Gemcraft: Chapter 0 is a tower defense game where your towers are powered by gems. This prequel to Gemcraft is the second installment in the very acclaimed TD game series and was released after Gemcraft. The point of the game is to kill the monsters before they reach your tower. You use gems to attack these creatures, each gem color having its own properties.
Gemcraft Zero is a Tower Defense game where your towers are powered by differently colored gems. The primary resource in the game is Mana and you gain Mana from killing monsters. If a monster reaches your Wizard Tower, you lose Mana and if you lose more Mana than you have, then game ends. In other words, Mana also acts as your Lives in the game. You can create gems of grade 1-6 or combine gems to create higher grade gems. Higher grade gems have better damage, range and special abilities. Placing a gem in a tower or a trap enables it to shoot at monsters. If a gem is placed in a trap instead of a tower, it does very little damage but the special ability is much stronger. Gems can be dropped on monsters as gem bombs, consuming the gem.
Some levels have shrines of various types on them which can be activated. By sacrificing a gem, you may activate a shrine and get the effect for that particular shrine type. Spending a gem on a shrine causes more damage than spending it on a gem bomb. There may also be beacons on some levels. A beacon gives heals or temporary buffs to any monsters in its proximity. Dropping a gem bomb on a beacon damages it and if a beacon takes enough damage, it is removed.
Each gem type has a different ability.
- Red gems - Splash damage
- Yellow gems - Chance of doing triple damage
- Blue gems - Slow
- Green gems - Poison damage
- Orange gems - Steal Mana
- Purple gems - Reduce armor
- Lime gems - Chance of chain hit
- Cyan gems - Chance to shock
Gems of different colors can be combined. Dual gems does more damage than Pure gems, but their special abilities are reduced. Combining gems of all 8 colors creates a Prismatic gem.
There are 78 levels, including the secret levels. On the level selection screen, the levels are arranged in a path towards the final level. It is not necessary to complete every level to reach the final level, as the level paths branch out. However, at certain points in your path there are Arcane Guardian levels which must be beaten in order to progress. Levels can be replayed for increasing your highest score on that level.
- Normal - Kill all the monsters.
- Sudden Death - If a monster reaches your wizard tower, you lose.
- Endurance - Survive as long as you can.
- Heroic - +20% number of monsters, +40% monster hit points, no giant monsters, 2 additional waves.
- Swarm - Only swarm waves, +60% number of monsters.
- Time Siege - Kill all monsters before time runs out.
- Bleeding Edge - +60% number of monsters, +80% monster hit points, no giant monsters, 4 additional waves.
- Carapace - Only armored waves, increased monster armor, reduced speed, +100% number of monsters, 6 additional waves.
- Arcane - +80% number of monsters, +100% number of monsters, no giant monsters, 8 additional waves. Monsters are led by an Arcane Guardian.
- Beyond Corruption - 6 gems of grade 5 are given out at start, +100% number of monsters, +150% monster hit points, 10 additional waves (increases by 2 waves after every victory).
Waves can come from the main monster base, minor monster bases and via paths from outside the area. The wave stones on the left side of the screen show you what kind of monsters will appear and where they will arrive from. Minor monster bases can be destroyed by using gem bombs. If a minor monster base is destroyed, the monsters that would have come out of it will come out of the main monster base instead. You can drop gem bombs on the wave stones to increase the number of monsters in a future wave.
- Armored - slower, but tougher, can have a very heavy armor on harder levels
- Runner - weaker but much faster
- Swarm - lots of weak and fast monsters that only take a small amount of mana when reaching your wizard's tower, yet they can be dangerous though by attracting your firepower and letting the tougher monsters pass through
- Giant - a few strong and armored monsters, a great source of mana but can be very dangerous
Completing levels rewards you with XP points which counts towards leveling up your wizard. Repeating a level will not gain cumulative XP as only your highest XP score for each level on each game mode counts towards your wizard level. For each level you get Skill points which you may spend upgrading your wizard's skills.
The skills are:
- Enhanced Pool - Higher maximum mana at the beginning of each battle
- Focus - Higher initial mana at the beginning of each battle
- Flexible pool - Decreased cost of mana pool spell
- Towerbuilder - Lower tower creating mana cost
- Traplayer - Lower trap creating mana cost
- Trap specials - More powerful special attributes for each gem placed in a trap
- Armor - Decreased cost of banishment
- Readiness - Faster gem deployment in both towers and traps
- Replenish - More mana replenish over time, more mana and score gain pr kill
- Forge - Lower gem creating and combining mana cost
- Critical hit mastery - Higher chance of critical hit
- Mana steal mastery - More mana stolen each hit
- Bouncing mastery - Higher chance of bouncing shots
- Shocking mastery - Higher chance of shocking target
- Slowing mastery - Target becomes slower
- Poison mastery - Higher poison damage
- Armor piercing mastery - Higher chance of reducing armor level
- Splash mastery - Higher splash range
- Violent explosions - Higher gem bomb damage (Only available on ArmorGames.com)
- Stunning explosions - All gem bombs have a higher chance of shocking target (Only available on ArmorGames.com)
- Piercing explosions - Maximum number of monsters hit by a gem explosion increased (Only available on ArmorGames.com)
- Dual gem mastery - Gems having two base components gain extra multiplier to damage, range and firing speed
- Pure gem mastery - Gems having one base component gain extra multiplier to damage, range and firing speed
- Prismatic gem mastery - Gems having all 8 base components gain extra multiplier to damage, range and firing speed
- Resonance - Higher minimum damage for all gems
- Recharge - Higher firing speed for all gems
- Radiance - Higher range for all gems
- Turbulence - Higher maximum damage for all gems
Amulets are achievements which give reward you with XP. Battle Amulets can be obtained in each battle, giving additional XP for that specific battle. Journey Amulets are achieved by accumulated stats throughout your journey and each of them can only be obtained once. Victory Amulets are obtained by beating a number of levels in specific game modes. Shrine Burst Amulets are rewarded for using Shrines and can only be obtained once. Lost Amulets are secret amulets hidden on specific levels and can only be found in the correct game mode on that level. These amulets can be found by using gem bombs on the buildings in that level. 12 of the Lost Amulets are only available when playing from ArmorGames.com.
The game tells the story of a wizard who has become so entangled in his search for the fabled Gem of Eternity that his colleagues have cast him out.