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Genre: Quiz/Puzzle/Strategy :: Players: 1 :: Released: 27/9/06

Bejeweled 2 Review

Developer: Astraware

Pros

Game Features

Rating/100

A game mode to suit everyone

Cons

Sound could be a little better

Sound
Help
Save Option
Highscore
Suspend/Resume
Bus/Tube Friendly
See Compatible Handsets

84

Graphics

85

Sound

76

Controls

88

Playability

92

Lastability

81

Review Details
Handset Pocket PC T-Mobile MDA Vario

Costas Stephanides’s Review

Review Date: 27/9/06

Another great conversion to the pocket format.


As the Pocket PC has such a plethora of different games available, we have tried to steer clear of casual games for your 'handheld computer'. No matter how much we fight it, casual games work really well on the mobile format and not every game can be as unique as Broken Sword. Popcap games know more than a thing or two about casual games... Cascade, Collapse and the list goes on. One of their most well known games is Bejewelled. It may not be the first of its kind but it is definitely one of the most polished and well known gem matching games.

There you go, I've said it, it's another gem matching game and represents the pinnacle of casual gaming. You all know the score, select and swap adjacent gems to create strings of three like coloured gems and watch them go boom. Chains can be created and big points can be racked up. What makes this stand out from the rest? Well it's not the sound, that's for sure. It's all rather tinny and the sound effects are nothing too amazing and there isn't that much in the options to play around with.

The graphics are of a decent quality. No time has been wasted on faffing around with a 3D version and the graphics are crisp and clean with a few nice special effects and backgrounds. Where the game really comes to life is with all the different game options on offer. The basic concept is the same for most of the modes. Matching gems fills up a bar at the bottom and once the bar fills you move on to the next level. The bigger the points, the quicker the bar fills up. Try and get big points by creating chains. Small chains are pretty easy to spot but the bigger ones are mainly down to luck. Bombs and 'hyper cubes' can be formed if you managed to match 4 or 5 gems at once.

There are four game options on offer: Classic, Arcade, Endless and Puzzle. In Classic, try and play for as long as you can before you run out of possible moves (there's no shuffles in this game). Endless does exactly what it says on the tin. The game is still split into levels but the game ensures that there is always at least one legal move so play this one at your leisure. Arcade can be a bit more frantic and is basically a race against the clock. The bar at the bottom is always dropping down and you have to try and match the gems quickly and try to still fill the bar.

Puzzle mode is slightly different and offers a bit more of a challenge. Here you have to try and match all the gems. The layouts are all set and there's only a few ways to complete the levels. This could have been a very difficult mode that could nip in and out of but it has been seriously dumbed down with the help function. It's all too easy to tap the question mark to find the next correct move. In fact you can do this from start to finish for all 60 odd levels.

Finally the controls. Gem matching games are so suited to this format. All you need to do is tap each adjacent gem and the swap is made. In fact you can even drag the gems if you really want. The Pocket PC version only uses the stylus and the buttons are redundant. The stylus approach works very well, there's no cursor to highlight and move around with the D-Pad and in fact works better than the mouse.

Overall Bejewelled 2 is a well put together package. Think of it as more of a time waster than something that might challenge the little grey cells.