I’ve been a Bejeweled fan for many years now, having played the original Bejeweled on an old PC. The simplicity of the game, combined with the subtleties of strategy required to master it make it one of the most addictive games on the PC for the casual gamer, and it was inevitable that a Facebook version would be released – in fact, the makers have just released a fully blown version of Bejewelled Blitz that links seamlessly with your Facebook version, giving you slightly better graphics, but exactly the same game play that has made it so successful on Facebook.
The Facebook version and the downloadable version are practically identical. The game is difficult at times and is very addictive as you’ll find yourself playing just one more game. The graphics and sound are pretty decent even on the Facebook version, but it’s the game play that makes this stand out as an excellent game.
I enjoy the original Bejeweled games, but for me the challenge of trying to get a high score in one minute is uniquely addicting – it also means that I can play a quick game or three before going to bed, without spending 30 minutes playing the game.
It’s an intensely strategic game, with the bonus gems becoming very important to your strategy – it can get a little frustrating at times when the bonus gems simply won’t line up and regardless of how good your strategy is, you won’t be able to consistently get very high scores, thus there is a fair amount of frustration at times.
While the bonus gems you can buy are useful, to me I would have preferred to be able to earn these gems through quality game play, rather than simply being able to earn them by playing a lot – it takes a little bit of the challenge away from the game for me, knowing that eventually I’ll have enough points to buy them.
Overall I find this game very challenging and rewarding; it’s one of those games that you’ll keep coming back to daily to beat your high score. Also, as it links to Facebook, it’s great to be able to have a ‘scoreboard’ that updates weekly; I often come back to the game to beat a friend!
How to play Bejeweled Blitz:
Bejeweled Blitz takes the traditional Bejeweled idea and gives you only one minute to get the highest score possible.
Bejeweled Blitz is a very simple game to play, but a difficult game to master. The idea is two line up three or more matching jewels in a line by swapping adjacent gems – when you do this they will disappear, and other jewels will drop down to fill the vacated spaces. Sometimes you’ll create a cascade effect where the new jewels create additional lines that disappear – doing this will create bonuses and also multipliers will appear.
Bejeweled Blitz add some special ‘gems’ that can be earned while playing, and have some very useful abilities:
Flame – this is earned by matching four gems in a row. This special gem, when linked in a ‘row’ of identical gems (3 or more) will explode, destroying all gems immediately around it – if you can get multiple flame gems close together you can really pile on the points and bonuses.
Star – line up gems in a cross, or t shape and you’ll earn a Star Gem – when these are linked in a ‘row’ of identical gems, they destroy all other gems in the same row and column as them! These are particularly powerful if you can line them up with other bonus gems!
Hypercube – match five identical gems in a row and you create a Hypercube – swap a hypercube with any gem, and all gems of the same color are destroyed on the board – the more gems destroyed the higher bonus you will get during this process.
Multipliers: as you progress through the minute you can earn multipliers; these are usually earned when you have some ‘combination’ moves, where one move you make leads to many other ‘moves’ as the gems cascade and make more ‘strings’. After linking a multiplier in a line of three identical gems, you then get all points multiplied by the bonus – in a good game you can get many multipliers – the best I’ve achieved is a x8 multiplier!
In addition to these gems there are some other ways in which you can get bonuses:
Speed – if you keep on finding ‘rows’ of gems to get rid of, you will build a speed bonus – this bonus can soon add up and can really bump up your score.
Speed Super Mode – if you attain a Speed Bonus of 1,000 and keep on clicking at a good rate, the Speed Bonus words will light up slowly and eventually you will enter a special Speed Super Mode – for a few seconds, every row you link up will effectively be an automatic ‘Flame’ gem explosion – this can really accelerate your score and is a great way to get many multipliers.
Last Hurrah – at the end of the minute, any unused bonus gems will be used up, potentially giving you a lot of bonus points.
In addition to these bonus gems and modes, you can ‘purchase’ some special gems -every time you play you can earn ‘points’ that accumulate – you can then spend these points on up to 3 of 5 bonus gems – once purchased you get to use these for three games:
Mystery Gem: this places a random special Gem on the board at the start of the game – it can be a multiplier, a Flame, a Star or a Hypercube.
Detonator: this gives you a one use special gem that will detonate all the special Gems on the board – it’s similar to the Last Hoorah and is a good way to gain some quick bonuses.
Scrambler: this gem, placed in the bottom right corner of the board, scrambles the board – this is often a great way to move special gems around so you can use them, or is a great way to keep your bonuses ticking when you are ‘stuck’ – this is a two use gem.
+5 Seconds: this basically turns the game into a 1 minute 5 second game.
Free Multiplier: this adds a x2 multiplier onto the board when you start the game.
Hints and Tips
Don’t panic – one of the best tips for this game is not to panic. Get into a rhythm and don’t let the sound effects distract you. The better the rhythm, the more chance you get of getting into the speed bonus round. I note that as you move towards the speed bonus, the game gets faster and the music gets a little more frenetic. Also, as you reach the last ten seconds, the sound effects let you know that time is ticking away – personally I found that I played far better without the sound effects!
Think ahead – try and plan your moves if you can – you don’t have to wait for ‘gaps’ to be filled and can continue playing as explosions are going off etc – this often allows you to create some impressive cascade streaks! Sometimes I find that if I rush the game, I miss out on creating some special gems – waiting a tiny split second can make a huge difference sometimes.
The Flame is a very powerful gem and if you can manage to group them close together and then set one off you can get some pretty decent cascades going; you also tend to get multipliers quicker.
The Star is also very powerful although can be difficult to get – it’s mostly useful when you are able to use it to ‘explode’ Flames and also catch multipliers. I find that trying to get The Star often leads to lower scores as you really slow down trying to sport patterns – I therefore tend to rely on the Hypercube or Flame, which are easier to achieve, and then may get the odd Star through cascades and a little bit of luck.
The Hypercube is often a good way to get a lot of quick points, and also I tend to use it when I have a multiplier of the same color on the board, so I can quickly collect them. It’s also a great way to create some pretty decent cascades if you plan the use of it well.
The Hint Button – this really is a last resort button as it stops the ‘speed’ bonus, but if you lost your rhythm, use the hint button to get you back on track!