Treasure map tips

  • 4 and 5-matches are king. Always look for them, almost always take them. Look for ways to predictably chain or transform into them. My turns-left counter usually peaks around 30.

  • There are three spots, around the most common setup of gems ready to match-4, where you could drop or create a 5th gem that will make it a 5-match on your next action. Paying a turn to get a 5-match is better than taking a 4-match now, because you get two opportunities for chaining out of it rather than just one (if your setup is relatively safe from bad transforms).

  • There are four spots, around four gems in a diamond shape, where you could drop or create a 5th gem that will make it a 5-match on your next action.

  • Silver, gold, and bags (and before long brown boxes) are volatile. That’s because even though one or two such gems may be orphaned, lower-level gems will match nearby and create opportunities to clear them.

  • For the same reason, copper is non-volatile. Orphaned copper is a dead part of your board. So always keep an eye on the copper in the lower half and watch for ways to clear it inexpensively. You often won’t be able to do it for free, but at least try to guarantee a couple steps of chain. When you do really well at this, silver becomes non-volatile since the copper is gone, so give it the same treatment.

  • The middle of the board is volatile, while the edges are not. That’s because for any given gem, some of the possible shapes created by chaining that would clear that gem would extend beyond the edge of the board, ruling them out. Therefore, boxes tend to appear in the middle faster than the edges. Work with this effect by swapping existing boxes toward the middle when you can. For the same reason, a match-3 in the middle has much better average returns via lucky chaining than a match-3 on the edge.

  • Keep an eye out for green boxes that get made in the top half of your board and look for ways to drop them down inexpensively. A single one up there can seriously diminish your chaining luck.

  • A multi-step way of creating a green or red box may not worth it if you have to pay a turn for every step – just make more of the next-lower gem nearby instead. A multi-step way of creating a vault probably IS worth it – and you’ll usually notice the better-quality chaining you get right afterwards.

  • When executing a multi-step plan, after every step check for new 4/5 match opportunities elsewhere.

  • If you don’t have a good move, and see xx.xx in one of the top two rows, doing a match-3 that drops a column through the middle gives a ~1/4 chance of making a match-5 this turn and another ~1/4 chance of being able to make one next turn. Good deal.

  • Vaults can’t be swapped, even to match a different gem type. So if you can afford it, put off matching red boxes until you can drop the vault on the bottom row. A gem under a vault is probably dead weight. For similar reasons, try to drop your second vault right to the side of the first.

  • Go ahead and match-4/5 with brown or green boxes whenever you can, rather than “saving” 1-2 of them by doing a 3-match instead. Better to have the extra turn plus the extra board space for more volatile gems. Several times I’ve been down to 1 turn left and then built back up to 10+ because I was willing to do this.