Pros: Great variety of play modes; pretty graphics; neat variety of effects; nifty music
Rating: 5 out of 5
Bejeweled 2 Deluxe is produced by and available from PopCap Games for Mac, PC, PDA, and iPod!
In the simplest classic mode, Bejeweled 2 is comprised of a grid of gleaming colored gemstones. You swap gems with their neighbors to create strings of three, four, or five gems of the same color in a row, at which point they vanish from the grid and more drop in from the top of the screen. Unlike the original Bejeweled game, four gems together creates a power cube (use it in a combination and it blows up all of the gems immediately surrounding it) and five creates a hypercube (swap it with a gem of any color to destroy all gems of that color on the board). This adds a great deal of variety to the game, and hey, how can you beat an entertaining pattern-matching game that lets you blow things up?
As you score points you fill up the bar along the bottom (create cascading combos for greater point awards), and whenever it fills up completely you level up; run out of possible combos to make and your game ends. Level up enough and you might unlock bonus games–for instance, a variation on the classic game mode called “twilight” that alternates bringing new gems in from the top and bottom.
The “action” mode causes the bottom bar to deplete itself even as you try to fill it; if it runs out, your game is over. A puzzle mode requires you to think your way through trying to clear a board. Finally, the endless mode is for folks who want something relaxing to while away the time with–you never run out of possible combos, so you can play for hundreds of levels.
I find the music in this game to be surprisingly catchy, and haven’t turned it off as quickly nor as often as I have in other games. The minimal sound effects are also enjoyable, and the gemstones and backgrounds are far prettier than in the original Bejeweled game. PopCap has added so much variety and sparkle to their crown jewel that if you enjoyed the original, you’ll go nuts over this new edition! It’s a simple enough game to learn and play, but it can keep you occupied far better than solitaire. You can choose between relaxation (classic or endless) and a challenge to either your wits (puzzle) or reflexes (action)!