Review: Bejeweled HD
- — 21 May, 2012 22:00
|Name||Puzzle game: Bejeweled HD|
|Summary:||As addictive as ever, and now iPad users can join in the fun!|
|Games Info:||Developer: Popcap Games; Publisher: Popcap Games|
Bejeweled HD is, in essence, Bejeweled 3 made for iPad. It has slick new graphics for the retina screen and tinkly-winkly music that drove me to turn off the sound after a few minutes (you may find it more to your taste).
Classic Mode is the Bejeweled we’re all familiar with – match three or more gems in a row on a grid to eliminate them and drop new gems into the grid from from the top – but the iPad version has some new tweaks.
For example, if you do a particularly impressive move, a little video camera pops up to let you replay it – it does a quick rewind, then shows your moves again. I tried this only the once before I found it a bit too self-aggrandising, but I’m sure my nephew will love being able to show my sister his awesome moves over and over and over. Great moves also earn praise – “Good – Excellent – Incredible” will be familiar to anyone who has played Bejeweled before, but there’s now an “Awesome!” and “Spectacular!” to go with your chains. Nice!
Hypercubes (created by matching 5 gems in a row) are now displayed as rotating cubes, but they work as they always did – triggering one by swapping it with a gem of any colour eliminates all the gems of that colour.
One feature I particularly liked was that you can swap jewels on screen even while chains are happening – perform a switcheroo right in the middle of an “good-excellent-incredible” set, and you’ll add a set to your total.
Matching four gems creates a fire gem that as with previous versions can be used to trigger an explosion, wiping out extra gems as well as the matched set. The only addition here is a little graphical pizzazz.
Creating an 'L' or a 'T' of five gems creates a Star Gem that, when combined with at least two other gems of the same colour, triggers a cross of destruction – all gems on the same row and same column are obliterated. I found this exceptionally entertaining when I got three in a row, for a triple wipeout, and if you happen to catch a hypercube in the crossfire (pun intended), it will wipe out all gems of one colour on top. Win!
Initially, I was disappointed that there was no longer a timed mode (I’ve been playing Bejeweled 2, and haven’t graduated to 3), but it has a semi-replacement called Diamond Mine. Diamond Mine is like a combination of Tetris and Timed Mode Bejeweled. You have a set time limit, and rather than matching blocks anywhere on the grid, the idea is to dig out a row of earth at a time. Any matched gem touching the earth eliminates the earth beneath it. As levels progress, the earth becomes rock, and sometimes diamonds, which require special gems – such as stars or hypercubes – to eliminate. If time runs out before you’ve cleared a row, you lose. If you clear the row, you get extra time aadded to your limit. It’s addictive and fast paced, and I found it challenging and frenetic – the perfect combo for my playstyle.
The Butterflies mode is similarly challenging. Essentially, instead of gems, some slots in the grid are taken by butterflies. If you match a butterfly, it’s freed and flies away. D'aww. Any butterflies not matched at the end of a turn are moved one row up the grid. The longer the game goes on, the more butterflies you get, and my games descended very rapidly into chesslike battles between me and the spider at the top of the grid. To keep your butterflies safe, you have to pull gems out from under them, time their floating up the grid to get the best matches and generally juggle things constantly. It’s a great puzzle game to go with the quick-fire Diamond Mine and straightforward Classic game.
For those who like to take things a little more serenely, there’s Zen mode, which is unending and has funky music. Get your alpha waves on!
You get Bejeweled Blitz as a free download when you buy Bejeweled HD, for frenetic games against friends on Facebook.
Bejeweled HD costs $5.29 from the New Zealand App Store, and my copy is going to work out at less than 1c per hour to run, given how much I’m likely to play it over the next year... For me, that’s great value.
As a time-waster and addictive casual game, Bejeweled HD is one of the best iPad games out.