|Bejeweled 2 by Astraware,
Reviewed December 2004 by Marc Morgan
you've ever played Bejeweled by Astraware before, you know
that the gameplay, graphics and sound are almost flawless,
and that it's worth all the awards it's gotten. Astraware has
released Bejeweled 2, a new version of Bejeweled with new game
modes, sounds, and graphics. But does the sequel live up to
its best-selling predecessor?
There are four modes of gameplay:
Classic, Puzzle, Action, and Endless. In all four modes,
the object is to clear as many gems as possible by matching
them in threes, fours, or fives. If you match four gems,
it creates a power gem that will blow up surrounding gems
when it is matched with two more of the same gem. If you
match five gems, it will create a hyper cube. In Classic
mode, the object is to match up gems to get points and
after a certain amount of points, you will advance to the
next level, until you stop playing, or you lose. In Puzzle
mode, the point is to beat at least four out of five levels
or "pods" in a galaxy to
warp to another galaxy. The levels here are all pre-defined,
and you can go back to the levels by warping back to the
galaxy that they were played in. The goal is to finish all
the galaxies. In Action mode, the object is to match as many
gems as possible before the timer runs out. Every time you
match gems, the timer fills back up, though, so if you are
good enough, you will play for a long time. In Endless mode,
the object is to match gems to get points and fill up the
bar at the bottom of the screen to advance to the next level.
When you advance to the next level, a jewel fills in a hole
in the display that comes up. The object is to fill all the
holes in. Although there are different modes, the object
of the game stays the same: to match up three or more gems.
Like many other puzzle games, Bejeweled is controlled by
tapping the screen with the stylus. To select a gem, you
tap it, and to select the gem next to it to switch, you tap
it, and they swap. This is very simple and allows for a fast-paced
gaming experience. During the game, to bring up the pause
menu, you tap on the button that looks like a vertical equals
sign, and it slides out to show buttons for the main menu,
help, options, mute, and to continue playing. During gameplay,
there is a button with a question mark on it, to give you
hints. Also, in Puzzle mode, there is a button that looks
like five dots around a dot that will bring up the galaxy
map, and in endless mode, there is a button that has a picture
of a jewel on it to bring up a display of what holes you
have filled in with jewels.
A puzzle game is probably one of the hardest games to make
good graphics for, especially because there is usually no
need for 3D characters, etc. but Astraware usually makes
the best of it, and this trend continues with Bejeweled 2.
The menus are clear and easy to read and understand, and
the use of color is spectacular! Astraware went with a futuristic
theme for the graphics, and this worked well. The colors
of the gems are bright and vibrant, and there are many different
shapes and colors of gems. There are some 3D effects on the
buttons on the screen, and this added to the already easy
to read and understand interface.
In Bejeweled 2, there are a few different tracks of music
that go along with the game. Each of them is different, but
they are all catchy and compliment the game nicely. The music
doesn't get annoying, and if you need to turn it off or down,
you can do so from the options menu. There are also sound
effects that come on when you tap on a gem, tap on a menu
selection, match 3 or more gems, etc. The sound effects compliment
the game perfectly and if need be, you can always turn them
down or off from the options menu.
Bejeweled was an almost flawless game, but Astraware managed
to make it even better with the release of Bejeweled 2. Adding
new game modes made Bejeweled 2 even more addicting than
its dangerously-addictive predecessor. The music and sound
effects compliment the gameplay, and the stylus control is
the best method for playing. Bejeweled 2 is the type of game
that will make it onto the best-selling list and collect
Playing Hints and Tips
Don't take your time, as going faster will get you more
points in a shorter amount of time.
Try to match up four or more gems at the same time to
get more points.
.Match up gems with power gems and hyper cubes to create
explosions and get loads of points.