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The Verdict: Bejeweled 3 -- A Feast For The Senses, Three Gems At A Time

JGaskill
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Posted December 17, 2010 - By Jake Gaskill


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  • Videos
    (16)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs

  • News
    (4)
  • Previews
  • Review
  • Videos
    (1)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs


  • Videos
    (4)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs

Bejeweled 3 Announced, Coming In December

Bejeweled 3, PopCap Games’ fifth iteration (but third official sequel) to one of the most successful and popular games, puzzle or otherwise, of all time, has been six years in the making. And while I’m guessing Bejeweled  players would have been more than happy to play the thoroughly addicting best-seller Bejeweled 2 for the rest of their game-playing days, there is so much genuine joy to be had with this long awaited threequel that it’s sure to attract longtime fans as well as turn a casual Bejeweled player, like myself, into a full-fledged super fan. Seriously. It’s kind of a (great) problem (to have).


There have been a lot of fantastic games this year (Check out my top five favorites for specifics), and the reason Bejeweled 3 made my list is that it consistently provides joyous “Holy sh*t!” moments that bring a giant smile to my face every time I play it. There is one mode in particular that is singlehandedly responsible for my infatuation with this game, and if you give it just five minutes, I guarantee you’ll be a believer too. It’s called Diamond Mine, and you can actually unlock it in the free trial version of the game if you use the free hour of playtime wisely.

Verdict: Bejeweled 3 -- A Feast For The Senses, Three Gems At A Time

In this mode, you try to mine as much gold and treasure as you can before the time runs out. In order to dig, you have match up gems resting on the dirt along the bottom row. So if you line up three gems horizontally, the three blocks beneath those gems are “dug up.” If you match gems vertically, it only knocks out one space. Unless of course you trigger an explosive gem, in which case it’s possible to blow apart the entire board, unearthing all of the gold and goodies in one go.

While there is quite a bit of strategy involved in manipulating the gems, by far the most enjoyable moments come completely unexpectedly. Like when random gems fall into place, creating devastating supernova gems, which are then triggered, unleashing a massive energy bolt that clears all the gems in the row and aisle adjacent to it. Or when several successive exploding gems happen to collide, causing a chain reaction of explosions that seems like it’ll never end. It’s spectacular to witness, and never ceases to amuse and delight.

Verdict: Bejeweled 3 -- A Feast For The Senses, Three Gems At A Time

The sound effects are especially crisp and impactful, so when you trigger some enormous series of detonations, and the supernova’s energy beams buzz and "zzzzttt" as they cut their way through rows of gems, your ears feel just as much love as your eyes. I'm serious. If you play this mode, I guarantee you will not be able to hold back the gleeful expletives that will come flying out of your mouth. If you can, you’re not human. Simple as that.

If time limits and causing massive amounts of mine-based devastation aren’t your thing, the new Zen mode should do the trick. It’s basically Bejeweled 2's Endless mode with a number of added tweaks like a breathing simulator that causes a foggy sheet to rise and fall behind the game board to simulate your inhales and exhales, or the ability to play  binaural tones, which are actually used to induce certain types of dream states if used properly. You can also have words of wisdom appear in the progress bar on the bottom of the screen as you go along. It’s a rather remarkable 180 turn from something like Diamond Mine, and just shows the breadth of the game’s appeal.

Verdict: Bejeweled 3 -- A Feast For The Senses, Three Gems At A Time

Quest mode features 11 mini-games (40 challenges total), all of which force you to rethink how you approach the simple match-three gameplay. One makes you clear an even number of two types of gems in order to keep two corresponding weights from touching the ground, while another tasks you with reaching a set score in a certain number of moves. They are all challenging in their own way, and once you get to the third or fourth difficulty level for each of them, it takes every bit of your attention to beat them.

This kind of variety, not just in terms of the modes themselves, but how the modes change your approach to the gameplay, is one of the game’s biggest successes, and it keeps the overall game from ever feeling repetitive. And throw in 20 badges (i.e. Achievements/Trophies), and you have more than enough reasons to keep coming back again and again to play "just one more game."

I know this might seem like overkill for a game that a lot of people might be overlooking because it’s “just Bejeweled 3,” but I’m telling you, as someone whose top three favorite games this year were Red Dead Redemption, Limbo, and MLB 10: The Show, this game isn’t just for puzzle geeks or casual gamers. It’s one of the best times you’ll have playing a game all year. If you find yourself looking to spend $20 on something this holiday season, do yourself a favor, and buy Bejeweled 3. You won’t be disappointed.

The Verdict: Bejeweled 3 -- A Feast For The Senses, Three Gems At A Time
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