What would you do if you woke up on an unknown island filled with ancient artifacts and lucrative gems? If your name happens to be Jones and you have a dog with an amazing sense of smell, then you're up for some exploring. Treasure Jones lets you guide a curious young fellow through countless dangers as he collects the precious pieces of history scattered on the island.
The game has 35 levels of exploration in 5 regions of the island, from forest to desert. In these are 25 antiques and 48 treasure pieces for you to collect, as well as countless unfriendly animals indigenous to the island. Gems and artifacts are ususally found inside large chests or buried underground, and your dog will help you find a lot of them by sniffing around. 15 weapons are included to help you fend off violent creatures that will attack you on sight. As you earn more money, you can upgrade your character's attributes and improve the power of your weapons. The game also includes Game Center integration with leaderboards and achievements.
Treasure Jones is a nice blend of hack and slash and adventure RPG, and Meridian does a great job of implementing simple yet effective controls. You move by tapping 2 arrows and jump by tapping a blue button on the right side of the screen. Touching the same arrow twice allows Jones to dash in the desired direction and effectively escape enemies. To attack, you can use up to 3 equipped weapons by tapping on their icons on the bottom of the screen. The game definitely has an Indiana Jones feel to it, as well as an incredible amount of content for a low price.
If there's anything that makes Treasure Jones really fun to play, it's the numerous unique features that make the game much more challenging. In most levels, there are several locked treasure chests and a cave with a blocked entrance. You can trade in several thousand of your hard-earned gold pieces to unlock skills that let you pick locks and destroy barriers. Before moving on to the next section of the island, you must make an offering to one of the island gods in the form of several gemstones. Because of this, you are often required to replay a few levels in order to acquire the missing riches. If you run short on money at any time, you have the option of selling groups of jewels for handsome sums of gold to use on upgrading weapons and attributes.
The cartoon style graphics and variation in scenery help to make Treasure Jones a little more enjoyable. Each of the 7 gemstones and 25 antiques in the game are illustrated so that they're polished and add to the overall treasure hunting experience. An artifact room lets you walk around and look at the different treasures that you've uncovered, from the legendary Excalibur sword to Greek sculptures. The game's sound effects and background music are acceptable as well, even if they're nothing out of the ordinary.
While Treasure Jones has a great concept that provides a lot of fun, it can get repetitive quickly. Each of the 35 levels feels the same and the game turns into a routine of killing animals, digging for gems, and opening chests. Enemies keep on respawning in the levels, so you'll continuously have to fight off several bats or coyotes. It also takes several seconds to dig for treasure and open chests, often giving vicious creatures enough time to land an easy hit on your character. Once you get the hang of it, the levels are generally easy to complete, as long as you make sure to upgrade your primary weapon every once in a while.
For its price, Treasure Jones provides a great deal of gameplay with many monsters to kill and artifacts to collect. However, many elements of the game can start to feel repetitive after beating 5 or 6 levels. Treasure Jones is worth it for its current sale price of $0.99 and will have you searching for valuable objects in every possible location.