and Gems should do the trick. Deeply inspired by Candy Box, Polish developer Michał Rawdanowicz has crafted a wonderful tribute and an absorbing game in its own right. Gold and Gems trades out ASCII-only visuals for tile-based graphics, avoids the wackiness of Candy Box, and focuses more squarely on questing, while still providing plenty of resource management and discovery.

Gold and Gems is more of a standard heroic fantasy than Candy Box and its kitchen-sink plotting was. You start with an empty landscape and few options, but soon your kingdom will flourish. Each new structure increases your opportunities for interaction and helps prepare you for your next excursion. Manage your resources, increase your production, upgrade your equipment, and then fight your way through the next location. It's always fun to see what comes next, and there is a satisfying sense of progression. It's meant to be played in short bursts, in between other tasks, and kept running in a background tab when you're otherwise engaged. There are a lot of locations to visit, so Gold and Gems should keep you occupied for a while.

Gold and Gems is an excellent addition to the budding genre of resource management/discovery/idle games. You can play it in your browser. Remember to keep a record of your ID number when you save your game; you'll need it to pick up where you left off.