Bejeweled HD iPad Review

Less than a year ago, the App Store was treated to a wonderful port of the PopCap flagship game Bejeweled. It was a terrific, full-functioning game with several modes to play, achievements to earn, and high scores to gain. The only problem was that it was designed for the smaller screens of the iPhone and iPod touch, leaving iPad users out in the dust or destined to play Bejeweled on an expanded and pixelated screen. Now, with the release of Bejeweled HD for the iPad, large-screen iOS users can rejoice and bask in the retina display gloriousness.

For those not familiar with Bejeweled, it is the quintessential Match-3 puzzle game. A square board is filled with jewels of different colors, and by swiping your finger from one jewel to the other, you can switch their positions to line up jewels of the same colors. Jewels can only move up-down or left-right, not diagonally, and by matching more than three jewels at once, you can earn special jewels that will explode and destroy even more of the board. Your goal here is not to clear the board, but to instead score as many points as possible by creating chains of matches.

Bright and shiny things.

In the Classic mode, you simply go for the highest score possible. By using strategy and patience, you can use the special exploding jewels to rack up points quickly or swap jewels to create several matches at once. Bejeweled HD also has three other game modes certain to keep your attention as well.

In Diamond Mine, you must match jewels to unearth hidden treasures. The bottom of your game board has a layer of earth, and making matches blows away this dirt so that you can dig deeper and deeper. You can also find artifacts hidden under the earth to earn more points. Diamond Mine is more challenging than the Classic Mode because you are timed and your game board is limited in space due to the dirt. You must ‘aim’ your matches for the layer of dirt to dig deeper.

In Butterflies Mode, you must now manage a new kind of jewel: the butterfly jewel. These butterflies can be jewels of any color, but with wings. Your goal in this mode is to ‘rescue’ the butterflies by matching them with at least two other, same-colored jewels. If you aren’t careful and let your butterflies escape through the top of the game board, an evil spider jewel will capture it, spelling game over.

Gem destruction.

Finally, there is Zen Mode, which takes away the pressure and stress of time limits and spiders. The goal in this mode is simply to match jewels, nothing else. Zen Mode even features relaxing music to soothe you.

All of these game modes and features are also in the iPhone/iPod touch version of the app, but what really sets this apart is the colorful and smooth retina display. Gamers playing Bejeweled HD on a new iPad will notice the crisp graphics and animations. The game has never looked better.

It’s hard to discuss Bejeweled without simply gushing about it. It’s a wonderful game with lots of inventiveness and fun. PopCap clearly knows what it’s doing when it comes to the Match-3 genre, and this newest release of Bejeweled is sure to astonish new iPad owners everywhere.

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