Like many people out there, I have an addiction to Bejeweled. I must have been living under some kind of rock, because I had no idea that Bejeweled 3 was in the works for console, or even that it was available to download from Xbox LIVE Arcade this very minute! After testing it out, I thought I would share some things for others who may also be living under a similar rock.
Firstly, the cost is 1200MSP. I have a general rule when it comes to Marketplace purchases that if it exceeds 800MSP, then it had better be worth it. At first, I was beginning to wonder what on Earth I had spent my money on, but I will admit it began to grow on me. It is a glossed up version of Bejeweled as we know it; you know, new music, crisp graphics, etc. It looks nice, sounds nice – until the Bejeweled 3 voice begins to talk (at the start/end of the round, start up screen) – he sounds like a Gears of War locust. You can turn the voice volume down in the control menu if it gets to you. This is one thing I had to do.
It has a total of 8 game modes. The standard Classic, Endless (Zen) and Survival (Lightning) are included and available to play straight away, plus Quest mode which involves 40 puzzle mini-games. Something different that B3 offers is leveling up through ranks based on accumulative score. So far I have unlocked Poker mode. It is what it is, but I will get to that. The other 3 modes, well, I am yet to find out. The Achievements list seems to offer vague clues as to what they involve.
Now, Poker mode. Basically think of a combo as a card for poker, i.e. you match 3 green gems, then match another 3 green gems; you have a pair. The highest score chain is a flush, which is 5 combos of any colour. Fairly straight forward — and addictive. However, a ‘skull’ appears at random, meaning you cannot aim for that hand. In simple terms, the skull may appear against playing for a pair, and if all you can achieve during the game is a pair, the skull then becomes a coin-toss-heads-tails scenario. If you are safe then you are free to play on, if you get a skull it is game over. You only need to make a match of 3, so don’t worry yourself looking for hypercubes, etc.
A new feature of B3 never used before is Badges – these are only linked to getting an achievement when you have obtained the gold badge on all objectives and range from bronze, silver and gold. Leaderboards are displayed after each round to see how you are ranked globally and against friends.
The Achievements appear to be attained pretty much through playing through every game mode, and doing as much and the best you can. I am enjoying Bejeweled 3 the more I am playing it, especially given how much variety there is in it. If you like Bejeweled then don’t miss out on this download, otherwise wait until there are Xbox Deals of the Week or similar to get the game at a reduced cost if 1200MSP sounds like it might sting a bit. Either way, I love this game!