Bejeweled Blitz

6.0 Overall Score

Written by on March 9, 2011 in

 

Casual “match-three-in-a-row” puzzlers have taken the world by storm.  They have come in all shapes and sizes.  Yet, the king has always been Bejeweled by PopCap Games.  The lastest installment, Bejeweled Blitz LIVE, is really fun.  It looks good, doesn’t have an irritating and repetitive soundtrack, but plays pretty much like all of the other games with a couple nice twists.

First, instead of giving the player a long time to rack up points, you only have 60 seconds to get the highest score possible.  This allows for quicker play and relies more on mastery instead of sitting there for hours simply grinding for points.  While at times the 60 second time limits feels somewhat constrictive if you want to play for an extended period of time, the matches move quickly from one to the next with little downtime so you don’t lose much momentum..  The biggest difference between Bejeweled Blitz and other Bejeweled games is that you can move jewels even while more jewels are falling.  While this seems like a minor enhancement, it allows for faster cascades and bigger combos.

There are two game modes.  Classic mode switches the selected jewel with any other on top, bottom, or either side.  You choose which one you want to switch with the corresponding XYAB button.  Y is to switch the top one.  X is to switch the left one and so on.  If  switching the jewels results in a match of three or more, then they will all disappear.  If the switch didn’t result an any match, the jewels will switch back to the original position.  The other game mode is borrowed from Bejeweled Twist.  Instead of switching individual jewels you spin, or twist, the set of four to try and make the matches.  Once you switch, the jewels will lock in the new place, which allows for a little bit more strategizing than classic mode.  When you match more than three jewels, you get a super gem.  If you manage to get 4 in a row, you get a Flame Gem that explodes when matched.  If you manage to get 5 gems set in a plus like +, you get a Lightning Gem that will shoot lightning out four ways like the image above, shatter all jewels in its path.  You can also get the Lightning Gem by matching 5 in-a-row in Twist mode.  5 in-a-row in Classic mode, on the other hand, will score you a Hypercube.  This jewel works a little differently.  When you switch with any jewel, all jewels of that same color will vanish.   6 in-a-row in Twist will give you a different type of super gem, the Supernova Gem.  This particular gem will explode with “monstrous” force when matched.  The cool thing about all these super gems is that they will all go off when time runs out, even if they were not matched, creating a last second effect that can score tons of points.  The only exception is the Hypercube, which only needs to be swapped to be used.
Online games now are an option as well as split screen.  The Battle game mode feel reminiscent of Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. The game splits the screen with each player on one side, both for local and live multiplayer.  You can see how the other player is doing which creates a fast paced and exciting atmosphere.  There is a live option for parties of up to 16 people.  These games play out like normal single player games, except everyone’s progress is shown on the edge of the screen.
Overall, Bejeweled Blitz is a really fun game, yet we have seen it all before.  It has some nice additions and does play a little differently than other Bejeweled games, but Blitz is more like an extra game mode than a stand-alone game.  The battles are fun both  online and in split screen.  It creates a fun competition that goes beyond simply getting high scores on the leaderboards.  Most people who want to play it will, regardless of reviews.  It is really fun , and I guess that is the main purpose of this game.  If I had to make a final recommendation, I would say get it.  Unless you already own a Bejeweled game, which then you may think twice, than this is a great time sink and even more fun with a friend if you just need to kill a few minutes.
A download code for Bejeweled Blitz was provided to The Married Gamers for the purpose of evaluation and review.

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Author: Evan J Stark View all posts by

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