Jewel Box (1990)

Jewel Box session in progress

Jewel Box is a fairly faithful clone of Columns. Not a whole lot more to say about it; if you've played once of the Sega releases, or other clones, you should know what to expect. If you've been looking for something like that for Unix/Linux: congrats, you found it!

Jewel Box was originally developed by Yoshihiro Satoh for Apollo Domain/OS in 1990, then ported to the X Window System by David Cooper in 1992.

The following is a session of the game wherein I reach level 9. I did not notice this game had a lives system until I finally failed then was surprised the game continued again. I decided to end the video at that point.

Jewel Box can be found either in the SunSITE archives at or in the Debian archives. I have been able to build this on modern linux (possibly creating a fake/empty stropts.h file), though I am having less luck when I re-try my process. Regardless, something about the game causes it to ignore any keyboard input on modern systems. Some debugging or a Retro Linux install may be needed.

Yoshihiro Satoh has since released other versions of JewelBox: one in 2008 for Applicast on some televisions, and another in 2020(!) for the web. To play the web version, look for the link marked 遊ぶ towards the bottom, or run the site through a translation service.

More general information on old X games, including build tips can be found in the Old X Games article.

If the above video does not work for you, it is also available on my YouTube channel.


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