Disclaimer: Some kind folks over at PopCap Games hooked me up with a copy of Bejeweled 2 after stumbling across my hat-tip to AJAX Bejeweled. However, I swear that I have made every attempt to maintain my journalistic integrity on the weighty subject of reviewing this casual puzzle game.
If you don’t know what Bejeweled is, then this is probably the first web page you’ve ever seen. Congratulations! You picked well. The gameplay can be summarized as “Swap 2 adjacent squares on a board to match 3 or more of the same tile, removing them from the board, causing the rest to fall and new random ones to be added.” And if you liked classic Bejeweled, then Bejeweled 2 is more jewel-y goodness.
Haha I pwn u noob gemz!
For starters, this game is evolutionary improvement over Bejeweled 1, and not revolutionary. It’s still a Match-3 Puzzler, after all. That’s a good thing, right? There’s room in my heart for many of these veteran games. Bejeweled 2 has added a few twists to freshen things up.
First, the gameplay modes that are available:
- Classic mode presents the standard puzzle screen. You play until you run out of available moves.
- Action mode (my favorite!) is the standard puzzle, but time is running out! If you run out of available moves, the board will reset. (Thinking on your feet separates the men from the boys!)
- Puzzle mode presents pre-set puzzle patterns. These can include unique elements such as immovable, unmatchable rocks or time-delay bombs, and to win, the user must clear the board.
- Endless mode is like Classic mode, only you can never lose. Match, match, match. Ahhh….
Some new twists including getting an explosive tile when you match 4 — make a further match including this tile and it will explode, clearing all adjacent tiles. Chain explosions for board-clearing results! There is also a “hypercube” that appears if you manage to match 5. Swap this with any tile to eliminate that color from the board entirely. Both of these can be lifesavers.
The PC standalone version offers 3D-accelerated graphics, overall snappier feel and response, and of course more levels and fullscreen gameplay. It’s a well-spent $20 (as of this writing, less than two movie tickets) if you plan to play regularly. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to sneak one more round in before work…