It may be old, but this gem-shattering puzzler still has us hooked.
Bejeweled may not be as old as Tetris (2001 to 1984), but that doesn't make it less seasoned. The highly successful gem-shattering puzzler has appeared on a variety of different platforms, especially various mobile devices, where fans can happily take their collective addiction on the go. That said, iPad users will go bonkers over Bejeweled HD, a $3.99 iPad exclusive that is without question the definitive version for Apple's tablet.
It starts with the modes, of which, there are four great ones. Classic's alive and well, just in case you prefer to break those shiny stones the traditional way. However, those interested in mixing things up can always opt for Butterflies, where the goal is to match colored insects with their respective gems to avoid falling into a spider's clutches. Then we have Diamond Mine, which goes in reverse, where instead of the gems moving up the screen with each consecutive turn, the object here is to match them vertically to dig into the soil, finding gold along the way. Finally, Zen Mode lets players customize their Bejeweled experience, swapping the in-game music for rain pitter-pattering off leaves, the ocean, crickets or sounds of the forest; there's also the option to download Bejeweled Blitz for free. At the same time, matching special gems allows players to create Flame gems, Star gems and other useful power-ups that do a great job clearing the screen of unwanted fluff and producing cool special effects.
While on the subject of aesthetics, Bejeweled HD comes with retina support for the new iPad, making this the snazziest version yet. Prepare yourself for crystal-clear visuals and gems so real they might as well tumble off the screen onto your lap. Yes, the game works just fine on the iPad 2, but the aforementioned tablet is by far superior when it comes to color and clarity.
On top of that, you'll find a detailed stat-tracking system that records your total number of matched gems, best maneuvers and other details to obsess over. Of course, feel free to view the online leaderboards to snap back to reality; yes, there are better players than you.
All of this makes Bejeweled HD an essential purchase for puzzle fans that wish to get the most value for their dollar. It comes up just a bit short in regards to revolutionary features, but that matters little as the minutes played turn into hours. Simply put, a must buy for each iPad owner.
Review code provided by PopCap.
What's Hot: Four unique modes, retina display support, detailed stats, online leaderboards, badges to collect, link to download Bejeweled Blitz, Zen Mode puts us in a happy place.
What's Not: Bejeweled veterans have (mostly) seen it all before.