Product Type: PopCap Games software for handheld and PDAs
Newest Review: ... depending on what you combine with it. Choose wisely... You can also earn combos for getting multiple gems to drop at the same time and ... more
A real jewel!
Bejeweled 2 (iPhone Application)
Member Name: CheesySpam
Bejeweled 2 (iPhone Application)
Advantages: Simple but addictive-style gameplay; excellent graphics; offers great value for money.
Disadvantages: No Puzzle mode; lack of varied music; very, very addictive!
If you like any PopCap title, whether it's Zuma, Peggle or Insaniquarium, you're bound to love Bejeweled 2, the sequel to the award-winning 2001 game. It's has a much more modern look than its predecessor, and has some new game modes. Since the release in 2004, it has come out on multiple platforms including PC, Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii. But if you have any portable Apple machine, you have an advantage. Why? Because it's only 69p, so whether you like it or not, you won't have much regret in adding it to your list of apps. So, it's nothing other than essential for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad owners.
If you've played any other PopCap title, you'll know that this is going to be extremely simple before even starting the game up. Plants vs Zombies, Gyromancer, Rocket Mania! - games by the developer are always uncomplicated but addictive. But what does Bejeweled 2 involve and is it really that much different from the first game in the series? No. But you won't care, because it's just as much fun as before! In the game, you are given a grid of jewels of various shapes and colours. Using your finger, you have to swap adjacent jewels to make matches of three, four or five jewels. For example, two red ones are next to each other. To the right of these is a purple jewel, and another red sits above it. Simply swap the two to make a chain of three red jewels.
There are multiple game modes. The first one is Classic, and this one is the most basic. You simply match as many jewels as you can until you level up. However, as you get through the levels, it becomes much harder to progress. The game ends when there are no more possible matches. Action mode isn't that much different, but offers a lot more challenge. It retains the same gameplay as Challenge mode, but you are timed. You must aim to make matches as quickly as you can, otherwise time will run out and it's game over. Endless mode is the final mode and from what I remember it is slightly different to the same mode on the PC version. In this iPod version, it is nearly exactly the same as Challenge mode, the only difference being that the game can't end, like the name implies, unless you quit, of course. You may be disappointed to hear that the unique Puzzle mode is absent, but Bejeweled 2 on the App Store comes with Bejeweled Blitz.
Bejeweled Blitz began as a Facebook game, but can now be bought on PC, Mac OS X and Xbox Live Arcade. Like I said, it comes with the Bejeweled 2 game on the App Store, and uses all the same features used in the other versions. You are given a short time of sixty seconds to score as many points as you can. The thing that sets this apart from the other Bejeweled 2 game modes, though, is power-ups. These give you multiple advantages in scoring higher. For example, one power-up gives you a special gem at the start of the game. Another adds five seconds to the game time. You purchase these by spending coins, which you can either buy with real money or earn in-game. The only way you can do this is log into Facebook which is an easy process, but you obviously need a Facebook account. This is a welcome part of the package that is worth playing.
If swapping gems just doesn't do it for you, then there are a few minor gameplay features that you may find make the title a bit more interesting. Getting matches of four and five jewels awards you with bonus gems. The power gem is awarded for matching four jewels. When you match this with other jewels, a number of nearby jewels explode and you are given big points. You are given a hyper gem if you match five jewels. This destroys all jewels of one colour on the board. It is activated by swapping it with another jewel. Swap it with a blue jewel, for example, and all the blue jewels on the grid are destroyed. Admittedly, these features aren't huge, but definitely add to the game's addictive nature.
===Graphics and Sound===
Bejeweled 2 is very appealing, visually. The jewels shine and gleam on the board, and behind are some beautiful backgrounds, ranging from canyons to futuristic-themed areas. It does look superior to the first Bejeweled, in which blue was a dominant colour and no backdrops were used. Bejeweled 2, though, despite being very basic, looks amazing graphically. The sound may not be quite as good when compared to the graphics, but satisfies. When you successfully match a set of jewels, a high-pitched sound is made which I found very catchy! The music is the main letdown, because there is only one track. The track is a good one - it could be called 'mystical' which somewhat fits the game's theme - but variety is the spice of life, and I don't think you can call this variety.
Bejeweled 2 does have a few issues. The big one is that Puzzle mode isn't featured. That was the most unique mode on PC, so why it isn't featured here is a mystery to me. Also, there's only one music track which is good, but a few more would have been better. Even if they weren't great, we could choose the tracks that played during the game. I've never known if when a game is addictive it's good or not - on one hand, it's a sign of a good game but on the other it does waste a lot of your time - but in this case it is a bad thing because Bejeweled 2 is so addictive that you'll be losing hours and hours in this. Finally, this isn't for everyone, most notably hardcore first-person shooter players who might not like the casual style of the game. But anyone else will love it.
Overall, Bejeweled 2, while not perfect, is very good. The gameplay is the most simple it could be but is seriously addictive and could offer serious longevity - or maybe a bit too much! The game on the app store comes with Bejeweled Blitz for no added price, making up slightly for the lack of Puzzle mode. The graphics are superb - the gleaming jewels really catch your eye and the backgrounds are fantastic. Even the smaller features impress, such as the mid-game save ability, so you can pop your iPod away and pick up where you left off later and being able to log into Facebook through Bejeweled Blitz, so you can look at your friends high-scores. Lastly, the price is brilliant - you only have to pay 69p for hour after hour of gameplay so it doesn't matter much in the unlikely case you don't really like the game. If you feel you're missing out on content, you can get the game for under £5 on PC, but what you're getting here is a great amount for a much lower price. It's essential stuff, so if you don't have it now give it a try!
This review is also posted on Ciao under my name YoshiCheesePuff.
Summary: A very addictive iPod title which is essential for all.
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