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Game Review | Bejeweled 3


Game summary: Swap any on-screen gem with an adjacent one to form chains of three or more gems of the same colour. When this occurs the gems disappear and new randomly generated gems fall from above to fill up the empty space. (Wikipedia)

To make things clear from the start, this review is about the desktop series of games and not the mobile versions. Whatever the positives of playing this franchise on a mobile phone or tablet, they aren't relevant here - and Bejeweled 3 on PC really isn't that good a fit between game and platform.

And that's the real issue, as there's no real difference between the two versions aside from being able to play it on a much bigger screen and with better sound. Even then, there's nothing particularly special about how Bejeweled 3 looks or sounds - it's not bad, and it certainly doesn't hamper the gameplay, it just doesn't do as much as it could to take advantage of a PC's power.

But how the game performs isn't the real problem: it's just not the type of game to sit in front of your PC and play for any extended length of time. And unlike smaller indie games, and despite its variety of game modes, it gets repetitive very quickly, and the lack of any audio-visual flourishes just add to that.

There will be people who love these kinds of games, or who prefer the simplicity of the controls over a lot of bigger titles, and that's fine. And you can definitely understand the game being made, because why not? It's a popular, well-known series that a vast number of people will have played at some point, so why not make some virtually-guaranteed money from a quick conversion?

But for me, that's what it feels like: a quick and easy cash in to try and capture some of the mobile market on the home computers too. I criticised Beat Hazard for going over the top with visuals, but some of that excess would have been welcome here.

The whole thing feels stale and a little boring, lacking that 'one more go' edge that the best games of this type have. It's something to play when you have five minutes to kill, but why not do it on a phone or tablet instead?

Why not take advantage of the bigger display and more powerful machines to give the game some flair, or to have a go at re-imagining how the game looks in general. The whole thing just reeks of an opportunity lost and it's disappointing to see such a lack of ambition.

Bejeweled 3 is fun enough, but isn't really suited for desktop play. Most of the modes require attention due to time limits, meaning it's not something you can really do in the background, and quickly proves repetitive despite the variety of game modes.


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