Create and combine powerful gems with towers, and use them in intricate ways to defend yourself against endless waves of monsters. Fight your way through an epic story, unfolding mysteries and facing sinister enemies and artifacts to entrap the Forgotten.
User reviews:
Very Positive (25 reviews) - 96% of the 25 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overwhelmingly Positive (1,222 reviews) - 95% of the 1,222 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 30, 2015

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Buy GemCraft - Chasing Shadows


About This Game

The latest installment of the GemCraft series is a unique tower defense game, where, instead of towers, gems are the main weapon to fight endless hordes of monsters.

Place your gems in towers, traps, or amplifiers, replace and switch them as you wish. Even combine them to create more powerful gems with powerful abilities, drop them as gem bombs or activate powerful buildings, the possibilities are endless, the choice is yours!

Fight your way through an epic story, unfolding mysteries and facing sinister enemies and artifacts, as you try to entrap the Forgotten, an archdemon with an unknown agenda and no known way to kill, and to slay her demonic avatars, the shadows. Fierce and desperate battles await you...

Key Features:

  • More than 190 Stages to Explore!
  • 25 passive skills you can obtain and spend skill points on; every time you level up, you get more skill points to spend, but even unspent points help you by giving mana at the start of battles.
  • More than 400 achievements that give you additional skill points, and a real challenge if you want to get them all!
  • 9 gem types you can freely combine to make gems that suit your tactical needs.
  • 9 battle traits with 7 levels of toughness each, and 3 battle difficulty tiers - mix them and stack them to fight tough battles for more XP and epic loot!
  • Find talisman fragments you can socket into your talisman for a wide variety of battle bonuses.
  • 3 strike spells and 3 gem enhancement spells to aid you in battle - you will need them...
  • Stop the battle any time or speed it up to 9x speed, play the way you like; manage your gems if you have to, or fast forward if you feel confident.
  • Summon more monsters by dropping your gems on wave stones, you can have as many as you can fight, but beware, summoning more will make them more powerful as well, be too bold and the battle will be lost in no time...
  • Go back to any previously completed stage and fight again to get more XP, level up to get even more powerful, to be able to get even more XP...
  • After winning a battle, you can continue in Endurance mode - defend yourself and hold on as long as you can with a chance for additional XP and loot!

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows Vista SP1
    • Processor: Intel Celeron N or better
    • Memory: 2048 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics or better
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    • OS: Windows 7/8
    • Processor: Intel Core i3 or better
    • Memory: 4096 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Radeon HD / Geforce GTX grade graphics card
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (25 reviews)
Overwhelmingly Positive (1,222 reviews)
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862 reviews match the filters above ( Overwhelmingly Positive)
Recently Posted
118.0 hrs
Posted: September 23
It's a tower game. Can't really be that fun, right?

This is a strangely addictive game. First couple of maps that one plays won't probably leave lasting impressions. The graphics are ok but nothing special, the storyline (there actually is one) isn't memorable and initially the tactics at the player's disposal are limited. You may even be tempted to put the game back in your (virtual) library shelves, but you'd make a BIG mistake.

Give it a few rounds and you'll start unlocking skills and building up an amulet that can enhance specific traits. And your scores start to soar as you unlock more maps, So you start thinking: "I'll give it just another go" and then something new pops up. Eventually you'll get stuck on a seemingly impossible level. But then you realise that if you go back to older maps and replay them with the newly acquired skills your old score will multiply unlocking even more skills.
And that's when you get really hooked!

You play a wizard committed on stopping a demon called "The Forgotten" that will summon hordes of monsters on each map level hurling them at you. Basically it's a matter of constructing "choke points" manned by towers and traps to obliterate ever-larger waves of fiends preventing them to overwhelm your "Orb of Presence". Towers and traps are powered by gems. Gems can be combined to achieve powerful combos, or used as "pure" (convinient if high on the "Pure Colours" skill), On completing maps players will acquire skill points that can be spent to get more powerful levels of particular skills as well as amulet fragments. Skills need to be unlocked by acquiring the relevant wizard skill tome in some maps, a sub-objective of the main objective of staying alive as long as possible. Invariably you will eventually be overwhelmed on each map, but the challenge is to push that boundary a little further each time, unlock new skills and try new tactics.

Skill points can be reassigned at the beginning of each map so you are not stuck with a bad choice of skills and this encourages the player to experiment. I have changed tactics a few times and the results are not always predictable but that's part of the addictive fun of this game.

Give it a try. Actually give it a few... And then you'll probably write a review similar to mine.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
=>[ZeLt]<=Lord Lycidas
59.9 hrs
Posted: September 22
u see it @ my statistics. playes about 60 hours.
best tower defense game ive ever played.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
334.3 hrs
Posted: September 18
As addictive as Diablo II but with Towers! = Win!!!
If you are into TD games, this one... is... ...
a Gem!!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
5.0 hrs
Posted: September 16
I love this game. it is a great adition to the seres.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
31.4 hrs
Posted: September 15
Damn, I feel like I spend too much time on this. Too addictive...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
11.6 hrs
Posted: September 13
In general a good game, save for the times that are a bit too much grinding. Follows up all the other gemcraft games very well. Thanks for another good game ^.^
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
268.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 8
Bought on a whim and have been playing non stop.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
53.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 18
been playing this since it was first on newgrounds 10 years ago, and with each iteration the series gets a new and interesting aspect.

what is most notable about this series is that there is no single strategy to win, as the gameplay is mainly chosen by the user.

this particular volume seems like endless gameplay; been playing it for ages and still no end in sight.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
18.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 15
This game is way better than I would have ever thought it was, even after reading all the good reviews. This is so much more interesting than the average game in the genre. I will still be playing this game 5 years from now.......

It's awesome!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
69.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 12
This game is super grindy and totally unbalanced, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. It's like the old flash tower defence games of yesteryear but polished and enormous. If you want the feeling of figuring out the optimal cheap strategy of a random web TD but for 40 hours with nice graphics then this is your game.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
25.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 29
This game is probably one of the best Tower defence type games on the market. There is a large variety of options and upgrades and if your into story line, it has that too as you progress.

If your into tower defence games, or even if youve never tried one before, This is one to check out.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
338 of 384 people (88%) found this review helpful
174 people found this review funny
222.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2015
Spent like, $150 in the '15 Fall sale. Best purchase was for $2.49: This game.

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156 of 159 people (98%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
74.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 30, 2015
Gemcraft series is the ultimate Tower Defense experience for me, and "Chasing Shadows" is the best instalment so far.

At first glance it may work and look like a standard TD game - monsters enter the map in waves, walk to our base along predefined paths and we have to defend it by building towers and traps, as well as occasionally using some spells. However, not only Gemcraft does it superbly but it also offers depth and complexity you won't find in most TD games.

The most unique and fun feature of the game, in my opinion, is the wave angering. Player can spend some mana to make monster waves stronger (by increasing monster numbers and stats), which allows you to gain more mana and experience from killing the monsters... IF you can kill them that is. This one feature changes the gameplay from simple defense to the "how far can I push it" competition.

Another feature, which adds extra replayability value, is the ability to customize levels. It's pretty fun to return to some of early levels later in the game to see how much stronger you have become by beating the level with some extra difficulty settings. You can add more waves, make monsters stronger, faster, tougher or tweak some game rules to get a harder map with higher experience multiplayer.

Ah, the experience - player character can gain levels and unlock various skills and spells which will increase his efficiency in killing monster filth. There is no level cap, however some skills (not all) have a limit to which they can be improved. Add to it a wizard's talisman which can be socketed with talisman fragments gathered along your journey and you get quite a few ways of progressing, improving and specialising your character.

However, Gemcraft originally being a flash game, has some shortcomings. To many people graphics would be the biggest one. Despite it being pretty "clean", readable and fitting the game's darker theme, it's still 2D graphics in low resolution without all those fireworks that other games have nowadays. Personally I prefer it that way, but to each his own.

I have spent dozens of hours (flash version on ArmorGames, so obviously Steam won't show this time) with this game and can safely recommend it to other Tower Defense games fans. If you are unsure then you may try the free version of the game on ArmorGames to see if you like it. In any case be advised that GemCraft is not a game you can finish in a few hours. There are dozens of levels and some of the later ones can take as much as an hour to finish.
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164 of 170 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
104.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 17, 2015
Disclaimer: I've played the free versions of this series for more than 300 hours, probably near 400. (about half of it spent with Gemcraft Labyrinth).

Gemcraft has always been my favourite tower defense game by far, the difference between this series and any other TD is just ridiculous. Main reasons why I love this series as a whole:

  • Pause button and ability to act during pause. I hate TD's where I need to act quickly. This allows me to think about what to do at any time I want to.

  • Pretty much everything has a hotkey, which makes the gameplay a bit smoother compared to clicking everything.

  • You're always doing something. It's really rare that you get through a wave without building or doing some micromanagement with your towers.

  • The math in the game. Everything is told with calculatable numbers. I hate TD's that only tell something like "A high damage, low speed missile tower" with no numbers to tell me what it really does.

  • 148 levels. This is not some basic "get high score in these 10 levels" tower defense, but it has a story/lore, hidden stuff, multiple ways of progression/upgrades, etc.

  • The insanely good difficulty scaling. It's not an automatic scaling, but I can choose how difficult I want the game to be. At easiest, it's pretty easy (and boring) to be honest. But you can adjust stuff that changes the gameplay a lot like "next wave comes faster", "you gain mana in waves instead of a constant stream", "faster scaling", "reduced effect of Slow", and of course, endurance mode in any level. You can enable multiple different things at once, and harder settings means more exp = more skills = you can go for even higher difficulty.

  • Difficulty scaling from "easier than breathing" to "failed in first wave" also means that this game has a difficulty for anyone. Want casual click-and-watch-explosions? You got it. Want to see how long you can survive against impossible odds? You got it.

  • Every fail is caused by you and you only. The problem I see with most TD's is the situation where you think "I have no idea which order I should build these towers to complete this level". But because of the difficulty scaling and the complexity of the game in general, I've never had that feeling in Gemcraft. The difficulty scaling causes me to always try harder settings before hitting a wall of "oh sh*t I went too high" like that damn Icarus. But because it was my own choice to begin with, it's just a facepalm moment and retry, instead of feeling that the game is peeing in my cereals.

  • Continuing with difficulty scaling: even in mid-fight, you can make any wave of monsters harder by spending mana on it. Killing these waves rewards you with even more mana, but doing this requires you to really know your limits: anger them too much and they'll eat you alive. Using this mechanic is pretty much required to beat the hardest levels and difficulties, and it turns the game to a constant balancing of "how much can I take?". This mechanic is unique among the TD's that I've played, and it's also one of the many reasons I love this game.
    The usual "get a bonus by sending in the next wave earlier" is there aswell.

  • The whole series is pretty much like Dark Souls of the tower defense genre. If you get into it, you'll say that it's the best one. The caveat is that it isn't the easiest game to get into, and it isn't for everyone.

The free version of this game can be found at I'm not even sure what's the difference because I bought this edition instantly after noticing it's on Steam. But I'd say go try the free one, and if you notice that you run out of content before getting bored with the game, come back here.

TL;DR: In the end it's still a tower defense game, but it's filled with loads of unique ideas/mechanics and everything is polished to the limit and above. For me it's the game that made every other TD suck just because they aren't nearly as good as Gemcraft.
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135 of 140 people (96%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
242.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 10, 2015
I am flabberghasted at how awesome this game is. Ridiculus amounts of content and depth for a "simple" tower defense game. I have absolutely nothing but warm recommendations for this game. But, in the interest of diversity, I will mention a fair few flaws or gripes.

The game runs on Flash via Air. This means there's no hope of running this natively on Linux as it stands. It also means it will lag like crazy when you get to wizard levels 1000 and above and you really start to abuse the enrage mechanic and get thousands of monsters on screen at once. For simple story mode or casual play, you'll never notice. But if you're hardcore, lag will become a factor eventually.

It also means that the entire client will bog down and not respond to inputs as the game lags, this can make controlling the game hard when there's a bajillion things going on at once. Remember to pause your game before issuing commands if you are going into those deep-enrage endurance games.

Otherwise I have nothing but positives for the game. I freaking HATE the tower defense genre. Nothing but uncreative, pretty cow-clicky games with zero depth and no strategy EVERYWHERE. Gemcraft though? Totally breaks the mold and makes even a hater love it. That's the warmest recommendations I can ever give a game.
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