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Video Game: Gemcraft
Gemcraft is a free-to-play Tower Defense series developed by Game in a Bottle and distributed by Armor Games, a major source of Web Games. It has a distinct Fantasy setting with a rudimentary storyline that varies between installments.

Generally, An Adventurer Is You, assuming that said adventurer is always a noble wizard out to reach some goal on the other side of the world, come hell or high water. In this case, come monsters, by the bucketload. You, the Squishy Wizard, must protect your tower (tower defense, get it?) at all costs, by placing towers next to, and traps on, the path leading to it. However, a key difference splits Gemcraft off from other tower defense games instead of being able to upgrade your traps and towers directly, you must power them with gems. Gems are mostly obtained with a spell named Craft Gem (which is basically the source of the game's name), and have distinct colors (which affect the types of powers they possess) and levels (which affect their strength). By combining gems correctly, you can create better ones to better fight those evil monsters.

The eight gem colors (and their special abilities) are:

  • Red: Splash Damage in the first two games. Changed to "bloodbound" in Labyrinth: The gem gets extra power from a percentage of the monsters it kills.
  • Orange: Mana Leech. Each time it hits a monster, you gain mana.
  • Yellow: Multiple Damage. The first two games gave a flat rate to deal triple damage. In Labyrinth, the multiple damage rate can be ramped up as high as you can make it (starting with double damage).
  • Lime: Multi-hit. Starts with one extra hit, but can be ramped up to be able to hit more than two monsters.
  • Green: Poison. Ignores armor, so useful for armored waves as well as swarms.
  • Cyan: Shock. Can stop the monster in its tracks.
  • Blue: Slow.
  • Purple: Armor Tearing. Each hit lowers a monster's armor by a given amount.

This game series provides examples of:

  • Airborne Mook: Apparitions in Labyrinth just fly over the terrain, and have a lot of health. Thankfully, they don't hurt you, they're slow, they're uncommon and they give 3 free skill points when beaten.
    • A much nastier version is the Shadow, encountered only once as a boss in the storyline, but the player can choose to fight one as a Boss in Mook Clothing via the level settings. These can fly anywhere on the terrain, have tons of life and armor, can spawn homing shadow balls that aim for your orb, and create a large and fast swarm of Mooks. When low on health, the Shadow will perform The Slow Walk right at your orb and instantly destroy it should you fail to kill the shadow.
  • Allegedly Free Game: Gemcraft: Labyrinth contains a five-dollar "premium" version which unlocks extra modes, skills, and battlefields.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Crafting multi-colored gems becomes less beneficial until you combine all 8 colors into one gem. At that point, it gains the power of all 8 gem types rather than the 3 dominant ones, and its damage, range, and firing speed all skyrocket. Averted in Labyrinth: Supergemming in this manner doesn't exist.
  • Damage Reduction: Armour level.
  • Chain Lightning: Lime gems can strike chain hits.
  • Disc One Nuke: One of the early stages in Gemcraft: Labryinth has a tower surrounded by eight amplifiers. Place a gem in each of the amplifiers, and the tower gem will kick ass. This nuke becomes MUCH more powerful if the player buys the "premium" version and uses endurance mode with this strategy to get a ridiculous multiplier to their XP gained.
    • Red gems in Labyrinth. They add a percentage of their kills to their damage. Meaning a red gem that's been there since the first wave can have a damage of over 1000 by the final waves. The gem won't dominate the game by itself, but becomes much more powerful when combined with the lime or yellow gems (which multiply the offensive power.)
  • Fake Difficulty: The Shadow boss from Labyrinth. It has the ability to spawn a HUGE, fast Zerg Rush of units that will take a bit of time to take down... and there's a possibility that it spawns them right in front of your orb, making it impossible to avoid massive damage.
  • Flawless Victory: Defeating a map in Labyrinth without letting any enemy touch your gem gives an xp boosting medal for that round.
  • Gemstone Assault: Subverted with the Gem towers that fire energy, but played straight with the Gem Bombs that you can drop on a bunch of Mooks.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: In Labyrinth, the glitch that allows the creation of near infinite strength gems has a chance of deleting your save file.
  • Level Grinding: And lots of it. In Chapter Zero, you'll have to level up to 200 in order to max out all your stats, and in Labyrinth, there is no level cap for 3 of the skills. For the premium version, the Ritual skill will let you gain one starting and maximum mana for a set number of battle amulets you possess, based on its skill level.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Prior to Labyrinth, crafting causes you to receive given a random-color gem based on those available in the level. The same goes for using Gem Bombs on enemy-spawning buildings- they may or may not destroy the building due to randomized damage.
  • Make My Monster Grow: You can use gem bombs to provoke more enemies to attack, which also causes them to become stronger.
  • Mana: This is needed to build things, craft gems, cast spells, and performs double duty as hit points as well. It builds up slowly every second, but largely comes from monsters you kill, and gets increased by using orange gems in the right places.
  • Metal Slime: Apparitions in Labyrinth. They uncommon foes fly over terrain slowly and have a TON of hit points, but they can't harm you at all and will just enter and exit the map. However, killing these gives the player 3 free skill points!
  • Multi-Mook Melee: Because it's tower defense.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In Chapter 0, you spend the game searching for the Gem of Eternity. When you find it and capture it, it turns out to have been containing a monster (for eternity, hence the name) which then possesses you, setting the stage for the first game.
  • One-Hit Kill: In Labyrinth, the Shadow will perform The Slow Walk towards your orb as a Desperation Attack. If it touches your orb before you destroy it, your lose instantly regardless of Mana left.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Using Gem Bombs on the buildings strewn about may let you uncover hidden relics.
  • Skill Point Reset: You can do this for free at the skill screen.
  • Sound of No Damage: The game plays a metallic clink if an attack on an enemy is nullified by Damage Reduction.
  • Splash Damage: Red gems give splash damage in first two games. Lime gems give a multi-hit version (which is likely why red gems were changed.)

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alternative title(s): Gemcraft
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