Monday, January 10, 2011

Bejeweled 3: A Gem That Shines Brighter Than Ever

Bejeweled is a puzzle game with a simple concept: Continuously match 3 or more like gems to clear them from a field. It's easy to understand, but it can get challenging and very addicting. It was this that made the game from a simple internet game to one that you can play almost anywhere. It soon became one of PopCap's most popular titles, spawning a sequel, Bejeweled 2, and two spin-offs, Bejeweled Twist and Bejeweled Blitz. Recently, PopCap released the series' true second sequel, Bejeweled 3, and it is no less addicting or challenging.

Bejeweled 3 has 8 different modes, some of which are new to the series and put interesting twists on the gameplay. To start, there's Classic, which is like playing the original game, and ends when you can't make any more matches. Zen is a carry-over from Bejeweled 2 and Twist, with some options added to give the player a sense of relaxation. Lightning is also a carry-over of Blitz Mode from Bejeweled Twist, but now you can increase your time by matching certain gems together with regular ones. Fans of Bejeweled Blitz should feel comfortable with this version.

The two new options I enjoyed the most were Butterflies and Diamond Mine. In Butterflies, you must match Butterfly Gems with other like gems before they inch to the top of the screen, where a Spider eats them and ends the game. In Diamond Mine, the player has to match gems in order to dig underground to collect gold and other treasures. They must do so until they dig to a white line to reach the next level before the time runs out. Once you know what you're doing, these modes can become very frantic, which I liked, and I found them to be an enjoyable, challenging experience.

The new Ice Storm mode is one where you have to clear gems in order to destroy pillars of ice before they reach the top of the screen. The size and frequency of the pillars differ as the game advances, and once they reach the top, you have to act fast to destroy them or the game is over. The other new mode is Poker, where you swap gems to create matching hands of cards, which give you more points the better they are. At times, a skull will appear on one of the options, and you must create a higher hand in order to get rid of it. If you create the type of hand the skull is on, the outcome of the game is determined by a coin toss. While these two modes are interesting, I personally got bored with them after a while because they didn't really keep me excited, but you can have your own opinion.

The last new mode is Quest, where you must complete certain objectives in order to recover artifacts. This can be used as a way to get a preview of the various new modes of the main game, to see what tickles your fancy. The objectives can become very challenging on their own, leading to many close calls. Once you know how the challenges work, you can beat it in a short amount of time, but it is still an enjoyable and satisfying mode to play.

Another part of the game is the ability to earn Badges and swap gems while another set of gems falls into the screen. These were introduced in Bejeweled Blitz, but are no less great additions to the game. Badges are earned when you complete certain tasks, which anyone who enjoys getting achievements while playing will enjoy. The aforementioned new modes of play take the new swapping ability to their advantage, keeping them fresh and addicting.

Bejeweled 3 is a game that I would highly recommend to fans of casual games, especially of the Bejeweled series. Some Hardcore gamers might be turned off by the idea of something as simple as matching gems, but I feel they would be missing out on something spectacular. If you have even the slightest interest in this game, I suggest you try it out.

No comments:

Post a Comment