|Composer(s)||Peter Hajba, Alexander Brandon, Allister Brimble (Nintendo DS)|
Mac OS X
iOS (known as Bejeweled Classic)
Windows Phone 7.x and 8
|Release||December 7, 2010|
Bejeweled 3 is a tile-matching puzzle video game developed and published by PopCap Games. It is the fifth game of the Bejeweled series. The game was released as a download for Windows and Mac on December 7, 2010, later being ported to the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Xbox One through the Backward Compatibility Program, Nintendo DS, iOS, Android, Java ME, and Windows Phone. It features four new game modes, as well as the four standard ones from Bejeweled and Bejeweled 2.
The core objective of Bejeweled 3 is similar to the previous installments in the series. Players swap any on-screen gem with an adjacent one to form chains of three or more gems of the same color. When this occurs the gems disappear and new randomly generated gems fall from above to fill up the empty space. If these falling gems land into another three-or-more pattern, a chain reaction known as a cascade is caused. Unlike earlier versions, players can now match other gems during a cascade.
The game features new sound effects and the ability to match more than one set of gems at one time (a feature that debuted in Bejeweled Blitz). Bejeweled 3 also has a badge system that functions as an achievement tracker and an additional set of goals for the player to complete.
In most versions of Bejeweled 3, players can play eight different game modes, each with different objectives. Four of these game modes were new to the series and four are recurring gameplay types in the Bejeweled franchise. The Java ME port of Bejeweled 3 only has 4 modes, the 2 standard modes Classic and Lightning and the 2 secret modes Diamond Mine and Butterflies. The full eight modes of Bejeweled 3 are:
- The classic Bejeweled gameplay mode from previous installments of the game. All players have to do is continuously match rows containing three or more gems by swapping one gem with its adjacent counterpart. The game ends when there are no more possible moves.
- One of the new additions (similar to Bejeweled 2's Endless Mode), where players match gems without an end, as calming music and positive affirmations play in the background. Players can continue playing this mode endlessly as the replacement gems in the game are randomly generated in a way such that there is always one more move for the player. There is also a special breath modulation mode which features a tracking line which moves back and forth, it produces several breathing patterns which players are encouraged to match. The overall objective of this is to slow the breathing rate of the player so as to allow the player to calm down and de-stress. This mode was created by PopCap in conjunction with scientists which uses biofeedback to help players relax. The Zen Mode also includes a wide variety of aural tones which include tones which are outside the range of human hearing. One tone is played into one ear, while a different tone is played into the other so as to trick the brain into hearing a different frequency. This is done in order to facilitate meditation as well as induce brain waves which are usually associated with deep sleep or dreaming. The scientific efficacy of this has not been established and has been referred to as fringe science.
- The game's time trial mode where players have to get as many points as possible within one minute. Players can extend their playing time by lining up special Time gems, which are then added to the Time Extension tank. Also, players can create chains at a fast pace to gain a "Blazing Speed bonus". As the game progresses, the Multiplier will increase by one and the music increases in tempo. The mode is similar to that of Bejeweled Blitz's gameplay. In the Google Chrome version of the game, it is called Speed.
- A series of forty puzzles and eleven mini-games which include rescuing special butterfly gems, digging through diamond mines, battling ice storms, and more. These puzzles are unique and each has an objective other than ones in the standard Bejeweled gameplay.
The game features secret modes that aren't initially available to the player. These modes have specific requirements to meet in order to unlock them.
This mode features "butterflies" that start at the bottom and move up one space every turn. These butterflies can be swapped and form matches just like normal gems and appear in the same variety of colors. A butterfly is collected when it is either matched with other like-colored gems or detonated by a special gem. A counter to the left of the board keeps track of the number of butterflies collected. While there is no bonus awarded for this number (the final score is calculated solely on the value of the matches made during the game), the points awarded for removing butterflies from the board increase as more are collected. After each move, one or more additional butterflies will appear on the bottom row, replacing whatever gem(s) were present there before. Clearing spaces below a butterfly will drop it down the board, and clearing the space directly above a butterfly will prevent it from moving up the board on that turn. The aim is to score as many points as possible before one of the butterflies reaches the top and moves off the board into the clutches of a waiting spider, ending the game. Reaching level 5 in Zen Mode will unlock this mode.
This mode features mining for gold, treasures and crystals. Dirt and rock squares appear in the bottom five rows of the board, and a line appears between the sixth and seventh rows of the board. A dirt square is cleared when one of the gems immediately adjacent to it is matched or detonated. Rock squares are cleared similarly but require multiple matches or detonation by a special gem. Extremely hard rock can only be removed by detonation. Points are earned by clearing squares with treasures or precious metals. The game starts with a time limit of ninety seconds. Clearing all the earth above the line will add thirty seconds to the timer while clearing all the earth on the board will add ninety seconds. After the time bonus is awarded, any remaining earth moves up the screen until the top of it reaches the fifth row, and new earth appears at the bottom to simulate digging deeper into the ground. Existing gems in the upper rows are pushed off the top of the board when this happens. A depth indicator increases by ten meters for each line of new earth added to the bottom. Digging deeper yields higher value treasure but also more of the more difficult to remove rock squares. The game ends when time runs out, which breaks the digging machine. Finishing four minigames in Quest mode unlocks this mode. This is the most popular mode in Bejeweled 3.
This mode features rising columns of ice that extrude from the bottom of the screen upwards. The aim of this mode is to stop the ice columns from reaching the top of the board, which freezes the game board, ending the game. Making matches above or below ice columns decreases their height, and making a vertical match will shatter that ice column completely. As matches are made, a meter fills up, and every time it is filled, the scoring multiplier increases by one and all ice columns are pushed down. Once an ice column has reached the top, a skull sign appears over it and a secondary ice column rises up. Once this hits the top, the skull turns red and the gems start shaking. If the ice column isn't lowered down after a few seconds, the board freezes and the game ends. If the player stays in the game for seven and a half minutes, then it will go to sudden death. That means the secondary ice column will hit the top immediately after the primary reached the top. Earning 100,000 points in Lightning mode will unlock this mode.
This mode features poker-style gameplay. There is a pack of cards alongside the gameboard, along with a score table. Every time a match is made, a card is turned over with its gem on it. After five moves, the resulting "hand" is evaluated and its value is added to the running score. For example, five gems of the same color would be the best hand, a "flush." Making a move where both swapped gems make a match will produce a card with both the selected gem and a smaller gem of the secondary matched color. This card can represent either of the two gems, and the game automatically selects whichever one produces the better hand. Matching a Flame Gem or a Star Gem will increase the score for that hand, and matching a hypercube produces a wildcard that adjusts itself to produce the best possible outcome. Every so often, a skull appears on the lowest value "unlocked" outcome, locking it out. In order to guarantee the player's ability to play another hand, the player must make a hand that matches one of the "unlocked" outcomes. If the player matches a "locked" outcome, a Skull/Luck Coin is flipped with a 50% chance of ending the game. The players can remove one skull and thus "unlock" the highest level outcome by filling up a meter that increases according to the value of the hand made, with better hands filling it up more. Skulls will appear more often as the game progresses. Reaching level 5 in Classic mode will unlock this mode.
Jason Kapalka, co-founder and chief creative officer at PopCap and co-creator of Bejeweled, said: "The challenge in creating a new version of Bejeweled is to innovate and keep it fresh and exciting without losing touch with the gameplay that millions of people love. So we're very careful when we make changes to the core game, which is why it can take so long! [...] We've worked hard to make sure Bejeweled 3 retains the classic appeal of the earlier games while bringing a host of exciting new features to the table."
PopCap considered premiering the game's Zen Mode as a tool to help people to quit smoking, where the player would be given hints during the gameplay on how to deal with their addiction. However, PopCap eventually decided to remove the feature, because if the game discussed smoking its ESRB rating would claim it contained "tobacco use". The references to smoking were replaced with a more general "bad habits" section.
Bejeweled 3 became available in retail and online on December 7, 2010, on PopCap Games and their exclusive partners. On June 21, 2011, it was announced that Bejeweled 3 would come to PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo DS later in the year. On October 19, Bejeweled 3 was released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 in both a digital download and disc-based format and Nintendo DS. On December 8, 2011, PopCap released the game also for iOS based on Bejeweled 3 with the title Bejeweled. It originally contained only three game modes: Classic, Zen, and Diamond Mine, and on February 29, 2012, an update added Butterflies to the app. Later, Lightning and Poker Mode were added. In 2015, the app was renamed Bejeweled Classic. In the most recent update, Ice Storm was added. On February 18, 2013, Bejeweled 3 was released for Windows Phone 8 as an Xbox Live title, however, with the name Bejeweled Live + and as a timed Nokia exclusive (Nokia Lumia phones only). A Windows 8 version of Bejeweled Live was released on the Windows Store, featuring Classic, Butterflies, and Diamond Mine modes.
As of now, Popcap (now owned by EA Sports) is focusing on Bejeweled Blitz and Bejeweled Stars.
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