Unlike Tetris and Columns, the screen is constantly full, making the challenge all about finding the jewels to match and also creating "chains" to increase the high score. Matching four jewels creates an exploding gem; whereas matching five creates a hypercube, clearing the screen of a colour of choice.
Bejeweled 2 has classic, timed, puzzle and endless modes alongside scoreboards and stat tracking; with trophy unlocks further rewarded by alternative modes.
Like all good puzzle games, Bejeweled 2 is deviously simple. Which is where much of its addictive nature hones from. Matching gems is both addictive and simplistic. However, it's in creating the combinations that Bejeweled gets its hook. By matching hypercubes to exploding gems to other simple combinations you can not only get levelled up quicker, but also improve your score tenfold. The challenge comes from ensuring there is always an available move. The timed mode adds a countdown making the action a lot more frantic than its traditional mode, where the puzzle mode sets you the challenge of 80 screens to clear. With unlockable modes changing the game even further, there's plenty to do in Bejeweled 2.
Custom soundtracks are available for download in Bejeweled 2 but personally we prefer the standard set of tunes included in the package. There's a very ambient, wishy-washy feel to both Bejeweled's presentation and audio which makes the experience extremely relaxing.
While we've emphasised the point that Bejeweled is by nature a very simple game, the inclusion of scoreboards and stat-tracking lend them self perfectly to that "one more go" nature of the gameplay itself.
Bejeweled's presentation doesn't need to be inherently eye-catching but, still, it leaves a lot to be desired. Static images of beach-vistas behind a playing field of simply rendered jewels serve their purpose, but certainly remind you of the fact you could be playing this game for free via your web browser.
There are a lot of modes and content in Bejeweled 2, but they all revolve around the basis of a single theme, matching sets of three; thus it's easy to tire of the formula and the game itself. That time will come after a period of crack-like addiction however.
Bejeweled 2 may lack fancy presentation flare, but it has an addictive quality and enough modes to make it a worthwhile package.
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