Bejeweled 3 (Review) PC

Bejeweled 3 (Review) PC

Do you love to collect jewels?  Bejeweled 3 by PopCap is the answer for you. PopCap has improved on their Bejeweled game series. The first look shows more than one would expect. There are 4 main games; Classic, Zen, Lightening, and Quest.  Each game has another game attached to it that can be unlocked when you have cleared 5 levels of the main game.

As with previous Bejeweled games, you can create gems that will allow you to destroy several gems at once. You will create Flame Gems when you match 4 in a straight row, Star gems when you match 5 gems that intersect each other, and Hypercubes when 5 gems are matched in a straight row.

Classic mode allows you to make matches and follows that traditional Bejeweled game play. When you have cleared 5 levels, you unlock Poker. Just like a poker game, the harder the hand played the more points you get.

The hand combinations are pair, spectrum, 2 pairs, 3 of a kind, full house, 4 of a kind, and flush. As you play the game longer, a skull will appear on the bottom of the list. If your hand has a skull on it, a coin will be tossed to determine if your game will continue or end. You can get rid of the skull by filling the elimination bar. The more points your hand is worth, the faster the bar fills.

Zen mode is very relaxing. There is no time limit. A unique feature of this game is that it allows you to pick from 5 features that put you in a calming mood. Breath Modulations help you to create a sense of calm and relaxation by using both audio and visual feedback. Ambient sounds allows you to replace game music with soothing sounds such as waves or white noise to help you relax.

Mantras help to focus thoughts by using positive affirmations. Binaural Beats requires headphones and allows you to train your mind with beats that are played at slightly different frequencies for each ear to allow your brain to enter different states. Once you clear 5 levels, you will unlock Butterflies.

The object of Butterflies is to match the butterflies with corresponding jewels before it reaches the top and is eaten by the spider. As you make matches the butterflies will go up 1 row.

The Lightening mode is a race against time. Time bombs will appear and you must match them before they count down to zero. You are given 60 seconds. As you clear each Time Bomb, the seconds are added up by a counter and added to your time available.  As you level up, you will be given more time on the bomb and more bombs per game.

Once 5 levels are cleared the Ice Columns will be opened up. For each vertical match made, the ice column will disappear from that column.  For each vertical match the ice will go down one line.  The column will grow til it reaches to the top and a blue skull will appear on the top; another column of ice will grow over the first one and you can still match tiles.  Once the second column reaches the top, a red skull will appear and the game will end.

Quest mode offers 40 different puzzles that vary. This includes digging up gold and buried treasures, clearing so many jewels in a certain number of moves, maintaining a balance of red and blue gems as they are cleared, among others. Once you have cleared Quest Mode, you will unlock Diamond Mine. The object of this game is to collect buried treasure by matching gems on the bottom level. With each match at the bottom of the board, you will clear some of the dirt and find buried treasure.

Bejeweled 3 has something for everyone. The addition of the different modes adds a new twist and will suit any type of gamer or mood that they are in. I couldn’t wait to see what each mode had to offer. For me, the game was fun to play and while some modes were harder than others, I enjoyed them all.

The two that I found hardest was the Ice Columns and Butterflies. I really enjoyed the Poker and Quest mode. Even though I am not a poker player, I enjoyed it. The Quest mode gave you your choice of different challenges so even when you got frustrated by one, you could pick another. The Diamond Mine was fun to play and see what treasure I would find buried.

As you play the game you will unlock medals. These include badges for clearing so many gems in a single move, destroying x-number of gems in a single move or earning x-number of points in a certain mode such as 300,000 points in Lightening mode will earn you a Silver High Voltage badge.

Other badges reward you for collecting items; to earn a silver Relic Hunter Badge, you will need to collect 8 Artifacts in the Diamond Mine mode. Bejeweled 3 offers Elite Badges such as Superstar for matching 6 gems in a single row and Levelord for reaching level 10 in Classic Mode.  Bejeweled 3 has ranks that increase as you earn more points.

Gameplay is fun and kept my interest. PopCap continues to find new ways to keep the game from being stale. The options for different music in Zen mode made for a relaxing addition to the game that would affect the mood of anyone. The graphics are clear and colorful. When you are transitioning from one level to another, the gems will go with you down the tunnel and be placed on the board. PopCap has created another jewel of a game that should make any gamer happy.

Developer / Publisher: PopCap
Price: $19.95

Popcap’s Website

Review Score
Graphics were very clear and visually appealing. The gems going through the tunnel as you traveled from level to level added a nice bit of color. The choice of resolution had three options with Normal (800X600), Normal (1024X768), and Ultra Mode (1920X1200).
The music gave the game a nice background. The ability to change the background noise is a nice addition that allows the player to change the music to fit what they want.
Gameplay was smooth with no chopping of any kind. The options of different modes added to the game by allowing the player to choose what mode they wanted to play.
PopCap has improved on this game with Bejeweled 3. The multiple modes makes it feel like multiple games and keeps the game from becoming stale. Overall, a definite winner.
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