Bejeweled 2 Review

Developer: Astraware Publisher: Astraware
Release Date: N/A Also On: None

Ahhh, Bejeweled, in my mind, at least, it is the classic Palm game. Upon hearing there was going to be a sequel I was skeptical, to say the least. Months go by without any updates on the release and then one day Astraware releases the game to little fanfare. Believe me, the fanfare should have been there. Bejeweled 2 is one of the most fun, complete games ever released for the Palm platform.

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If you’re new to Bejeweled, you’re surely in for a treat. The game consists of an 8×8 grid with 7 different types of jewels. The object of the game is to move two adjacent pieces to form three or more connecting pieces. The pieces then disappear and are replaced with new ones and the process starts over. It’s extremely easy to get into and is insanely addictive. Bejeweled 2 shakes up the old game with the addition of exploding and electric pieces, but more on that later.

Bejeweled 2 features four main gameplay modes: puzzle, action, endless and classic. Two of the modes are left over from the original game, one of the modes is a twist on the old “easy� mode and one is completely new. Action and classic modes are basically the old “hard� and “easy� modes, so there’s not much new to report there. Endless is nearly the same as classic mode but includes the new pieces.

The puzzle mode is the only real new gameplay mode addition and is fun while it lasts. The game is highly reminiscent of the puzzle mode from the Super Nintendo classic Tetris Attack. The grid is filled with a combination of pieces and the object is to clear the screen of all the gems with no new gems falling in place. The early levels are quite easy but soon become extremely difficult. The perfect type of Palm game, if you ask me, is something that you can pick up, play with for a spare minute or two and try to succeed.

Although the new gameplay modes add a lot of playing time, the new pieces are the biggest addition to the gameplay. The new pieces are formed by combining 4 or 5 existing pieces. When 4 in a row are formed, an explosive piece is formed from the remnants of the old gems. When the exploding pieces are used in a move, it makes the eight pieces around them disappear, or explode if you will, as well. When five pieces are formed together, an electric piece is formed from the remnants. When those are used in a move, all of the pieces of the same color will disappear from the board. While the new pieces don’t add much strategy, they bring a little more excitement to the table.

The graphics are top notch for a puzzle game on the Palm. The difference between Bejeweled and Bejeweled 2 is astounding. The gems have a shimmer that wasn’t present in the original, there are colorful backgrounds that, luckily, don’t distract from gameplay. There are new animations used to switch between levels and the effects when the new pieces are used are great too.

The sound is much improved over the predecessor, as well. All I ask for in a Palm game is that the sound doesn’t detract from gameplay and Bejeweled 2 doesn’t disappoint. The sounds all ring with a gem-like tone, and fit perfectly. There are even voice samples, which is quite a feat coming from a tiny speaker.

Bejeweled 2 is much more than a gimmicky sequel. New gameplay modes add replay value and new gem types add much to the excitement of the game. The graphics and sound are polished and are some of the best non-Zodiac exclusive out there. Astraware went above and beyond my expectations for the sequel delivering the next evolutionary step in the series. Bejeweled 2 is a must-buy for anyone that liked the original.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 9.5
Final: 9
Written by Chris Review Guide

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