Genius Gems

Are you ready for a cerebral workout that will have your neurons firing on all cylinders? A brain-teasing bonanza! For all you puzzle enthusiasts and casual gamers that have enjoyed playing the challenging games of The Genius Square and The Genius Star, it’s now time to up the ante with The Genius Gems.

I know what you’re thinking: “Another puzzle game? What’s so special about this one? Surely it’s the same as the other Genius games?” Well, my sceptical friends, let me enlighten you with a review that’s as sparkling as the gems you’ll be wrangling with in this brain-bending bonanza.

The Genius Gems is part of the Genius Collection, the games mentioned above, from The Happy Puzzle Company, known for their knack for creating games that are equal parts fun and frustrating – in a good way, of course. This game is no exception. It’s a logic puzzle that can be played solo or with a partner, and it’s suitable for ages 8 to adult. That’s right, no one is safe from the addictive allure of gem-based strategy!

In the box:

  • 2x Genius Gems Grids
  • 2x Sets of Ten, Double-sided Hexagon Clusters
  • 5x ‘Basic’ Dice (White)
  • 3x ‘Dastardly’ Dice (Black)
  • ‘Devilish’ Die (Red)
  • Dice Shaker (including 5 Coloured ‘Wells’)
  • Instructions
Genius Gems

The Genius Gems is a genius puzzle game which boasts a whopping 10,794 possible puzzle combinations, if you think that sounds a lot it actually means you could play every day for nearly 30 years and never repeat the same game. Talk about replay value! And with a genius level rating of 4 lightbulbs (out of 5), you know you’re in for a challenge that’s just the right amount of tough. And every puzzle combination ALWAYS has a solution.

While based on the same premise as its predecessors, The Genius Gems is slightly different. With it’s different shaped board, there are no blocker pieces to place on the grid and build around. In Genius Gems you must fill your grid with clusters of coloured gems, but as it is a Genius game it’s not that simple – you have to fill the grid with your gem clusters that match the patterns on the dice you have rolled! A much more interesting challenge, but lots of brain-teasing fun. You can choose from Basic, Dastardly, or Devilish levels of difficulty, depending on how much you want to sweat over your gem grid.

Genius Gems

To play, whether solo or against another player, take a Genius Gems grid and a set of ten double-sided gem clusters. Decide what level to play (as they require different dice) – you can play Basic (uses the five white dice), Dastardly (uses five dice but white dice can be swapped out for one, two or three of the black Dastardly dice) or Devilish (uses five dice but one white dice is swapped out with the red Devilish dice). The Basic level is the simplest level, Dastardly and Devilish introduce more complex patterns and are more difficult with Devilish being the hardest level. Once you have picked you level, place the five dice for the level you are playing in the dice shaker and give it a good shake, the five dice should each go into a well in the base of the shaker and this becomes the pattern (and colour) you need to create as fast as you can on the grid.  The game has 10,794 possible puzzle combinations and each one will always have at least one solution.

Overall, this is an excellent challenging puzzle game where the beauty of the game lies in its simplicity and the depth of strategy. Before playing, I thought that without the blockers that the previous games used it wasn’t going to be as challenging or as much fun – but I was very, very wrong. The Genius Gems doesn’t have the word genius in its title just to try and expand a collection of games – it is indeed GENIUS! It is a lot more challenging than I originally anticipated and is brilliant brain-teasing fun. After playing all three games in the collection, I prefer this one more as a solo challenge, but it is still great as a two-player game.

It has been described as like Tetris met a Rubik’s Cube at a party, they had a few too many drinks, and nine months later, The Genius Gems was born. I think that is a pretty accurate description.

It’s a game that is easy to learn but difficult to master, but it’s this delicate balance that will keep you coming back for more. The challenge of beating it is just draws you in and won’t let go.

I love that the challenge of the game is not about only to be able to place the gem clusters onto the grid to fill it, but to arrange colours and patterns as well to match the random throw of dice. It really is a fantastic brain-teasing challenge – especially when adding in the more complex patterns of the different dice and in different combinations (the hardest being 1 white basic die, 3 black dastardly dice and the 1 red devilish die).

I love that you can play as a 1 or 2 player game. Challenging yourself to beat it or trying to get a great time is very rewarding, and being able to challenge other players is lots of fun. And it isn’t a game where you need to sit and do it all in one sitting either, even if playing against another player.

The different graded difficulty levels are excellent, perfect for beginners to experts, and the shape and colour matching aspect also make it an excellent STEM game that help to develop skills such as strategic planning and visual perception.

The Genius Gems is wonderful fun, a real brain-teasing challenge – a real GEM of a game. A excellent game for solo play or family game nights.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £19.99

For more information or to buy direct, visit Also available to buy from Amazon here.

5 stars

DISCLOSURE: All thoughts and opinions are my own. This review uses an affiliate link which I may receive a small commission from if you purchase through the Amazon link.

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