Bejeweled is back with its 3rd edition for the PC and Mac from PopCap Games, repeating the success of this addictive puzzler game that is pick up and play easy as well as highly addictive.
Graphics & Audio: 23/25,
Even if you have never played any of the Bejeweled editions you should have no problems picking up the third in this sequel easily and be playing in minutes. Bejeweled 3 is an easy game to play but addictive as all get out, it’s a tried and true formula that no one can really explain why it is so addictive.
You simply move one jewel sideways, up or down to complete a row of three or more of the same jewels, this will knock those jewels off the playing board. When those jewels are gone the next ones waiting unseen above will drop down onto the board ready for you to make your next match.
If you line up four jewels one of the jewels will turn into a fire gem which will explode all gems touching it when the fire gem is next matched in a row of three. When you match gems in a “T” or “L” shape, usually five gems, the row and column of gems for both parts of the shape will explode.
If you match five gems in a row one of those gems turns into a Hypercube and can be used to explode all gems on the board of one color that is touching the hypercube. When the randomly dropping gems match up three in a row they disappear and more randomly generated gems take their place.
During these cascades you can continue to match gems if you’re quick enough which is one major change from previous versions of Bejeweled. You also have a Supernova Gem when six gems are lined up and when matched will cause both the vertical and horizontal rows to explode as well as adjacent ones.
Bejeweled 3 uses four of the classic modes from previous editions along with four secret modes that become available when reaching certain objectives, usually score based. The classic modes include regular Classic gameplay, Zen gameplay with calming music while you play, Lightning which is a timed gameplay and Quest with its puzzles and mini-games.
The three game modes of Classic, Lightning and Quest are pretty basic with the regular gameplay or timed while Quest uses the secret modes in a campaign type gameplay. The Zen mode is not exactly random, they ensure you always have a move by dropping a not so random gem that will match for a relaxing style of gameplay.
Bejeweled 3 has four Secret Modes that are unlocked during regular gameplay when you obtain certain objectives such as matching six gems or getting a high score. The four modes are Butterflies, Diamond Mine, Ice Storm and Poker for a bit of variety when you get tired of the other modes.
Butterflies has a butterfly replace a gem on the bottom and moves upward at every turn, when the butterfly reaches the top you lose but you can match the butterfly to knock it off the board. Diamond Mine has you mining for gold by digging down with a machine by clearing the dirt above it when you match gems.
Ice Storm has columns of ice trying to reach the top while you knock off parts of it by matching gems, gems matched above or below shorten the column while matched next to the column destroys it. Poker is a game where you try to match gems to make a poker hand like a full house or three of a kind while the lower hands are frequently knocked out of play when a skull randomly appears.
During poker when you get a hand with a skull on it a flip of the coin decides if you can continue or have to start the game over from the start. All game modes are played pretty much the same but with slightly different objectives, each gives enough of a variety that if you find yourself a bit bored with one a simple change mixes things up.
Bejeweled 3 is a great, fantastic, perfect, relaxing and enjoyable puzzle game with that just right mix of fast paced action when you want but simple gameplay. While there are plenty of copycats on the internet nothing beats the real thing as Bejeweled is a well-made game with both well done graphics and excellent music.
Bejeweled 3 is a fantastic game and for the PC version is well worth the sum of $20, it is also available for the Mac with other versions reportedly coming soon.