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|Release date(s)||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 multi-selling Bejeweled franchise yet the third official title. The game was released as a download on December 7, 2010, featuring a variety of four new gameplay modes (plus four old ones from Bejeweled 2), high-definition graphics and sounds as well as all-new 65 badges to achieve in game.
The core objective of the game is essentially the same as the previous installments in the series. Players are supposed to swap one gem with an adjacent one to form a chain of three or more gems of the same color. When this occurs the gems disappear and a new bunch of gems which are randomly generated drop from above to fill up the empty space. When falling gems automatically line-up a chain reaction known as a cascade is caused. Unlike earlier versions, players can now match other gems during a chain reaction. In addition to high-definition graphics, new sound effects and the ability to match more than one set of gems at one time (a key feature that debuted in Bejeweled Blitz). Bejeweled 3 also has a badge system, with some of the badges reserved for the most elite gem matchers.
Eight modes of gameplay are available in the game including four new modes as well as four traditional modes from Bejeweled 2. These are:
- The classic Bejeweled gameplay mode from previous installments of the game. All players have to do is continuously match a row containing of 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 is a special Zen Mode (similar to Bejeweled 2 's Endless Mode), where players can play the game without end, as calming music and positive affirmations play in the background. This mode is tailored to relax players with relaxing aural tones, ambient sounds and breath modulation. 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 breathing pattern. 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.
- It is essentially a 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 is 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 will go faster. Players may feel familiar with this mode as it already appeared as "Blitz Mode" in Bejeweled Twist and being almost exactly the same with Bejeweled Blitz 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 as well as others. These are specially tailored puzzles which have an objective other than the standard Bejeweled gameplay.
Secret modes aren't initially available, as players have to meet specific requirements 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.
- Diamond Mine
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 harder 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.
- Ice Storm
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 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. Earning 100,000 points in Lightning mode will unlock this mode.
This mode features poker-style game play. 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 match 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 being able 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 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.
Talking about the game, 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. Sometimes we had to resort to smoking some dank, OG bud in order to come up with a lot of the new concepts, but quite a few of these ideas didn't make it. So we're very careful when we make changes to the core game, which is why it can take so long (along with all the slow-going smokes)! [...] 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."
The game's Zen Mode was at one point considered for helping people to quit smoking, where the game would try to give the player hints on how to stop their addiction to smoking. However, PopCap decided to remove it as having the slightest mention of smoking would result in an ESRB rating mentioning tobacco use. It was replaced with "bad habits".
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 digital download and disc based format and Nintendo DS. On December 8, 2011, Bejeweled 3 was released for Apple's iOS platform, however, with the "3" removed. It is based on Bejeweled 3, only there are three game modes: Classic, Zen, and Diamond Mine. A February 29, 2012 update added Butterflies to the app. Later, Lightning mode was added. Poker Mode was also added later. 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).
The game's music was composed by Peter Hajba and Alexander Brandon using the open source tracker software OpenMPT. The official soundtrack is called Bejeweled 3: A Musical Quest, which used twenty-two musical pieces from the game.  All of the game's commentary is voiced by Zachary Throne, the announcer of Bejeweled Blitz.
|Bejeweled 3: A Musical Quest|
|2.||"Bejeweled 3 Theme"||1:38|
|3.||"Classic Mode - Part 1"||2:42|
|4.||"Classic Mode - Part 2"||2:34|
|5.||"Classic Mode - Part 3"||2:09|
|6.||"Classic Mode - Part 4"||2:19|
|11.||"Zen - Part 1"||2:36|
|12.||"Zen - Part 2: Schein Zwei"||2:36|
|13.||"Zen - Part 3: The Return"||3:40|
|14.||"Zen - Part 4"||3:02|
|17.||"Take Your Time"||3:06|
|18.||"Turn By Turn"||2:22|
|22.||"Bejeweled 3 Remix Medley"||4:24|
- Brian Crecente (November 1, 2010). "Bejeweled 3 Brings Poker, Ice Storm to Addictive Matching Game This December". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on 4 November 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2010.
- Games.com (October 29, 2010). "Bejeweled 3 arrives online, in stores on December 7". Games.com. Archived from the original on 4 November 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- PopCap Games Staff. "Bejeweled 3 Features - Official Site". PopCap Games. Archived from the original on 4 November 2010. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- "Bejeweled 3 Readme". PopCap. PopCap. December 7, 2010. Archived from the original on 19 December 2010. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
- Mike Fahey (November 1, 2010). "Bejeweled 3's Zen Mode Will Put You In A Trance". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on 4 November 2010. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- PopCap Games (October 29, 2010). "Bejeweled 3 Game Trailer". YouTube. Archived from the original on 5 November 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- "Bejeweled 3 Soundtrack: A Musical Quest". January 2013.