It's been lauded as the most popular puzzle game of the century, but as Bejeweled 3 debuts on an unsuspecting public, is there really anything
left to do with its enduringly popular match-three gameplay?
Actually, yes. Lots.
Rather than make major changes to Bejeweled's formula (a path trodden by 2008's
Bejeweled Twist, with limited success), developer Popcap opted to heap on a
variety-packed selection of new play modes. Four are available immediately, and
a further four await you; you'll unlock them during your first few hours' play.
Check out a few of our favorites.
Ever Bejeweled your way to a higher state of consciousness? While achieving true
enlightenment by swapping gems is perhaps a little too much to hope for,
Bejeweled 3's new Zen mode will help you relax -- and that's a Proven
Scientific Fact. It'll moderate your breathing with subtle visual cues, relax
your brain with calming ambient sounds, and tell you how awesome you are with
various subliminal life-affirming messages.
Alternatively, if all that sounds too much like hippie crap, it plays a perfectly good game of
endless Bejeweled. Whatever floats your boat, man.
Yes, poker. Strange though it may sound, it's one of the most cerebral of Bejeweled
3's new modes. Rather than hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades, though, you'll
be creating poker hands with the colors of the gems you match. It'll force you
to think as far as five matches ahead -- and if you mess up, it'll leave you
stranded with all the viciousness of a riverboat card-sharp.
Does that name sound familiar? It should, if you're a real Bejeweled fan: it was the
original name of the game when it launched a decade ago. Bejeweled 3's Diamond
Mine actually has you mining, though: making matches at the bottom of the grid
hollows out more space, potentially revealing valuable gold or ancient
treasures. Rather than points, you rack up prize money.
Are you one of the thousands hooked on Facebook's Bejeweled Blitz? Here's the mode
for you. Though it starts with the familiar one minute on the clock, you can
extend your time by matching specially marked gems. Most of the rest of the
rules are the same -- including the Blazing Speed bonus that rewards super-fast
And then there's Quest mode, which rounds up challenges from Bejeweled
3's other modes. Some are timed, some have limited moves, some throw in special
gem types -- but all of them have clear objectives, and you'll progress through
them a set at a time. They start easy, but they don't stay that way.