Having played Bewjeweled many times I was wondering how this one was going to be any different. Dont get me wrong, I very much love a good Bejeweled game, but can PopCap deliver something fresh to this version?
From the start there appears to be 8 modes, 4 locked and 4 unlocked. I have access to your Classic mode, Lightning mode (collecting time gems to charge up bonus rounds), Quest mode (solving 40 different puzzling minigames) and Zen mode (endless mode).
Personally Endless mode didn’t interest me. I like to beat the board, so an endless board would drive me mad. I thought I’d give ths Quest mode a go.
Quest is exactly the challenge I was looking for, no more mindless matching anything of you can find. If offers a range of challenges, for example Gold Rush where you must match gems at the bottom on the grid in order to dig down through dirt, or Stratamax where you have to clear 120 gems in only 20 moves.
The interface is what you would expect from Bejeweled, clear and colourful. The music sits in the game quite nicely too.
In order to unlock the 4 other modes you must complete certainly goals in the 4 initial modes which are available to you. For example, reach level 5 in Classic Mode or score 100,000 points in Lightning Mode. Of course this meant I had to play Zen mode in order to help unlock all 8 modes.
Funnily enough when playing Zen mode I was told that I could change the ambient sounds, so I did. Coastal seaguls, field crickets, forest sounds, raindrops and more. Whatever suits your relaxation needs. As well as ambient sounds we are given breath modulation which gives audio and visual feedback to help you modulate your breathing rate. Fancy that eh?
There are many more game modes and collectibles that round out the package. I won’t give away the details of all the unlockable modes, but one called Poker had you matching gems to make your best hand. Also, as well as the XBL Achievements you can get there are also in-game Badges to be collected.
I was pleasantly surprised at how well PopCap keep delivering new modes to such a classic game and yet the new modes don’t seem like that are really struggling for ideas, they are all great modes! There is truely a game type for everyone. If like me you dont’ like the endless or zen types then there are modes to keep you on the edge of your seat, eyes dashing back and forth across the TV desperately trying to find one last match before the timer runs out.
Bejeweled 3 is one of those games I was so pleased to get to review because I get to keep this game after all is said and done.
Whether it’s a 5 minute quick play while you wait for your microwave meal or a good long sessions you are after Bejeweled delivers.
10 sparkly jewels of addiction out of 10