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Rating: 4.8/5 (586 votes)
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ValaraukaGemcraftHot off the presses, here comes an innovative new tower defense game from GameInABottle.

In GemCraft, you are a wizard tasked with defending the world from evil hordes of invading monsters—same old story for a tower defense game, but let's face it: we don't play these for the brilliant storytelling, do we? (though the excellent Immortal Defense is a notable exception.)

Best of Casual Gameplay 2008GemCraft mixes up the classic TD formula with several new tricks. Your defense consists of magically created gems placed atop towers near the path the monsters follow. Various colors of gem offer different types of special attacks—splash damage, poison, armor reduction and so forth. Gems can be combined to produce higher-grade gems which do more damage, and incorporate the attack types of up to three of their component colors (though at reduced potency). You can also place new towers next to the path, or trenches directly on it to slow the monsters down. All of these actions require Mana, which is your primary resource in the game; it regenerates slowly over time and you earn more from killing monsters. GemcraftYou can also invest in a "mana pool", which costs a large amount of mana to buy but increases the amount of points and mana you get from kills. Score is determined by how fast you kill everything, and you can get more points by sending in more waves at once, in the same manner as Desktop Tower Defense and some other TD games.

Here's where things get interesting: You can create gems of any grade directly, though higher grade gems are significantly more mana-intensive. However, the gem you get will be of a random color, so if you want a specific gem type you're better off producing a load of low grade gems and combining the ones you want. Combining specific gem colors can get you useful effects, but pure-color gems have stronger special attacks and bonus damage compared to multicolored ones—would you rather have two towers with different pure gems on them, or save space and combine them on top of a single tower? Gems can also be thrown directly on to the path as bombs, which is a nifty way of getting rid of unwanted extras. Another nice touch is that the gems themselves are independent of the towers they're placed on, which means you can position multiple empty towers along the path, create one super-powerful gem and just move it along with the wave of enemies.

The separate levels are tied together in a branching campaign map, and you usually have several different battles available to tackle in whichever order you choose; you can also go back and replay any of your previous battles. Your wizard's level also increases as you win more battles, giving you skill points to spend on various skills that will make you more powerful. These are redistributable at any time, making it easy to try the same battle again with a different skill-set if you're having trouble.

Analysis: On the whole, the game brings a lot of innovation to the tower defense genre, quite an accomplishment considering how crowded it already is. The new gameplay mechanics create a lot of strategic depth, and the game adds replay value by keeping track of your high score for each level, allowing you to go back and replay them for much higher scores once your wizard has leveled up and is more powerful. Each level also has a "gold frame" high score, and achieving it on many battles unlocks bonus maps to play on. If you're a tower defense fan, I foresee this game taking up a lot of your time in the very near future.

Play GemCraft


This reminds me of Gem Tower Defense..


From the images and name and description, it indeed sounds like a copy of Gem Tower Defense (which can be googled very easily) which is quite old and also apparently a remake of something from Warcraft III.
The graphics on this one doesn't look too bad but I don't believe it should be called so innovative. In any case, I guess I will try playing it, now.


Ahh Gem Tower defense. My favorite td off of warcraft 3.

If any of you want to try it for war3 here is a link to this wonderful td http://epicwar.com/maps/22972/

i cant wait to try out this game.

Miasere June 12, 2008 7:10 PM

Despite all the tower games out there this works nicely. One of the best versions of this genre

Haploid June 12, 2008 7:19 PM

I love tower defense games. They're easy to get hooked on and usually have a medium long curve until you get bored with them. Occasionally one will even keep you busy for more than a few days. However, I don't think this will be one of them. While it does have a long term setup, with plenty of levels, it lacks a few basics that would make it great.

It's not very intuitive. For example, your attention isn't drawn to the mana bar at all. It just fills up up there like some sort of time indicator. It also doesn't become clear that you die when it empties. I just kind of had to see it happen to understand why I died. Have the bar flash red when you get hit or something, to make it obvious.

The interface is somewhat fickle. To combine two gems, you have to click the Combine action, then drag one gem onto another (that can't be inside a tower). I don't understand why I just can't drag one gem onto another in the first place. It's not like there's any other meaning that dragging has in this game.

Also, on the map screen there are tiny stone-like bars at the top of the screen. I had to discover by accident that this is actually the menu, and they drop down when you touch them.

And there's more like that. Really, this game is more like one of those 10 gnomes games, where you have to move your cursor around to find out what parts of the screen you can click. Good game, poor interface.


greatest tower defense game ever! 100/10! wonderful!


This game is pretty good, but yeah, having your primary resource as your "health bar" at the same time is really annoying. Anyways, I'm just stuck at the damn epic level against the epic boss (the distorted), the thing has maximum armor and has 10,000 health, and requires 4000 mana to "banish" each time. The thing is rediculous, i've tried three times so far at wizard level 21, and it's just futile, I havn't gotten him down to even 7500 health yet.


God I love TD games. This new one is a great piece of work. In a genre where it's getting harder and harder to reinvent the wheel with each new game, GemCraft gives us something new.

Awesome game, awesome idea. Long live TD! ;)

deflective June 13, 2008 1:12 AM

i don't see this mentioned before, it might be overlooked:

gems of contrasting color to the creeps will do more damage

runningmusician711 June 13, 2008 1:56 AM

THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST EPIC GAMES I'VE EVER PLAYED. Hehe, I was going to do something productive tonight.

Tranchera June 13, 2008 4:23 AM

The one thing I like about Tower Defence games is the length of them; a huge siege against mounting odds. Having to restart the game on a new level every ten minutes is kind of... well it removes that one thing I like about the genre.

Still, it was fun for the first five levels. I really don't like the fact that resource and mana are the same bar, though; the first time something reached my tower I was spending all my cash trying to kill it and I didn't know health = mana, so I lost. Yawn.

Haploid June 13, 2008 9:00 AM

You can pretty easily use gem bombs to clear the first dozen or more waves. Just send as many waves as your computer will allow without it becoming unbearably slow, then throw low quality gems at them. Use the mana you earn to buy more low quality gems, and mana cap upgrades and you should have bundles of mana after clearing a dozen waves.

This is an excellent strategy to (re-)do earlier levels for a higher score. You get a lot of points more for sending all the waves at once. Amulets are wholly irrelevant for the score. Sending a single wave directly earns you more points than a gold medal, sending 10 waves at once is 600,000+ points.

Once you get to the Powerful Gem Bombs upgrade, it works even better. Starter gems, even basic ones, are great also. And the upgrade that gives you more mana per kill will help a lot too.

Bosses will die just as easily from gem bombs. You just have to throw more at them. Don't be discouraged if it seems like you're not damaging them. The health bars stay green for the longest time, but when they become even slightly yellowish, you're almost there.


I like this game. The gem combination thing isn't the most innovative, but the scoring system is well done. Going for the target score on a level can be really tough. A lot of tower defense games have ways you can pay resources now to get more resources later, this is no exception, but its well done.

Its not so much innovative as its really well polished and professional. It also follows the usual pattern from the Balloon Invasion guys of giving you LOTS of levels, which is nice.


So, any tips on how to beat that first epic level? I'm having some real trouble beating the distorted, i can't even bring him below 7500 hpi, and he takes like 4000+ mana to "banish". I already tried the tips given in the strategy guide, but they didn't work so well for me. Amassing only pure greens, yellows, purpules, and cyans is easier said than done, wastes a lotta mana trying to get the right gem. Also, if you want to make him run "multiple laps" you need a hell of a lot of mana pools, and that costs a lot of mana (to get max 20k mana takes rediculous amounts of mana pools). It's impossible to apply both techniques at once w/o incredible luck.

Julian2 June 13, 2008 2:51 PM

i don't understand how to banish something, anyone know what it means?

Haploid June 13, 2008 2:52 PM

Hey Fred. It is a tough one. You'll need to go back and finish as many of the earlier levels with as much points as possible to level up. Maybe you already did that, I dunno.

I think you have to aim for enough mana to allow the epic boss to run two laps (that's one "banishment"). Any more is just expensive, and like you said, there's not a whole lot of mana to spare. I know they advice you to get like 20,000 mana in the strategy guide, but that's a waste even in higher levels.

It is good to increase your max mana as quickly as possible, because with it your income is also increased by 8% per upgrade. It's best to use the 660 mana you start with (if you have your first skill fully upgraded) to upgrade max mana before the first enemy appears. That's two upgrades, so 16% extra income. Continue to upgrade income as quickly as possible, pausing only to strengthen your kill zone whenever needed.

The skill that gives you more mana per kill is also important, as it pays off big over time.

The rest of the skill points aren't so important, put them wherever you like. I prefer to have some starter gems, so I can spend all my early mana on max mana upgrades.

Build your killzone somewhat like the picture in the strategy guide:

You can't always determine what gems you'll get, so just wing it. Defense-reducing gems are probably most important against the boss. Move them around as needed to make sure the boss's defense is constantly being reduced. For this you'll need two or three towers spread around the level, so that you can have your purple towers continue firing after the boss has left the killzone.

Good luck!


Ah, the noble tower defence genre. How warped this has become? very. While not quite bare-bones back-to-basics, it maintains a nice little sense of awesome. A quaint game, designed for short bursts of playing, a nice setup, allowing you to gain more points by getting 'amulets', a RPG style skill tree can help you on your way, a more points : level up system and a great overall style. The best thing is how to unlock the secret levels, basically REQUIRING you to skirt through stages to see the bonus levels. Each second sees a few dozen points of score lost to the next round timer. The mana meter adds a new challenge, acting as a health meter as well as allowing you to use your skills. That's the same as cutting your wrists and bleeding diamonds in this game. The Dual Gems and Tri Gems give a much-needed advantage, allowing you to combine powerful gems,(critical or poison with multi-hit is awesome.) the Water trenches and extra towers giving a decent boost in chances to get shots in and firepower, and to cap it all off, It's addictive as hell.

Final thoughts?
Amazing. Try it out at the very least.


Thanks for the advice Haploid, but it still ain't coming to me. If I try to make all my gems shock, armor lowering, triple damage, and poison, then I throw away a HUGE number of gems that I produce. I mean, like half of them become bombs later on. Also, a big problem I find with making the gems only in those four categories is levels 28 and 29, where the monsters are characterized by having maximum armor (28 armor, and a lot of them each wave), even with all the purple gems, those guys are hard to kill, and it makes it almost impossible to have enough mana to make the epic boss run one lap around w/o losing. This is just futile, if I use mana pool a bunch, I can't focus on my defenses, If i focus on my defenses for normal waves, i'll be slaughtered by the epic boss, if I focus on epic boss defenses, then I'm slaughtered by waves 28 and 29.

I'm wizard level 21, and I have no idea how to beat this first epic boss level.


I think i may have found a glitch.

If you are trying to get the medals for multiple grade 7 gems, this can help.

I think what happens is, when you combine lower grade gems with a gem that is 7 and up, it will think you have created a completely new gem and count it.

Patrick June 14, 2008 3:51 AM

I killed the first (and second) boss without letting them lap the screen.

The trick is to focus on economics. Every time you upgrade your mana pool, you get 8% more mana per enemy killed. So, maintain a defense layout that just barely keeps the enemies down, and put as much as you can into mana pool for most of the levels. About 10 levels away from the boss, start buying the absolute biggest gems you can afford, and upgrade things.

In terms of design, put water pits all the way across your kill zone, and remember that what you want from purple and light blue gems is their special effects. You want purple gems to reduce armor, and light blue to stun. So, if two light blue gems of a particular level get you two towers that have a 13% chance of stun each, and combining them gets you one tower with a 14% chance to stun, don't combine them. Apply the same reasoning to purple towers. Apply the opposite reasoning to blue towers (I don't think they stack, could be wrong though) and have only one really big one. Once you've got your slow and debuff effects decided upon, get your serious damage from green and yellow towers. Red and lime are nice for killing the earlier levels, but not necessary for the boss since their special ability is to hit lots of foes and there's only one boss.

Save gems you can't use and throw them. Throw the smaller ones at the guys before the boss, to make sure your towers are ready to focus fire. Throw the big ones at the boss. Once the boss has walked past a tower's range, throw that tower's gem at the boss. You don't need it anymore anyways.


Dual Gems give good results, and a combination multi hit + ANYTHING works well. Avoid triple gems though, they suck the most. Pure gives +80% special (I think) Dual gives a whole heap of bonuses, and triple, No idea.


here is something i just figured out, a wave with a yellow highlight means all the guys are going to be fast. one with a red highlight means all the guys will have high armor.


the red-lime combo is pretty awesome. since it has splash and chain hit, if the chain hit is succesful, there will be more explosions.
pretty much any stat altering gem combined with a red is good, because when the splash happens, all the enemies inside the splash get slowed/armor reduced/poisoned/shocked.
the yellow-red combo is one of the best in the game. the red and yellow crystals have pretty high damage rates, and combined they are even better, and when the triple damage occurs, EVERYONE in the splash radius will take LOADS of damage. great for crowd control.
this game has more depth than a normal TD because its not just about upgrading your crystals, its also about finding which specials work best together.

Anonymous June 14, 2008 7:18 PM

I think people are overstating certain things, or maybe at least earlier in the game for the epic final boss. I was playing this without glasses so I didn't read any of the popups, and didn't realize the benefits of pure gems. I spent all my money upgrading a few gems, and then laying down a bunch of water. I beat the first epic boss with 2 6 gems and a 7 gem, only once he got out of my kill zone I bombed him with my tower gems. I had to quickly make a bunch of 2 gems to finish him off near the end, as he was passing my fourth gem which was some mid-level. I didn't realize how dangerous this was until reading now about mana=health. I lost interest after that. Not saying it's a good strategy or pretty, but just pointing out that trying to adhere strictly to certain policies might not always be the best way. Plus, I must have been crazy lucky.


Hey Ed,

I found that the first epic battle was a good time to go for the 2 grade 7 gems accomplishment -- not so much for the amulet and point reward as for having 2 grade 7 gems against the final boss. I found that having, say, 3-4 others, grades 3 through 5 (all pure, as Valarauka suggests), combined with hitting the boss with 2 grade 7 gems -- for all 3 sides of the opening bend AND both sides of the corner in the bottom right of the screen (you can move the big guns along the track as needed) -- was enough to do it in before it made a complete lap.

As for getting the grade 7 gems, definitely boost mana pool as much as you can throughout (and the earlier the better). If you get lucky enough to generate colors of progressively more powerful gems that happen to match gems of that grade you already have, by all means build them up that way, but I'm pretty sure by the end you can have enough mana saved up to be buying grade 6 gems. If you can buy 4 grade 6 gems before the final boss appears, you've got the 2 grade 7's, regardless of the combination (or you may want to stick with 4 grade 6's if you have enough towers).

And of course, the bigger the gem, whether from buying or combining, the better it is against all the other waves (unless you're going for the effects, as Patrick pointed out).

Since that's a pretty cost-heavy approach, it won't get you a glowing frame score, but it should at least get you past the battle. Hope it helps.


On the first epic level, I keep on dying at lvl 30. Their armor is always too strong.


I used spoiler tags as "cuts" to make this shorter...


No one has really discussed armor yet, but I find it to be a big deal. You can see the monsters' armor level by hovering over the wave bars on the left, or by clicking on a particular monster.

Armor basically deals with whether your gem can hit the monster. Generally, gem level > armor level = guaranteed hit, but gem level You can tell when your hits are blocked because there's a metallic "clank" sound effect. If you get a lot of clanks, it's time to level up your gems!
This is also a good argument against the "use many low-level light blues" strategy. Eventually the monsters have enough armor that your low-level gems simply won't hit, and they'll be useless.

General Strategy:
I find that building gems from low levels up is a poor strategy. If you do the math, it is cheaper to buy a level 4 gem than to combine two level 3 gems.
So the approach I use is roughly this:

1) Build a few towers and water traps right at the beginning. Put your best initial gems there.
2) Start sending monsters in sets of roughly 5 waves at a time. I sometimes wait and send fast waves (speed >2.0) or high-HP waves through alone.
3) Use low level gem bombs to take out anything that gets by the towers. Don't overuse- let your towers do the work if possible.
4) Use your initial earnings to buy mana pools up to ~2500 (early levels) or ~4500 (later levels).
5) Start saving up, buy as high-level gems as you can and swap them in as you get them. Gradually build more towers and water pits. With a good initial killzone, level 6 gems should get you through all the early levels.

A few thoughts:

- Don't sweat the colors too much. They all do plenty of base damage in addition to their specials. If you take my advice and buy high-level gems, you'll never have to worry about color mixing anyway. Sure, some colors are better, but I just use whatever I get. Pure and high-level, that's the important thing.

- So far I've beaten the first four epic levels and I've never had to "lap" a boss. Once they're through the main killzone I may shift up a few high-level gems. Click on the boss to see how fast he's losing HP and adjust your placement accordingly. Close to the end I drop a few 6th/7th-level gem bombs, and that does the trick!


*blush* After replaying that first epic battle, I'd like to amend (and greatly simplify) my advice above.

First, I had confused the beginning of the circuit with another field, so disregard that. Secondly, go for the grade 5 and 6 gems. With 3 of each (and 2 trenches), I just demolished the epic boss, and I only moved one of them to chase it.

Finally, if you want to do the combining game to choose the color, I'd go with green, as described in the strategy guide. Combine that with Patrick's effect maximizing suggestion above (for example, 5 or 6 medium greens instead of 2 big ones), and you should be in good shape.


If he is having so much trouble with the banish cost, why doesn't he build up armor??

master_flea June 16, 2008 3:58 AM

The game is a lot easier once you cross level 40. All you have to do is

redistribute your skill points so that you have as much in starting high level gems, followed by prioritising raising mana limits (skill 1), mana per kill (skill 2), mana replenishing (skill 4) and lower gem creation cost (skill 6), with any extra going into powerful gem bomb (skill 7)


Finished it and got framed borders on all levels. It was very engaging and kept me coming back, but I found it too easy. It seemed to get easier as I went on. Has anyone managed to get the journey amulets? I can't seem to get them, although going by my stats I should have. My level also stuck at level 51, although my final score was almost twice the qualifying score.

fuzzyface June 16, 2008 4:14 PM

Im too at level 51 it says:

score: 135.000.000
next level at 124.000.000


Anonymous June 16, 2008 6:57 PM

Anyone know if Chapter Two exists?

Julian2 June 16, 2008 7:38 PM

chapter 2 will probably not be out for a while because this game just got out.

But, because of how awesome it is, there will probably be one, and hopefully it will also be awesome.

fuzzyface June 17, 2008 5:26 AM

Valarauka, but I want mooooooore.

pebbles June 17, 2008 8:41 AM


I know for sure that I've played more than 40 lvls and built more than 80 towers. I came onto the board to check out who else was having this same issue and here you are... I've also been capped to lvl 51 and have glowing frames on all lvls.


How do you get a lv 7 or 8 gem? I am lv 51 and haven't been able to create one


That was really fun. I should have written my master thesis instead but anyway :)
And nice end also. Great suggestion, thanks.

It was quite hard to handle the final level. It took some trials until I got it: I increased my mana up to 39,000 and placed violet gems wherever I could. After two rounds that big bug had no armor anymore and was easy to shot.

Thanks Valarauka.

Anonymousism June 18, 2008 12:18 PM

but right now it wont load...;_;

My Simple Guide To GemCraft:

Here,I'll tell ya all how i managed to get as far as i did...
which isnt very far -_-
btw,this is for levels with orange((mana steal)) gems in them only.
if its long enough,get mana pool nice and high,and with mana per second+mana per kill+initial max mana/starting mana.
Then you just start making loads and loads of gems.
All orange gems get combined.
Everything else is bomb material.
You get as high level orange gems as possible and put them near the creep spawn point.
Then turn on extra speed and send all the waves in at once.
You bomb the enemies that get past the killzone with the loads you have from making all those gems.
With water trenches through your killzone,the enemies get slowed down while the orange gems steal mana while killing,and all the bombs,use them anyway for quicker killing.

ganondorf champion June 18, 2008 4:57 PM

I had know idea mana was health because a cleared 5 levels an haven't got "hit" once.This is the best tower defence ever.

tip: you can take the gems off the towers and combine them than put them back on.Combining is the key.Also,fire means a ordinary wave and no fire is a "boss" wave.

When is the first epic boss?


I read all the posts and it seems like most people who've got to the first Epic Battle were at level 21. I was wondering HOW THE HELL TO DO THAT? I am stuck on the first Epic boss and have been able to barely squeeze it down to 12 HP, but HOW DO I GET TO LEVEL 21 in the first 6 levels? Somebody please help me

ganondorf champion June 18, 2008 5:23 PM

help for scorpion "boss"

Patrick June 18, 2008 8:30 PM

I think the bugs have been fixed. I was playing, and upon completion of the level, I received several of the journey badges for which I had long been qualified, and advanced several levels.

ganondorf champion June 18, 2008 8:32 PM

I've drained half of the distorted's health and than he does more than 1300 damage to me even when more than 500 damage is blocked by armor.What does banish mean?


@ ganondorf champion- Banish is just sending the boss/monster back to the start of the level. Making the boss/monster go around multiple times is known as lapping. Finally, you should consider yourself lucky. He does over 4000 damage without any armor. Or at least, to me he did.


Right-o. Finished the game, more or less! What's more, I did it without ever needing to "banish", i.e. without lapping any monsters. AND...

I leveled up PAST level 51! Here's how:

I finished the last epic level and got all the normal levels past the "glowing frame" score, then went back and did the "special" single-color levels. I finally finished all the special levels except cyan with "glowing frame" scores.
The first time I beat the cyan level I did it without quite hitting the glowing frame score. My total score was somewhere above 230,000,000... and I jumped from level 51 to level 79! I got a slew more wizard points too, more than 110, I think.
So I upped my skills and gave cyan another try. This time I beat the glowing frame score and leveled up again.
Currently my status is:
Score = 236,089,420. Level = 80. All levels beat with glowing frame scores.

This game is very cool.


How in the heck do you combine all gems of the same grade. It simply does NOT WORK WHEN I TRY IT.


I finally beat the 1st Epic boss (The Distorted) at level 21 after 6 tries and with a lot of luck.

How I did it...

I did not create any water trenches. That's right, none.

I concentrated on building towers (9 towers), upgrading the mana pool (over 6K) and upgrading my gems.

I didn't keep any spare gems. Mostly I just kept upgrading pure gems, but I did (accidentally) create a mixed gem.

Green and lime are too close in color.

No having trenches wasn't an issue until the last 3 or 4 waves before the boss.

My towers and gems were all clustered around the start of the path with the two pre-built towers further down the path empty.

My strongest gem was a level 5 or 6 red.

Creatures from the last couple of waves were able to get past the kill zone, but got banished back to the start and killed.

The boss also got banished once, leaving me with just 200 mana at that time.

On both laps, I moved my red gem so I could keep the boss in range.

On the 2nd lap, after the boss was out of range of the gems, I gem bombed him.

My last gem, "big red", was moved along the empty towers till he out of range, and just before he reached the end, I bombed him with it.


The End. Good night! God bless!


I give up. I have tried everything and none of the recommendations for beating the final boss have worked. There is no way to save up enough mana, no matter what strategy I use, and the defensive strategy barely slowed the second one down before he MUNCHED me! I've been playing form something like 8 hours straight! I'm done!


dsrtrosy - I just beat the final boss. There is a way to save up enough mana, I had about 26k saved before he came out...stop buying things with about 5-6 levels yet, but before that just keep bulking up. If you have the "Start with high level gems" maxed out you should be able to have about 3 or 4 level 6's when you start the board. I built about 8 towers (cheap, that's maxed as well) right at the top along the road where they come out...nothing but the boss made it past that line.

He went around about 4 times, but I had so much mana that it eventually beat him. Watch his armor, once it's gone if you're running out of mana you can use your level 6/7's to throw as bombs on him, it does a lot of damage once his armor is gone. I was around a level 85. If you don't have most of your skills maxed out go back and get the glowing frame score on all the earlier levels. It's easy, just build a bunch of strong gems and try and click the sliders on the left as much as possible to get the score higher. Also, build towards the entrance, since you get more points the quicker you kill them. You can usually bring out about 5-10 levels at a time if your gems are strong enough, that gets the score up high quickly.

Anonymous June 20, 2008 10:38 AM

Jace (and others who suddenly leveled from 51 to something very high) -- I think they fixed something about the game yesterday. I jumped from 51 to 65 and got a bunch of Journey amulets I'd been owed for some time.
Yay functional games!


Swarms--that is the most common sense answer I've seen--thanks! I always like these games, but rarely have the time to devote to one and so haven't learned some of the most basic ins and outs. I am going to try again! I'm a level 22 wizard--is it possible to hit that level 23 before going in to the first epic battle? Any way...going to try a couple of the levels again with your recommendations and see if I can't beat that epic boss!


However....even with the starter gems maxed out, I never get anything over a level 2 gem. I must be doing something else wrong.


I've beaten the game, but I'm having a devil of a time hitting the glowing frame scores. I get so close, but I just can't make it. What's your secret for high scores?


dsrtrosy - You can level up before doing the battle, although for the first epic battle I don't remember needing to be that high. Go back to the very first board with the starter gems maxed. Combine them in the beginning and make 2 really strong gems. Build towers right by the entrance if you can and put 2 gems there. Then just let the boards out (click the buttons on the left) about 5 at a time....the number at the top, try and keep it around 6-10 people on the board at all times, unless you notice they're getting through. When you can, maybe you can throw some water traps down in front of the entrance to slow them further. By getting the glowing scores you add about 500,000 points to your score each board, which levels you up quickly.

For the epic boss, you can probably do it the same way, just make sure to save up some score in the last 4-5 levels so that you have extra mana in case he gets through...that way you have more than one pass to kill him. Also, don't be afraid to move your gems between towers when someone just needs another hit or 2...or try and build towers where they can hit more than 1 road.

Nathan - The secret to the glowing frame score is sending the levels out quickly. You have to hit the button on the left, you can't wait for the slider to move up to th e next board. Watch how quickly the score goes up when you hit it. Now if you hit it 4 or 5 times in a row in the beginning you should get a low of score...and whenever the enemies are dwindling hit the button as fast as possible. If you don't have enough power ups or started gems yet it might be harder. Once I maximized all my medium starter gems it became very easy to go back and do all the ones I missed, except the secret levels.


Believe me, I know how to send the waves. I'm pretty much launching them all at once, but I'm still just a hair away from the goal scores. Should I create more gems? Build more towers? Throw more bombs? What?


If you're really just a HAIR away, you can try and get some amulets to increase your score a big. The easiest ones are to build 3, 6, or 9 towers (9 is 40,000 points I believe). Also, you can build 25 gems...towards the end just hit build gem, hold ctrl, then click the cheapest gem (only 21 each if you have the modifier all the way maximized). Also, you can use those gems and throw them as bombs, I think 25 bombs is an award...they don't have to hit anything, just throw them out as quick as possible. Or if you have enough mana, combine 30 gems for another medal.

If you're not close enough for that to make a difference, you might want to just keep playing until you can get a better upgrade such as medium grade starter gems.


Mana pool score multiplier! That's the ticket I was missing! Onwards to victory!


Wow, I just can't get beyond a certain point. I have decided it's the touchpad because I am completely getting the strategy.

Delerium June 20, 2008 3:43 PM

For the comments earlier about the level cap, they may have updated the game recently, because I'm at level 87 with 266,576,560 score and next level is 268,000,000. At this point I'm nearly maxxed out in all the skills. (I've gotten glowing frames on all the missions)


This was a neat game, but the difficulty of the first Epic level is far too hard compared to the preceding levels. It's not even the boss: just the preceding 3 waves of insanely armored guys.


Yeah...I've tried everything. Thanks for all the ideas, but I can't get the glowing frame score on three of the levels and I can only attribute it to the touchpad. I've implemented all of the recommendations and am just a hairsbreadth away from level 25, but can't get there. I haven't even tried the epic level again.


To achieve a glowing frame score:

* Send multiple waves at once, 2 or 3 at a time.
* Level up your mana ASAP. Doing so will boost the score per kill.


I just beat the game with 259 million points, but the high score list shows people with over a billion points. How did they do it? Hacking?


What's the best strategy to go though the secret 40 waves level?
There are just too many enemies to save mana, i have to non-stop build (low, 21 mana) gems and bomb all the time.
this works fine to about wave 10 wheh 2 huge monsters (about 1400 health) arrive which just walk though without even noticing my bombardement!

help, anybody?

Boston Gamer June 21, 2008 5:14 PM

Getting the glowing frames is very easy once you realize one thing:

The 8% mana pool score multiplier, as mentioned above! This multiplier also applies to your mana, which makes it easy to build it up very quickly. I went up to 80,000 mana or more through mana pool upgrades, and after that it's nothing to build level 6 gems. This is the secret to high scores also - without even trying I'm able to double the glowing frame cutoffs.



I had a problem with the green gem secret level. It may be necessary to just bypass it for now and move on until you've leveled high enough to get the medium or high starter gems. The secret to every level is the mana multiplier. Eventually you have about 10k mana or more and you can afford for a few enemies to get through the round more than once without killing you. I never really had to use bombs at all, so if you're relying on them to beat the board you might not be able to beat it yet.

Always try to update your mana, and occasionally add a level 6 gem if possible. Later on once you've leveled high enough, you basically start with 3 or 4 level 6 gems, so it's not hard to get the mana multiplier really high since you don't need to buy any gems for a long time. And by the time you need it, the multiplier is high enough that it's easy to get strong gems whenever you need.♦


how to easily get glowing frames

once you reach lvl 40 you need to reset your points in the skills section and put all your hard earned points into high lvl gems. like that you start out with lvl 6 and 7 gems, and the game gets really reaaly easy.


For the last level:

Wave 50 is "The Guardian" you can kill him without looping by hitting him with a lot of purple and cyan ( that drops his armor to 0 ) the hit him with yellow and cyan and blue. make a lot of towrs along the way and water ditches to slow him.

if the set of starter gems is not a good fit, restart the level

Even so, you end up "losing"......

I'm level 82 and have all frames and all the talismans except all the journey ones.


Alright...I have not done anything productive all week! I'm now at level 62 and have every glowing frame but 2 through the 4th level, including every secret level. But there are two I can NOT win no matter what I try--44 waves, one with triple hit/armor reduction only and one with triple hit/chain hit only.

Anyone have a recommendation?


Well. That game definitely gets a LOT easier after level 40. As in, after level 40, I got glowing frame on EVERY SINGLE LEVEL (including secret and final epic - first try on all those).

Best tip early on - buy a bunch of low level gems, stack the first ten waves all at once, obliterate them with the splash damage. Upgrade to powerful gem bombs when you can.

Best tip later on? Combine gems as much as possible, and let the enemies through in waves of five. If you have things set up right, it shouldn't be any problem.

Also, don't worry if guys get past. Hell, don't worry if a lot of guys get past. I'll usually rush the last ten waves as well. I don't care if 50 guys get past, as long as I can afford the mana hit...you don't need the mana anyway, and doing this maximizes score. I died once or twice by rushing too much, but I also beat the game with a score of 248 Million, level 83.

How to beat the final boss - buy lots of different level gems to try to get as many as possible. Buy level 6s, buy also level 5s, 4s, even 3s with a 14% chance or whatever have an effect. His first lap around, follow him around your network of towers with your collection of purples. By his second lap, he should have 0% armor. Also, buy lots of mana pools later on so you have as much mana to play with later. Really, the last level is a cinch. The whole game is just ridiculously easy after level 40..still more or less fun though.

OK..ummmmm...now, on with my life. Where was I?


Anyone with something HELPFUL to say?


Ummmm....just click that "advance wave" button as many times as you can without dying? That's basically the whole trick to getting good scores....


Yes! It really worked! Finally i got the damn (first) epic boss!

For those who (like me) need some more time (about 3 days of non stop trying...) heres again how i did it:

- raise mana 2x
- build 1 tower
- the first 5-9 waves can be killed by only using your 4 starter gems
- as soon as possible raise mana
- buy a full inventory of grade 1 gems (press ctrl to fill the full inventory with it)
- now you should habe a big mix of all colours, join (only pure gems) 2-4 gems so you have grade 2 maybe 3 gems. always replace your tower gems with them.
- by the way, if a wave breaks through, drop a grad 1 gem bomb
- build towers / manana by turns
- if your mana pool can store about 7000 points (i had 7249) build i grade 6 gem.
- you should build 8 towers on the start (in the middle so that also low grade gems can reach the enemies all times) and 1 on the right side
- build another grade 6 gem
- at about wave 25 i had enough mana for a third grade 6 gem
- now until the last wave nothing could pass my towers, and the epic boss was reduced to 5000 health until he lapped. (what means i earned about 4000 mana just with the last 5 waves)
- i moved the (grade 6) gems along his way (upper left to upper right, then lower right)
- i did not even have to bomb him the second round, just placed the 3 grade 6 gems back to the first three towers.

and remember the colors:

blue (slow) and turquoise (shock) in the middle tower as it slows enemies down and gives the surrounding towers more time to bomb the enemies.
red (splash) should be one of (if not the) first tower as it affects surrounding enemies and therefore kills most enemies at once.

well, it worked excellent for me (and i tried it REALLY hard) so it work for everybody else :)


FINALLY! lvl 93, 288,078,570 score and all uppgrades :)

Man it's tough to improve the score on some lvls.


The game isn't loading for me right now. It worked just fine before, and even with the highest grphics I had no lag but now when I open up the game it's all white.

However, if I right click and press "forward" it turns black. ( I tried to make it go forward since I though it might be stuck in one positsion)

I use internet exploreer, by the way.

Does anyone else have this problem? And does anyone have any suggestions?


hey everyone seems to be having trouble with the first 'epic' boss. i found that the easiest way to defeat him was to build up max mana upgrades until i have about 10k max mana then buying 1 or two level 6/7 gems with mana then using the level 6/7 gems and about 4 level 3/4 gems to finish him off. If anything goes wrong bomb him with the level 6/7 gem and all your others (by wrong i mean if he is about 2 foot from your bulding).

I had no problem defeating him and i didnt even realise it was an epic level until it gave me an award for first 'epic' win.

TaxiDriver June 29, 2008 11:51 AM

I've reached level 22 - still haven't gotten the first Epic Boss. So I keep going back to the earlier levels trying to raise my score. Weirdest thing; I can beat them easily now but my scores are less and less than the earlier scores-- leaving me stuck at Lvl 22. My score is 15,818,070 and not changing. I figure if I could break the lvl 23 barrier, I could beat the Epic Boss. Another thing escapes me: I've spent far too much time on this and I STILL haven't been able to get two grade 7 gems in one battle. You guys talk as though it's simple and I've tried the strategies you suggest e.g. raising mana as fast as possible -- I've been able to get the pool up to about 12K but it's only filled to about 4500 by the end of a battle. After reading all your comments, you'd think I'd have it nailed. But not! There must be some simple thing that you take for granted that I'm missing. Please help or I'll never get anything productive done again in my lifetime! Thanks!

Anonymous June 29, 2008 4:52 PM

I got some helpful tips here when I was struggling, so I thought I'd return the favor. I finished up the last level this morning at a similar spot to what other people were reporting, level 80 and 240 million points. Here are some ideas I think helped.

Firstly, I found the first epic level to be very difficult. I think it was the 'tipping point' in my game, where things suddenly started to get easier. Prior to beating it, I'd finished the first 9 or 10 levels without reaching any of the 'glowing frame' scores. That's when I read a very helpful tactic here, which was to use only gem bombs for all the low levels. Max out the 'Powerful Gem Bombs' skill, and go to town. Releasing monster waves quickly all in a row really bumps up your score, and using gem bombs I was able to overcome them much more readily than I had with gems in towers. For most of these levels I don't think I put one gem into a tower, I just used gem bombs.

While you're doing this, keep track of what you're doing. You'll get amulets (and bonus points) for the following: Using gem bombs, creating gems, combining gems and building towers. So depending on how much time and mana you have, you might be able to make 3 towers, create 30 level-1 gems, combine those into 15 level-2 gems and throw those as gem bombs. That would get you an extra 65,000 points. As you work through the lower levels, try to get all the amulets you can. Remember, though, that the amulets are less important than letting several waves loose at once, since the latter will get you way more points.

Every time you gain a level, check you Skills and bump them up whenever you can. Redistributing costs nothing, so try different combinations. Once I stopped using the gem bombs so much I pulled most of those points out and put them elsewhere.

So using the above method, I got glowing frame scores on all the levels up to the first epic boss. Getting all glowing frame scores will make the hidden single gem levels appear, but wait a while on those. I tried the first one (poison) half a dozen times and couldn't make it past the first ten or so waves before dying. You don't need to pass these to continue on, so forget them until you're a little more powerful.

This is a good general sort of tactic to work through the middle levels. Concentrate simply on getting past the level, and don't worry about your score. Keep progessing, and you'll gain levels and skill points. Every so often, jump back and redo those levels to pick up the glowing frame scores that you missed. Doing this will also open up the hidden single gem levels.

So now you're at the first epic boss level. My big mistake here was not understanding the Mana Pool. At first, all I thought it was doing was simply upping the max mana. What I didn't realize (because I can't read, apparently) is that it also increases the mana AND SCORE gain/speed multiplier by 8%. This is just like investing money; starting early is the key. For virtually all the levels, the first 10 waves are little to no armor and low hit points. These with frequent mana pool use will get your limit up fast.

This is a good time to bring up the concept of 'lapping', if you don't already understand it. If you click on any monster on your screen, an info window will pop up which will have the 'Cost to Banish' down at the bottom. This means that if that particular monster gets all the way to the end of the path and enter your base, you'll lose an amount of mana equal to the 'Cost to Banish'. The monster will also pop out again and start another 'lap'.

It's always good to have a decent chunk of mana available. I tailor mine based on how strong my kill zone is, and if it looks like some are going to get through. Some of the fast ones tend to make it, so you want to make sure you've got the mana to deal with it.

So this matters with the first epic boss, because you most likely won't be able to make a kill zone strong enough to deal with it one time around. I think my first success I had around 10K or so; enough to let it go through my base twice. Remember with the big final bosses that you can start using your tower gems as bombs. If you know you don't have enough mana for a boss to make another lap, start pulling your towers down. By all means bump the gems up the path if you have open towers, but if you don't, start throwing them at the boss. High level gems do a considerable amount of damage.

As I mentioned before, passing the first epic boss was my personal turning point. There are maybe 8 or so levels before the next epic boss. Work through them, but don't kill yourself trying for the glowing frame scores. When you hit the boss level, start backtracking. Try working on the first single gem level, which is poison. Each time you get a skill that gives you starter gems, put some skill points into it. It's handy to have a handful of decent gems to start with.

Once you hit level 40, things get really easy. If you fill up the High Grade Starter gem skill, you can begin the game with something like 4 level-6s and 5 level-5s. Throw up some towers, and you can have a kill zone ready to take on maybe the first 20 or so waves with virtually no effort. Hit the speed up button, bump up the mana pool, throw down some water trenches and watch the carnage. You might find a handful of monsters squeezing through because they're fast or armored. If you've been keeping a mana reserve of 2K or so, they shouldn't cause a problem.

Most of the last half of the game was very little effort following the above strategy. You'll find yourself playing through most of each level at high speed, because there isn't too much to do. For non-epic levels, I tended to stop when my mana pool was high enough to make a level-6 gem, though it wouldn't hurt to bump it up more, because it'll only make more mana later. When I had enough excess mana, I'd make a level-6, then pull on of my existing 6's out of a tower and combine them. Halfway through the waves I usually had giant kill zones; maybe 8-12 towers, all with 6 and 7s, combined with a stretch of a dozen or more water trenches. I'd also usually try to put another small kill zone with 2-3 towers and a few water trenches down near my base to pick up any stragglers before they went through.

I think I had strong enough kill zones that I didn't have any of the later epic bosses (except the last one) make it through a single lap. It took me two tries to get through that one. I had enough for maybe three laps the first time and he chewed me up, even after I threw all my tower gems at him. The second time through I had about 25K mana, enough for maybe five laps, but I'd gone a little overboard with building and I think I had him down before his second trip was over.

So that's all I've got. I don't think there's any sort of perfect winning strategy, and you don't need to obsess too much about which exact gems go where. The basic strategy of going as far as you can, and then backtracking and redoing earlier levels for the glowing frame (and more points) seems to work well. Don't forget to redistribute skill points when necessary.

As for how people are getting a billion points or more, I have no clue.

[Edit: Spoiler tags added. -Pam]


Thank you, TaxiDriver, for a point I feel like I can address (at least partially).

First, it is possible to get ALL of the battle amulets ... throughout the course of the game. I have made 7 or more grade 7 or higher gems in one battle, multiple times ... but I've also finished the 4th epic level. So as for getting 2 grade 7's in one battle -- don't worry about it! It is technically possible to do it in the first epic battle or the battle right before it, but believe me, there are PLENTY of opportunities to do it later (just read the description of what you can start with at level 40). It would be far more efficient to focus on getting past that battle.

Second, I also agree with everything else JIGuest just summarized.

Third, I can't help but offer an alternative frame of mind for the first epic boss -- the "kill zone" should be enough. You'll need as many grade 5 and 6 gems as possible: 3-4 of each, and as many more 6's as you can manage.

So, you don't need to have the power mana bombs upgrade to beat the first epic boss. Here are some suggestions for doing it at level 22:

I recommend the following skill point distribution:

Level 22 gives you 84 skill points.
Max out the following:
* Reduced cost for creating and combining gems -- 20.
* Starting and max starting mana -- 15.
* Mana gain per kill -- 27.
* You may as well put starting gems up as high as you can -- you should be 2 points shy of maxing it, and you can put the 2 points leftover in mana recovery per second. This will let you start with 3 grade 2 gems at no cost -- better than nothing.
(But if you plan on the boss lapping, by all means fill up Armor instead -- that's what it's for!)

Then as for use of mana pools:

Yes, the sooner the better, but at the same time, 12k max is overkill for your situation. You need high grade gems, and with cost reduction maxed out, grade 6's cost 4280 (or thereabouts). I recommend going one more mana pool, to a factor of 1.72 and a max of 5412, to prevent from accidentally maxing out. The mana you would spend on 5 or 6 more pools, even adjusted, is more than enough for a grade 6 gem! You can always go back later to max out your score; for now, you need the gems more.

And in general:

Basically, go for the high grade gems. So to start out, get a grade 3. If you happen to get 2 grade 2's you can combine, great, otherwise get a grade 3. Up initial mana pools, but also note that once you've done the 4th one (where the next one costs 600), you can afford more grade 3 gems before upping it further. You'll need another 1 or 2 by then.

Also, don't rush the waves. Again, you can improve your score later (as in, likely doubling it). Send the next one if no one's there and you're ready, but otherwise, don't worry about it.

Continue upping mana pools and fire support that is absolutely necessary until you pay the 1080 to go up to 5412. Then, NO MORE -- build gems, towers for placing them, and (maybe) trenches to maximize where they overlap the most. It's OK to get grade 5's along the way, as you'll need them, but 1-3 should be enough. I recommend as many grade 6's as you can manage, and not combining them, even if they're the same color (unless you happen to get 4 or more of the same color, as the extra damage will help) -- the more the merrier, regardless of colors.

Finally, the final boss should enter alone. If there are others left when he's about to arrive, that's a good time to employ a few grade 1 gem bombs to help clear them out, so you can fire exclusively on him as soon as he arrives.

I don't have any specifics as for tower placements, other than to put your most powerful gems where they'll be firing on the tract for as long as possible -- but that's good strategy in general.

Hope that helps!

[Edited per your request. -Jay]

Anonymous June 30, 2008 9:31 AM

It's not loading...............


Does anybody know what the go is with the second path in the last level (Epic Level 5)? I've had the big boss go around the course heaps of times, but no one ever goes along the second path.

Ilovegemcraft July 2, 2008 8:28 PM

I love this game! I just beat it and it is super fun. Anyways, for the hidden levels, the best thing to do is WAIT until you have filled your 'pure gem' skill. This will make it a million times easier! Also, don't forget that once you unlock your medium/high grade gem skill to reset and fill those up. Its way better to have a full skill of pure gems and get a 4 pure gems than have a half full basic and medium gems and get a few of those each game.

I cant wait till the next one!


Hey, I am having some trouble beating the 4th epic boss. I am currently level 35, so I have 136 skill points to assign. Do you guys have any tips on what to assign them to and what strategy to take. I have been able to the last wave every time but always lose to the epic boss. I am playing on kongregate so I can't use the armor skill. Any tips? Thanks.

Desincarnage July 8, 2008 10:19 AM

Anyone has an idea of what is the purpose of hue?


Hello! Could you please help me for level 30?

I have had no problem until now (I found the other levels quite easy) but in this one, I can not beat the big boss....

A.Alaalas July 12, 2008 11:18 PM

I have no idea what this Strategy Guide sentence means; any help?
"Click the topmost wave stone every time you feel you can handle the mass of monsters coming. Ideally press it 10 or more times at the beginning of the level."


I generally enjoy Tower Defense games, but this one bored me to tears. I must be crazy, though, because everyone else seems to love it. *shrugs shoulders*


I was able to get all but two of the glowing frames before reaching level 40. The trick was to send many waves of monsters at once, and use lots of gem bombs. Gem bombs become mostly obsolete after reaching level 40, however.

I found that the secret levels were impossible before getting mid-level starter gems, but once you got mid-level starter gems they were a lot of fun. I remember playing the green secret level at least ten times at different levels trying to beat it; it's probably my most memorable experience with this game. Once you get high-level starter gems at level 40, everything becomes easy.

The first epic boss defeated me once before I was able to take care of it - I had mainly purple and cyan gems, and I believe I had the "cheaper tower" skill so I could have my powerful gems "follow" the boss across the map. I didn't need to banish him.

tha frustrated July 16, 2008 11:44 AM

Ok i read about 3/4 of all these comments then got bored. i don't know if we've already discussed it but from what i've read no one has had problems with the epic level with 48 waves glowing score: 5540. I need help. I've managed every level except this one that stupid beg at the end gets me every time!!! :(

Joe Bob Fenster July 17, 2008 7:36 PM

I can't figure out what it means to banish something, can someone help me out?

BarCode July 18, 2008 5:20 AM


Jenkins July 19, 2008 3:47 PM

I just beat this game. Took me awhile to get that last level.

When is the next one coming?!?


The mass of boring, uninspired and repetitive levels gave me a headache. The controls are awkward and were stiff, for the most part. It seemed to me that the dev just copied 90% of his code for each level and then made very minor tweaks. Adjustable controls would have been nice, as well as unlockable things (And no, another level barely different that the other 50 hardly counts) Anything at all that would have made it feel like more than the bare bones of a game would have been nice. 100 of the same levels =/= one interesting level. I'd give it a 2/10 at best, as what is there more or less works......... kinda. And its not as long as that **** *** *****ng balloon shooting game the dev also made.


Are you blind? The skills, for one thing, the graphics, how can you give a 2/10 to this? And adjustable controls? For a mouse operated game? There is variety, not just a slightly different thing... Name one TD game that has entirely different levels.


Well, I've had about enough of it. I think it was well done, but I can't afford to spend any more time on it. For this type of game, that's usually a compliment.

For me, despite it's able execution of an almost RPG-like "ongoing" feel throughout ("well, maybe just one more level ..."), in the end it succumbed to a fate that usually belongs to puzzle-type games: a strong sense of completion.

I carried on until I obtained every glowing frame score and every amulet (of course). But then, after barely eking out level 102, I decided I've maximized my scores as much as I'm willing. I honestly have no desire to replay it at all.

There isn't much further I could go, anyway -- at least, not in the GemCraft game I played. I, too, have no idea how anyone could get anywhere near a billion points.

I believe it was fun, but it's definitely over (until a sequel comes along, of course ...)


Perhaps they've modified the game, but I just got all the glowing frames, and am level 82. And all of the amulets seem to work just fine (except for the insane ones I haven't gone for yet.) I've been playing off armorgames.com, so maybe their website is better for this game? Dunno. Great game, though!

Anonymous July 23, 2008 9:54 PM

Final Epic Battle Strategy.. foolproof! (well, *almost* always.. heh)

If you save the final battle for after you have all the other levels glowing, you should be around level 80ish, which means you have enough skill points to max out most of your skills. Max out all but the low-grade gems and dual gem, then use remaining points to get as many low-grade as possible.

The keys to winning this level: one of each of the 8 gems, as high level as possible, and MANA MANA MANA!

Your priority from the beginning of the battle to about wave 30 is to get your mana pool up to 48K, but also build your towers in the following configuration: total of 5 towers along the monsters' initial path, then two more at the first turn, then two more in the only two open spaces in the middle of the turn on the lower left part of the screen.

Put your best gem with the widest range (probably red, if you get one initially) in the lonely pre-built tower near the middle, near the end. Then put your next 7 best gems (doesn't really matter what they are) along the top row and at the first turn. Finish off the bottom 3 towers with the next 3 best gems. Note: don't bother combining anything yet - you need your points for your mana pool!

While the first 30 waves are going, keep an eye out for upcoming waves. You'll easily get the glowing score by only conservatively advancing the waves, so don't overwhelm your towers, don't build any new ones, don't buy any gems, and don't do any combining yet! Go ahead and start building trenches, however. Place 5 trenches across the starter path and 5 more along the turn surrounding the top of that one lonely tower in the middle.

While waves 1-30 are going and you are advancing them conservatively, sort your remaining starter gems by color, in spectral order - make a row for each color. As soon as you get 48K mana, let the combining begin! Combine all gems of the same color, smallest to largest so you get one of each color gem as powerful and as high level as possible. Continue to buy ONLY level 6 gems and continue buying and combining until the start of wave 48.

Arrange your gems in the towers as follows: Starting at the top, put them in spectral order starting with purple, then blue, cyan, green, lime, yellow, and orange along the row of towers. Put the red in the center tower. So basically, you're gonna disarmor 'em, slow 'em, shock 'em, poison 'em, chain 'em, triple blast 'em, steal mana from 'em, and all the while splash 'em! (in that order, which is most logical) :D

Sit back and do nothing except VERY conservatively advance those last waves. You should easily build the approximately 5200 mana needed just in case the final boss doesn't die in the first pass.

When the final boss passes out of the radius of the purple, move the purple to the bottom right tower, then move the blue to the middle bottom, then the yellow to the bottom left. When he leaves their radius again, move them back to the top row, in their original positions.

Optional: If you're trying to get more points or need additional gems for the final gem-creating amulet, once you get 5200 mana built-up, start madly creating those cheapo level 1 gems and hurl them. Just make sure you have the 5200 built up, just in case!!

I have run through the final epic battle several times, and only the first time did the boss need a 2nd go-round to die, but you don't want to take that chance! (Of course, you could always start hurling your level 7 and 8 gems at him if you don't have enough mana for him to pass..)

Good luck!

Anonymous July 25, 2008 1:42 AM

What does the "Dual Gem Mastery" skill do???

needs help July 26, 2008 11:16 AM

How do u get passed tha 4th epic level???


I am stuck on the section where there are two 44 wave roome and you only have two types of gem lime / yellow and purple / yellow.. I cant work out the way to complete these levels . I am at level 31
Can anyone help


For some reason I can't seem to create more than one gem at a time, although I read that you should be able to by pressing shift or control. Maybe it's because I'm on a mac...?


Also I just combined a pure blue grade 2 with a pure blue grade 1, thinking I'd get a pure blue grade 3... but it stayed a grade 2. What's up with that? How does the combining work...? Until I figure it out or someone tells me, I guess I'll make sure only to combine two gems of the same grade...


Sorry for the triple post! But just like I can't make more than one gem at a time, I also can't combine more than one at a time. I feel like it's really limiting me. Anyone else on a mac having this problem?


I haven't read every comment but for those of you having trouble with getting through some of the levels here are most of the important things:

The Skills are an important part of the strategy. You never have enough points to max out each available skill so you have to prioritize. some levels require a different strategy. Generally, I found that Armor is usually the most important and Initial Gems is usually the least important.

Upgrading your mana is very important and its best to do it ASAP. Arm a tower, build a trench, upgrade your mana. So you can almost upgrade your mana every third wave. Once you get about half way through the waves you can stop. Also by then the mana upgrades get so expensive you may not be able to earn back your investment. Although if you're two thirds through and you have the mana to spare a final upgrade to get ready for the last wave isn't a bad idea. usually the last couple of waves its good to just let your mana fill up, in case a monster gets all the way through.

Build your towers and trenches as close to the beginning as possible. even if it means leaving some of the towers that came with the map empty. Having towers close together with trenchs is effective. I find having about six towers and trenchs together is about optimum. After your towers and trenchs are built just work on upgrading the crystals.

If a monster gets through your first defense, slow down the action and move some of your forward crystals to towers in the back. but sometimes monsters have to get through and you just kill them on their second trip. Keep an eye on your mana and make sure you have some in reserve for those monsters that get through.

The last monster in some of the epic levels are way too powerful to kill in just one cycle. Save up your Mana so you're still alive when they come through again. slow the action down and dismantle the towers as the monster goes by. Then use the gems from the towers as gem bombs.


Hi, I'm totally hooked on this game but am now completely stuck!

Have completed the 3rd epic battle and 3 of the levels after it, but am stuck on 2 levels, the 36 wave with green, lime, yellow, orange gems, and the 36 wave with green, yellow, blue, purple, cyan. Can anyone help me with completing these??




The rock in the middle and it winds around? There is a slot for a tower right behind the rock that allows for shooting before they even emerge. Upgrade that, the range becomes very useful. I also put a tower on the other side, so it catches the entrance and the middle path. A few more towers as you go... the key is that they catch more than one bend. Feel free to build some empty towers toward the end so if a big enemy gets through, you can transfer an earlier gem to those towers.

Also, ditches. Ditches in front of the lime ones (chain hits) especially. In front of the entrance. And if you've established a pincer in the middle path, where it squiggles, that's a good place for a whole line of ditches. If the fast waves are slipping by, you either don't have enough "pincer" areas or don't have enough ditches.

In conclusion, double-duty towers and ditches.


The silo with the long s-curves at first, yes? Good tower placement is how I do this. There are spots between the first leg and the last leg that are good for one or two key towers. That way you won't have to worry about the enemies that get all the way to the end. These new towers plus the initial tower are key.
After that it's a straight-forward load up the loops. Every elbow eventually gets a tower (since all the elbows serve two or three stretches). Build ditches on the tighter bends so you can have a pincer there with fewer towers.
Choosing gems could be important too. Weakening (purple) and slowing (blue) should be as early as possible. Shock (cyan) is good in tandem with both slow and triple damage (yellow).
Again, if you have towers serving the beginning and the end, choose and upgrade them carefully. Usually if I do it right, I don't worry about the long stretch on that one... it's all slowing bend strategies. If you have too many clogging the long back stretch, the bends aren't filtering enough monsters.

Remember that the range of a gem expands as you upgrade it. A tower that doesn't reach multiple paths now might be more effective with a larger range.


Well, this seems to be one of those games where you either absolutely despise the game, or are absolutely astonished why anyone could despise it.
I am one of those people who just like it very, very little.
It's fun, but it didn't challenge me. Too easy, too repetitive.

The main problem I have with this game is the "Place gems within the towers". The problem with this is you end up rarely placing any new towers. Regular TD games have you place different types of towers in strategic locations, adding some strategy as you try and find where to place each special tower in order to maximize it's Creep blasting potential. But here, they've almost taken away that strategy, and you end up doing this: gem, gem, combine gem, place gem, gem, gem, combine gem, combine gem, place gem... - with some Upgrade Mana and Build Trench scattered willy-nilly throughout. You hardly have to think about it.

But apart from the graphics and being different from most tower defense games, not hard, strategic, fun, or interesting enough to keep my attention for more than 10 minutes. And oddly, unlike Tolkar, I felt absolutely no sense of completion whatsoever after winning any number of levels, no matter how seemingly "hard" they were.

3/5, just to be nice to those who absolutely love this game.


Ainegue -- I think some of the strategy you're looking for is in the higher levels. By then you've upgraded enough that you start with high level gems, and some of the gem upgrading is taken out of it. And all of a sudden you have to

build more towers than gems because of the need to rotate higher level gems; plan on placement of towers because upgraded gems will expand their range; watch which gem goes in which tower, and when. Some strategy is even needed when you combine gems of different colors. So forth.

It may not be everyone's TD game, but I find it to be a unique TD game.

I dunno about you, but I was building a lot of towers by the first 'boss' level, and certainly rotating a lot of gems. But I agree, by the very last levels, there's hardly any challenge. I did plenty of TD strategy to get there, though. Did you try speeding up the game by clicking on the side bar to send creeps out faster? That optimizes when you can upgrade mana, and it's a whole other game -- much more challenging.


I can't seem to get enough of this game despite the fact that I am stuck at level 24 and cannot beat the first epic.

I've thrown everything but the kitchen sink at the damn thing. I can get the first six levels glowing.

I've read the strategy guide, and I am now sifting through the spoilers hoping someone has something I haven't tried.

The challenge keeps me coming back for more though!


Very nice game.

Is chapter 2 out already?

Hint: you can never have enough mana. And on the long epic levels, lots of orange gems at the choke point is the best way to increase mana income.

Needed 1 mil manapool to kill the last epic boss. Got him on his fourth lap. :)


Epic battle.

What you've heard is true.

You want to level up the mana production as best as you can. I built towers around the beginning. I bought high-level gems instead of creating them.

(This lead to buying some level-5 gems and creating pure level-6 gems.)

At the end. . . he was being poisoned and slowed down so much that when he left the beginning complex, I had to build towers at the end and moved all my big gems around and he died on the first pass. No banishment needed.


Really enjoyed the game at first, but now I know the tactic to win, it's getting kinda boring.

Got like 9 stages left with 2 more secret levels available.

I'm a level 61 so getting the glowing frame rate is no challenge anymore.

Tempted to tell you all the tactic that will win, but you can all figure it out for yourselves I suppose. Ok, well here's a hint but it's not the tactic, only use pure gem mastery for the special stages and stages with one to three gems, more than three gems and switch to dual gem mastery.

Gonna play it through to the end just to see if the boss is as hard as everyone says.


TaxiDriver, you can just have 1 level 7 gem and then combine it with any gem, and it counts as making another.


Mac user: use the apple key to create multiples or combine multiples. I was frustrated and half mad at my MacBook then I found out... it was good...

I didn't have to let my first epic boss lap or pump the mana to some 10k. It was difficult at first because I didn't read this strategy/comment place and was building like the official guide (I lost count how many times I have tried at lv less than 20, dumb me). After I read the guide, went back to improve my score to lv 24 I tried it and it worked. Pump two mana pool with your starting 660 mana. Put your gems out and a) send first 3 out if you are going for points or b) when it's ?+(1) hit the block to advance next wave esp when you have no mana to do anything.

Then you should have enough to buy a lv 3 gem and that would last for a while. So you can build towers and mana pool.

I think you only need like 2600 or 3133 mana pool for the lvs before the epic boss. Can't say about later coz not finished yet.

Something nobody has mentioned so far:

Read ahead to see what armour level the next few waves are. That will tell you if you should wait and save mana for a higher lv gem or keep buying the same ones you have been or start combine or what. Because if you have only one wave of armour lv 3 monster left and buying a bunch of lv 3's aren't going to help to kill them. And combining gems aren't as economical. So save up and wait for the next lv unless you are getting killed. It is always good to combine the gems only when you have at least one new one to put out there so it keeps shooting...

I don't like the fact that you have to drag a gem outta a tower to combine it then have to drag it back in. It really annoys me....

I have not finished the game yet. But I have to say it's pretty addicting. It does get frustrated right before the epic battle and I am less than 100,000 points in getting glowing frame score for the battles before. It was like LET ME GO TO THE NEXT LV! But I got persistent and keep going. There is always a different way to place your tower and gems and how to use your resources; that's why it's a strategy game.. :D

Wrist hurt... blame it on the touch pad or something....



Oh and agree with throwing rushing the last few waves (if you are going for the points) and just throwing the tower gems if they are already done firing... Create multiple gems at the end if you have extra mana left... hope for an amulet to get the score...


A guy by the name jwstation from Qoo.cc has suggested an overkilling
(Well the site is in Chineses actually)
(Yep I'm from Taiwan)
tactic for dummies, and I find it very helpful when you are over LV40.

Ignore [Pure gem] and [Dual gem], max out [Medium Grade Starter Gem], [High Grade Starter Gem], and invest on other mana related skills if you have any point left(Mana cost, Mana gain, Initial Mana..etc).
With these skills it shouldn't be a problem to create a Lv9 gem early in the stage. When you have 1 Lv9 gem, create as many lv1 gems as you can and combine it with the Lv9 gem since a gem can get unlimited base damage and fire speed bonus.
(Drag the Lv9 gem over the Lv1 gem)
(Yes, ignore the color)
When you have at least 200+ fire speed, the gem shoots like a machine gun with 750 or more base damage and kills most of the enemys within seconds. You don't even have to creat any other gem in the last epic stage; You can kill the epic boss with this one single gem!

I think "Chaos Gem" would be a suitable name for that~

Credit goes to jwstation.


For epic levels a great help is:
move your best gems to follow the boss around
the "epic" creature is just before your base you get hit and you die, take all your gems, and throw them at him, most powerful should be doing loads and loads of damage, use 3 or 4 and you should kill him with ease


1) Advance wave until 10th or 20th if bomb gem upgraded to max
2) Buy level 1 gems and upgrade mana pool
3) Bomb everything
4) Repeat 2 and 3 until battlefield cleared

5) Buy level 6 gem
6) Bomb if necessary, let the tower do the work
7) Buy another level 6 gem or upgrade mana
8) Repeat 6 and 7 until win.

Happy glowing frames... this is so easy :)

Anonymous January 19, 2009 3:30 PM

Regarding the combining of different grade gems: you can combine lower gems to higher gems, and it will not affect the grade. It will however increase the damage output on the gem.


Only way i could find to kill the final boss of the epic level is make all my gems ultimately have purple in it. Take his armor down as low as you can get it, then move your gems to new towers when he passes the front line. If all else fails, just save enough mana to banish him (the armor skill and orange gems help loads).


In response to Joe Bob Fenster, banishing is what it takes to send the monster back to the starting point when it reaches your castle. It happens automatically, assuming you have the mana to do so. If you don't have enough mana, it will destroy your castle and you lose.


How can I create gems in colour which I want to use? Every time when I create game, collor is different -is it always lottery? How to change colour of gems (pure one not by combination)?

Daphne B. May 11, 2009 12:29 PM

In case anyone is still reading this thread, I'd just like to say that Vince's advice (on June 19, 2008 5:07 PM) totally worked for me for the first epic level. I only had to try twice. The first time, my "kill zone" was too spread out -- you want those towers packed in together as close as possible. Also, the first time I didn't get any purples (or not many). You need those purples up front and center.


How do you banish the last boss. I don't think I have done that. I'm on level 31 and haven't been able to get past it a all.


I do like Gemcraft.
Some things about it:
The interface is a little messy. Like many people before me, I agree that some concepts are very difficult to grasp in the beginning. I've gone through at least 9 battles without ever having to 'banish' a monster, so I knew not that mana was health, or that banishing meant lapping. (Irrelevant but it would have been nice to know.)
A tad too much clicking as well. Even though the hotkeys were convenient, the heavy use of mouse made them somewhat redundant. I only used the hotkeys to do mass gem bombing when I had a full inventory of starter gems to drop.
At the same time...
The combine-gem mechanics were a great idea to me. It places a lot of variation between gems, whether you choose to go pure (my fave), duals or triples (kind of useless). My personal favourite was orange (steal mana) just because you could get so much mana that way.
I also think the game was rather intuitive. I wasn't getting too far through (haven't faced the first epic boss) and, reading some of these comments, I found many of the strategies matched mine. Now, I have played TD games before, but to me, that means that the niche of the game is just as easy to find as it should be. And that is a good thing.
Gemcraft's levels are somewhat repetitive... I won't deny that they aren't all that different from one another. But that wasn't a big problem for me. I just wish you could have an "active pause" in which you could still combine, shuffle and create gems and mana pool (anything not affecting the battlefield) while paused. That would perfect this game, for me. More opportunities to combine gems without being under the clock.
Overall, I like this game. One of the nicer TDs I've played, like DTD or Onslaught.

erik brodahl June 11, 2009 6:49 AM

how do you banish a monster ?



1.) Focus on making high-level pure gems

2.) Find a good choke point where you can set up 6 or so towers that all have a good range on the path

3.) Make level 3 or 4 gems, and place all of them in the towers

4.) When you get a gem that matches the color and level of a gem already in a tower, combine them and put the new gem in the tower

5.) If you have a gem that hasn't been combined yet and no empty towers, make another one

6.) Only buy the mana pool upgrade when you need it to buy higher grade gems (when the cost to make them is higher than your max mana) or you are on an epic boss

7.) when facing the epic bosses, do everything above, but for the last 4-6 waves BEFORE the boss, only buy mana pool upgrade, and only when you are about to max out

8.) NEVER buy the traps unless there is going to be A LOT of fast enemies, otherwise they are pretty useless

Using the above strategy I got a little ways past the second epic battle with no problems. If there are some enemies that get past your choke point, ignore them. Most of the time you should have enough mana to 'banish' them, and then they will be wiped out anyways. Besides, moving your gems to catch them only wakens your choke point and would then let even more through.


I completed the game, with glowy rings around every stage, and enjoyed it.

I thought the game was too easy. After maybe 10 levels, I adopted a strategy and used it to clear out all of the levels. Once you figure out your strategy, you can use it for all of the levels. I didn't find myself thinking much about the color of the gems or the type of the monsters, which means the game wasn't balanced or the levels didn't have enough distinction from one another.

The only really interesting level was the very final level. On that one, I did find myself thinking strategically about gem color, position and so forth - so I wish they had more levels like that where you had to strategize a bit more.


i beat epic level at lvl 18. all you do is have full armor and mana pool up to 3750 then once he gets past all your towers you drop them as gem bombs

YankeeNat January 17, 2010 4:42 AM

At first there doesn't seem much to this game. And then you get sucked in. Determined to beat the level that has you stuck. I think I played the level with "The Distorted" about 50 times before finally beating it - which brings me to my point... thanks to everyone who put help with that level in their comments... couldn't have done it without you guys!


What is the highest possible score? I am now at 357.000.000, but I dont see myself going far beyond 360....


I don't know if anyone gets/reads these comments any more, but there seems to be a problem with the game today. For some reason, I got a bug to replay yesterday and had a great time--made it through the first three epic bosses in record time.

Today, no matter which browser I use, I lose my cursor the second the game loads. I can find the Play button and get in to the game by watching which buttons light up ("Continue Game" for example), but it's impossible to play without a cursor! Any ideas?


Hi guys,
I don't understand how exactly I can pass a level. For example, I'm at level 18 with a score of 10.851.000 and I've won a mission with 1.400.000, so why I don't pass at level that is of 11.238.000 ??
please let me know!


Once you reach the level for high grade starter gems the game is easy. I recommend going back and getting the glowing frame score and leveling up before any epic boss levels. I tend to put splash towers and trenches right at the beginning and slightly farther back my main "killzone" With the splash tower you can send a lot of wave at once which helps getting higher scores. Mana pools help too.

Praveen Kumar April 8, 2011 9:05 AM

I. To all of you who are not able to beat the final level boss here is a way to beat him in one go....

first of all u shud hv ur high grade starter gems skill maximised if smaller and medium level starter grade is maximised as well they are very helpful....
now look at the shock gems even if u increase the level of these gems the chance to shock or period of shock don't increase and damage is not what we are looking from it... so make as many towers as possible on the first road and have 4 shock gems and 1 high level slow gem and 2 high level armor reducing gems on this path + the attacking gems that u hv the purpose here is just to decrease the armor as much as possible i also built some trench on the path but i don't think its required as it doesn't slow down the enemy any further... after that keep on swithching the gems over towers remember wherever u transfer these gems have atleast threee towers one to slow one to decrease armor and one to cause damage.. and by the time it reaches back within the range of initial towers make sure ur shock damage and slow gems are attacking imp thing to note here is that slow gem decreases speed for next 9-10 sec so if that gem strikes first its job is done most efficiently .... if u do all this i m sure that u will get the enemy in the first round but if he doesn't die thow gem bombs at him and give the final blow...

good luck

II. i have done everything but am unable to get the kill 150 monsters in a row amulet ne ideas on this the best strategy that i think i hv applied so far is got a 9 grade gem in the begining killed first 9-10waves in a row and then when the first boss monster was about to come dug a trench in the mid way and clicked all the waves at the same time and when creeps reached there i used the gem bomb but this wasn't sufficient moreover i lost the level as well :( so ne suggestion

[Spoiler added :), ~ Claudia ]


I'm having trouble with this game. Almost every time I beat a level, I progress to the "Victory" screen. However, the game area dims and I can't advance. Does anyone else have this problem?

Patreon Donator dsrtrosy June 19, 2011 1:08 PM

Anyone playing on the iPhone? I can't figure out how to tell how many hit points the creeps have. Can't find it anywhere online, either. Any help would be appreciated!!


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