Players: 1+ Player Game | Release Date: 07/10/08 | Genre: Puzzle
No matter what type of device you own, there should be a PopCap game available for you. To make good on the promise to find a PopCap game on every device, the 2.0 Firmware for iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPod Touch all have Bejeweled 2 available for purchase. And for a price of $9.99, it is an addictive bargain for the newborn firmware.
PopCap Games was careful to not change the formula or tamper with the gameplay in Bejeweled 2. This ensures that users who are familiar with the classic puzzle blueprint will not find any unexpected surprises when loading up the iPhone version. Players will have the standard two modes to choose from: Classic and Action. The Action mode is a fast-paced and frantic ride that has the player race against the clock to score as many points as possible. Classic mode, on the other hand, is my preferred gameplay mode and has the player continue to match gems, fill up the level meter, and attempt to not run out of moves. As you match more gems or combos, the level meter will fill up. The more efficient you are, the quicker you will reach the next level. But if you run out of moves, the game will end.
Visually, the iPhone version of Bejeweled 2 rivals even the Xbox 360 version. The game is stunning and features very detailed backgrounds. I was also equally impressed with the warp-hole that appears as the current level is sucked in and you move on to the next world. As one of the first premium titles for Apple's newest devices, I was in awe of how beautiful this game looked. If this is how a first generation iPhone title looks, I can't wait to see how future generations will appear on the platform.
One drawback to the current SDK (Software Development Kit) that powers the 2.0 firmware is that players are not able to use their own music. This causes some degree of frustration for me personally because I would love nothing more than listening to podcasts while playing. It should be pointed out that the fault lies, in this case, with Apple and not PopCap Games. The SDK does not allow for developers to use custom music in games. Hopefully this is corrected soon and PopCap games will be able to offer free upgrades to current owners of the platform. Besides this issue, the sound and music are both very nice. While it is true that the music can become a bit repetitive, this issue is one I can overlook.
Players control the action in Bejeweled 2 by using their fingers as their stylus. You simply select a gem and move it to any space that has another gem on it. If you successfully match three or more colors in a single row, then you will score points. The more successive colors you match in a row, the more points you get. If you are able to match up four gems, a special glowing gem, of that same color, will appear. Once you clear this gem and explosion will occur, destroy many gems around the previously mentioned glowing one, and can even set off a chain reaction with other glowing gems. I was quite surprised to find that using my finger for the stylus worked better than an actual stylus, made it easier to pick up and play, and the game is extremely portable. Players can quit their Bejeweled 2 game at any point and once they start up again, they will be prompted to continue the previous game. When you are stuck in a long line and need something to occupy your time, nothing satisfies the desire to kill time than an addictive round of Bejeweled 2.
Available on the iTunes App store or directly from your iPhone, iPhone 3G, or iPod Touch for only $9.99, Bejeweled 2 represents a lot of value for your gaming dollar. If you enjoy Bejeweled or are looking for a puzzle game for your shiny new 2.0 Firmware, this title belongs on your device.