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Bejeweled 3 Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Released a full year after the PC game, Bejeweled 3 makes for a solid Nintendo DS puzzler. With eight fleshed-out modes and achievement points, PopCap's newest game is easy to recommend for twenty dollars. Just don't go in expecting the Seattle-based company to have reinvented their popular puzzle game! Rating: 71%
Bejeweled 3
Bejeweled 3 Bejeweled 3 Bejeweled 3 Bejeweled 3
  • Review Score:

  • B
Making a sequel to a popular puzzle game can be a daunting task. Most puzzlers don't have characters or a narrative, instead focusing their attention on a clever gameplay mechanic. No matter how good the concept is, many companies find it hard to innovate on the theme and give customers enough incentive to spend even more money. How many people fondly remember the release of Tetris 2? Did anybody own Columns III? And even though Lumines II was superior in a lot of ways, it will always be in the shadow of the PSP launch game.

Bejeweled 3 suffers from a lot of the same problems that have plagued so many other puzzle game sequels. While the core gameplay is largely unchanged, PopCap Games has decided to toss in every variation on the theme they could possibly think of. I'm not sure that's enough of a reason to invest another thirty dollars into this franchise, but there is enough diversity here to warrant a purchase for those of us who missed the game the first time around.

Bejeweled 3 (Nintendo DS)

Like most puzzlers, Bejeweled has a simple concept that proves to be both addictive and challenging. Each round is played on an 8 by 8 grid, where the goal is to match at least three colors together. Fans of Puzzle Quest (and its many clones) will feel right at home with Bejeweled, as it features the same basic concept ... only this time without the cool magic spells and leveling system.

Matching three colors together is just the tip of the iceberg. Ideally you will want to match four and even five colors together; giving the player high points and, depending on which mode you're playing, cool power-up items that can help clear the board. Each eliminated gem is replaced, with all of the colored gems falling down from the top. Expert players will be able to earn more points by chaining multiple matches all in one turn, which is the kind of thing that keeps people playing long after they've opened all of the extra modes.

There are eight modes in all, though only four of them are available from the start. We start with the Classic Mode, which features the original rules and no time limit. You can go as long as you want, but be warned that the game ends the moment you run out of available matches. Here you'll link gems together in hopes of getting on the score leader board. While the game doesn't offer anything in the way of online score tracking, you can still compete against yourself and others by simply remembering your best score.

Bejeweled 3 (Nintendo DS)

Up next is the Zen Mode, featuring a relaxing mix of music and non-competitive gameplay. This mode acts a lot like Classic, though you won't have to worry about the game suddenly coming to an end. This is in sharp contrast to Lightning Mode, a high-speed take on the Bejeweled theme. Here you'll have sixty seconds to make as many points as possible. The good news is that you can earn more points by matching special gems. This is the perfect mode for expert players looking to rack up as many points as possible without spending the whole day in front of their Nintendo DS.

The most intriguing game type is the Quest Mode, which forces players to fill in a picture by completing a series of unique puzzles. Some of these are as simple as matching a bunch of butterflies, while others have you balancing scales weighed down by colored gems. In one variation you have to find the three museum pieces hidden under the sand by matching colored gems. The trick is to uncover different parts of the eight by either playing field to locate items, a task that requires players to move specific gems into the right part of the field. This is no easy task, especially when the game starts trying more obstacles your way. In order to beat this mode you will need to complete several stages of these variations. I had a lot of fun with these simple, yet addictive mini-games.
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