Bejeweled is the ultimate thief of time. PopCap unleashed a monster onto the unsuspecting marketplace; hungry for what little free time us workhorses have left and demolishing relationships, beloved pets and exam results in its wake.
The sequel, Bejeweled 2, added a host of nifty new features to the original classic... and by combining it with the addictive social smash Bejeweled Blitz at a miniscule price, PopCap have created one of the few essential apps on the iPhone.
Just in case you don't already know, Bejeweled is all about matching 3. Players are presented with a grid of shiny gems, with the objective being to match rows or columns of three or more gems by switching adjacent jewels. The more you match, the higher you score, and enormous lines deliver explosive power gems and even board-annihilating hypercubes.
It's simple, satisfying casual fun at its very best. As well as the classic standard mode that challenges players to make as many moves as possible before lockling the board, Bejeweled 2 features a timed Action gametype and an endless infinite mode that's entitled... well... Endless Mode.
The accessible mechanics and slick controls make for a ferociously addictive experience. Put simply, it's worth the asking price by itself.
However, it's Bejeweled Blitz that arguably provides the major sticking point - and value - of the package. You've only got a single minute to make your matches, but the aim of the game is to continually strive for higher scores and use unlocked money to purchase boosts and powerups. Seamless Facebook integration allows you to see your friends' scores by the wire - and gives you incentive to crush their embarrassingly puny efforts. Weekly tournaments make for stiff competition that's great for whiling away the morning commute.
The iPhone is the perfect platform for Bejeweled Blitz, which commands a premium price on Xbox Live Arcade and even as a standalone PC retail release. Spending a few minutes on the train or in front of the TV is much more rewarding than grinding away on Facebook itself, and more than worth the nominal fee. The only real gripe is the lack of experience levels, but trust me, it's addictive enough.
Oh, and don't bother with the microtransactions. I'm sure I didn't need to tell you that.
Presentation is outstanding across the board. Sure, there's not really that much to do, so what little there is is polished to an impeccable shine. Bejeweled 2 + Blitz looks fantastic on even older-generation devices... even through bleary eyes after a marathon stint.
- Bejeweled 2 is a classic
- Bejeweled Blitz is outstanding; features seamless Facebook integration
- Polished visuals
- No experience levels in Bejeweled Blitz
- Crazy addictive
- Seriously. You have been warned.
Summary: Bejeweled 2 + Blitz is a worthwhile part of any app collection. Regardless of your ability, age, playing habits and tastes, it will eat any amount of free time you can spare.
Developer: PopCap Games
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
Price: £0.59 - App Store