Product Type: PopCap Games software for handheld and PDAs
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Blitz those gems!
Bejeweled Blitz (iPhone / iPad)
Member Name: Munchkin2009
Bejeweled Blitz (iPhone / iPad)
Date: 05/07/12, updated on 06/07/12 (250 review reads)
Advantages: replay value, challenge Facebook friends, match 3, excitement, free download
Disadvantages: annoying music, 'expensive' rare gems
I've recently bought a word processor for my iPhone, and I thought I would challenge myself to use it to write a review on Bejeweled Blitz to publish on DooYoo.
This is another game that I play on Facebook, and have acquired the iPhone version.
Bejeweled Blitz was developed by PopCap Games, which is from the same stable as Bookworm (which is on my things to review but haven't got round to it list) and Zuma. As I understand it PopCap is now part Electronic Arts. The game is a free download from the App Store although there are in app purchases which I will discuss a bit later.
I'm reviewing the latest version at the time of writing which is Bejeweled Blitz 1.2.1 released 19 June 2012. The app is of course updated periodically, and I have done so since having my iPhone. The game requires iOS 3 or later.
The game is rated 4+ though I recommend children are supervised due to the in app purchases.
ON YOUR MARKS......
I can play offline or online using GameCenter, but I can also tap the play with Facebook friends by tapping the appropriate button.
Before starting the game, I'm invited to play the free daily spin which is like a fruit machine and I win so many coins which I can use to buy power ups (called boosts), and rare gems as they appear. As with many online games, I can buy additional spins and coins if I wish, but I never bother with anything like that the free coins are more than enough. The most I've won on the free daily spin is 100,000 coins, but most of the time is a far smaller amount. All features now apply to both the Facebook and standard game.
If I want to use any boosts, I need to 'purchase' these before I begin playing, and I can choose a maximum of 3 boosts at any one time. As I've said these cost coins, and I can choose from a handful of them. For example I can add a special gem to at the start of the game, have extra time, scramble the gems to name a few examples. In my opinion I find the special gem addition the most useful of all of them, and that is what I choose the most.
GET SET...... GO!!!!!
The game is very easy to learn, and there is of course a tutorial included.
Basically, this is a fast paced version of Bejeweled. I match three or more gems by swapping them and creating cascades from chain reactions to clear them from the board to get the highest possible score in just 1 minute. If I can make my matches fast enough, I can achieve 'blazing speed' don't think I've ever achieved that, but I've seen it on YouTube videos I've watched in the name of research for my review.
When I haven't touched the screen for a few seconds, a hint highlighting a match appears. I find this really useful as I am not the fastest Bejeweled Blitz player in the world and it can take me a while to find a match.
At the end of the game any remaining special gems and multipliers are activated and then my final score is calculated. This is known as the 'last hurrah'. Definitely a good thing, as some of my scores are pitiful and in the infinite wisdom of Tesco, every little helps! The points are added to my total score in the lifetime I've played the game and I'm ranked accordingly. I mostly play on Facebook so my current rank is 9 gem scraper.
I find these games are much easier to play on a touchscreen hence perfectly suited to iOS devices.
Certain matches produce special gems on the board.
Match 4 gems in a row earns a flame gem which when matched in the usual way blasts away several gems. This is the most common of the special gems I've made.
Match 5 gems in a row earns a hypercube this can be matched with an adjacent gem to clear all gems of that colour. I seldom get many of these.
Match 6 gems horizontally and vertically earns a star gem which clears a row and column of gems when matched in the normal way. As with hypercubes, I don't get many of these.
Periodically multipliers, which increase my score, appear on the board. These increase by 1 as they are matched. Think the most I've had is x5.
Some of the yellow gems when matched add coins to my balance. These gems look like a diamond with a coin in the middle.
Occasionally when playing a new game I'm asked if I would like to harvest a rare gem which you buy with coins. Most have quite a high asking price, so I rarely bother with them unless I've been really lucky in my free daily spin. Sometimes there are special gem streaks in which the gems are offered at a discount after using one, and sometimes PopCap have special offers for them.
The ones I've come across most are the cats eye gem which knocks out gems at the end of the game after the 'last hurrah'. I've used this a few times including my best ever score pushing nigh on 400,000 points.
There are also moonstone, blazing steed and a couple of others which I haven't used as yet due to costing a lot of coins.
As I'm on Facebook, I usually enter the weekly tournament to try and beat my friends' high scores and see how I compare. I can also share my high scores and special gem use on my Facebook timeline, I only tend to share exceptional high scores as I don't want to clutter my timeline, or my friends' newsfeed with game achievements. As with many games, high scores are recorded in the Activity section of my timeline.
This game is featured in GameCenter so I can compete on worldwide leader boards and earn achievements.
I can keep track of my statistics my tapping on my name to check my rank, and scoring performance and how many times I've scored so many points.
~Graphics and Sound~
The graphics look pretty good, and the game is optimised for the retina display. The actual gameplay is also very smooth and responsive on my iPhone 4S and gives me a better experience than the desktop version in my opinion.
Soundwise this is about the same as other games I play and I've turned the annoying music off but kept the sound effects on so I can have an audio prompt when time is running out. It's also exciting to hear 'good', 'excellent' 'awesome' on chain reactions.
In the settings menu (accessed from the same button as the Daily Spin) I can adjust the music and sound effects volume, and turn autohints on/off and also renew boots automatically on and off. The tutorial is accessed from the same menu by tapping the 'Help' button.
As a big fan of Bejeweled and match 3 games in general I enjoy playing Bejeweled Blitz and as my aim is a high score, it makes the game exciting in my opinion though I still like the levelled games like the original Bejeweled and Bejeweled Twist. In addition there is the option of competing on GameCenter and Facebook.
I also find Bejeweled Blitz easier to put down when I get too tired (due to illness) and this is where playing on a device like an iPhone comes into it's own as it's easier to put away than my laptop. It's certainly good fun, has a competitive edge and great for filling in a few spare minutes.
Accordingly I award the game a 4 star rating.
Summary: Exciting gem matching game
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