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[Review] - Bejeweled 3

  • While the three in the title might lead some to believe this is the third game in the Bejeweled series, it is actually the fifth and the only direct sequel to Bejeweled 2.This fantasy themed variation on the same is a far cry from the original Bejeweled released ten years ago with only two modes of play. Bejeweled 3 provides players with 8 modes of play and 8 types of gems to swap.

    Bejeweled 3 brings back 4 traditional modes of play, as seen in Bejeweled 2, and adds 4 new modes. Returning on the platform are Classic mode, Zen mode, Lightning mode, and Quest mode. Classic mode is the basic Bejeweled game at its core. Players continuously swap gems until there are no more moves to make. Zen mode is an endless mode designed to help relax the player with soothing ambient sounds and breath modulation while they swap gems continuously. Lightning mode is the classic time trial mode where players attempt to get the highest score possible within a 60 second window. Quest mode provides 40 unique puzzles each containing mini games with tailored objectives different from the standard game.



In addition to these staple modes, Bejeweled 3 brings these unlockable modes; Diamond Mine, Poker, Ice Storm, and Butterflies. Diamond Mine allows players to “dig” for gold and treasure by swapping gems next to the dirt to expose the collectables. In Poker players must create the best hand by swapping gems on the main game board to have that gem appear in their hand of cards. Using the special gems in a swap will increase the total score for that hand. Ice Storm brings rising columns of ice that must be pushed back before they reach the top of the screen. Creating matches above or below the ice will decrease the column’s height. Making a vertical match within an ice column will shatter it completely. In Butterflies, players must release the butterflies by using them in a chain before they reach the top where a spider is waiting.


While game play at the core remains the same; swap one gem with an adjacent gem to create vertical or horizontal chains containing, at minimum, 3 matching gems; Bejeweled 3’s game play gets a boost from the various types of gems the player can match. Apart from the normal gem, Bejeweled 3 also has Flames gems, Star Gems, Hypercubes, Supernova Gems, Time Gems, Bomb Gems, and Butterfly Gems. Flame, Star, Hypercube and Supernova Gems are all created under specific circumstances within the game play and throughout all the modes. Time Gems only appear in Lightning Mode and add time to the clock when used in a chain. Bomb Gems are only found in the Time Bomb mini game within Quest mode. These must be exploded before their timer reaches zero. Butterfly Gems are only found in Butterfly mode and the Butterflies mini game in Quest mode.


Overall, Bejeweled 3 is a fresh take on a familiar favorite. The unlockable, or secret modes, bring new challenging twists to the gem swapping classic. It doesn’t take long to open them up, but you might find yourself swapping gems for hours trying to create that elusive flush hand in Poker or valiantly struggling against the rising tides of ice in Ice Storm. The dynamic backgrounds are beautiful to look at and lend a sense of story to a simplistic game. Eight modes of play provide hours of addictive fun. And, achievement hounds will be happy to know that in addition to the traditional 12 Xbox achievements for XBLA games, players can strive for badges of increasing difficulty in bronze, silver, gold and platinum.


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