When Bejeweled 2 launched alongside the iPhone App Store last year, it quickly rose to the top of the sales charts.Despite thousands and thousands of iPhone game releases since, PopCap's classic action-puzzler always seems to perform well in terms of sales.Now, thanks to the addition of Bejeweled Blitz, Bejeweled 2 for the iPhone seems to have cemented itself as one of the most popular iPhone apps around.
No one would question that Bejeweled 2 was an appropriate title for the game when it first launched. After all – the game was quite literally a portable version of the Bejeweled 2 PC game that released back in 2004.But the developers at PopCap have done something truly genius recently – they've added the insanely popular Facebook game Bejeweled Blitz to the app, turning this offering into two games in one.
Bejeweled Blitz is a one-minute variation on the classic Bejeweled formula.The object of the game is to get as high a score as possible in 60 seconds and hopefully outshine your friends.
Because Blitz is a Facebook game, all of your friends stats will be tracked and you'll always have that carrot-on-the-stick “I just need to keep playing until I beat Billy!” experience.
There's a reason why it's so popular on Facebook, and that addictive quality translated to the iPhone version flawlessly.
Blitz mode offers up everything you'd hope to find in the mobile version Bejeweled Blitz, setting a new standard for Facebook/iPhone connectivity.
The game shares all of its data with the Facebook version, meaning your high score on the iPhone app will update to Facebook instantly.If you earn badges or pass a friend on the leaderboard, the app will update your Facebook status just like the regular version would.
You can even play offline and sync up your new high score the next time you connect.
For iPod Touch users, little additions like this are a blessing.
Bejeweled 2 also offers up something I was surprised to find in this iPhone version of the popular gem matcher: flawless gameplay.So many other match-3 games on the iPhone have failed to impress that it only seemed natural that the genre was doomed on this platform from the start.Not so it would seem, as Bejeweled 2 for the iPhone offers up the most comfortable and intuitive controls for a match-3 game that we've ever seen.Swiping your finger to switch gems is so natural that it's amazing no other match-3 game has pulled it off so perfectly.After playing this for hours on end, it's going to be a real challenge for me to get back to matching gems with a mouse and keyboard.
While Bejeweled 2 may be flawless in terms of gameplay and Blitz adaptation, there are a few things that kept this release from reaching perfection.The puzzle mode from the original Bejeweled 2, where you'd have to use your noodle to solve gem-based dilemmas, was nowhere to be found.We also found it really annoying that every time we logged into Blitz mode our Facebook status would post “Jim is playing Bejeweled Blitz for the iPhone.” We get it – Jim likes Bejeweled Blitz.But when I'm bringing the game up 15 times a day to play for a few minutes here and there, it's downright embarrassing to see a dozen or so identical Facebook updates in a 4 hour period.With no way to turn this off, Blitz mode comes with a badge of humiliation that fills up your wall and bothers your friends.
PopCap could have easily released Bejeweled Blitz as a separate iPhone game, but instead chose to treat their fans to a double dose of gem-swapping genius.While the lack of puzzle mode was disappointing and the constant status updates an annoyance, there's really no need to mince words here; in terms of iPhone gaming, Bejeweled 2 is a match-3 masterpiece.If you're even the slightest fan of match-3 gameplay, consider this title a must-buy.