XBLA Review: Bejeweled 3

Bejeweled is back with its third incarnation and one would be forgiven if they scratched their heads and wondered why. After all Bejeweled is a match three game and there is only so much one can do with a match three styled game. Right? Wrong and PopCap games has proved such with Bejeweled 3.

Sure the classic game mode of Bejeweled is still, at its core, the same as it ever was. That in itself is not a bad thing being as Bejeweled is the best match three game to ever exist. However, the justification of Bejeweled 3 lies in the various game modes that PopCap has created to give players that extra ingredient to fuel their already addictive game.

While there are seven other game modes outside of Classic mode, the one that deserves the most conversation is Quest mode. While nowhere near as involved as something like Puzzle Quest, Bejeweled 3’s Quest mode does add some structure to the core experience. The mode throws a series of challenges at the player that increase in difficulty as each new tier is unlocked. Most of these challenges are timed variations on the other available game modes but Quest mode does have a few unique surprises for players.

Each of these Quests, be it clearing a certain amount of gems in a set amount of moves, reaching a certain score level or clearing out different spots on the game board all offer a great change in pace from the tried and true match three gameplay Bejeweled has always had. Not every challenge is going to be for every player though and I found myself avoiding some altogether, thankfully the game has a wide array of challenges and there should easily be something for every type of player.

As if the core gameplay or the new structure game mode was not enough, Bejeweled 3 has an array of game medals to unlock by performing grand feats as well as spending copious amounts of time with the game. With this unholy combination, PopCap has fully unlocked the path to addiction.

Aside from playing wonderfully, Bejeweled 3’s gameplay also looks quite good. That may sound funny considering what the game is but making gems explode in Bejeweled has never been quite as satisfying as it is here. The screen becomes ablaze with special effects and cascading gems fall all over the gameboard. However, the game does falter a bit when you look past the gameboard as it is populated with generic backdrops that just do not match the same levels as the gameplay itself. Additionally, the game is loaded with a soundtrack that attempts to sound epic but does not quite hit the mark; and let us not get started on the gruff announcer.

Minor quibbles aside, Bejeweled 3 is everything a fan of this type of puzzle game could want. It still features the classic Bejeweled gameplay but it adds so much more to the package that fans will be hooked for quite some time.

Pros: Classic match three gameplay, Quest mode.

Cons: Mediocre soundtrack

5* out of 5

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Author: Chris Scott View all posts by
Chris is the Reviews Editor here at Vagary as well as the co-host of The Perfectly Sane Show and the Movie Dudes podcast.He is long time gamer and film fan that also happens to be full of opinions and a desire to share them with others, even if you don't want to hear them.