The Bejeweled series of games is one of those series that you can’t get away from. Different versions of the game have made their way onto the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, Wii, OSX, Windows, iOS, WP7, and just ten days ago, Android. Bejeweled 2 in particular has been masterfully ported between platforms before an Android version was ever released; can the same be said for the app running on ‘droid of choice? Let’s find out:
Bejeweled 2 by EA for Android is available for any phone running 1.6 or higher. There are currently two versions available in the Market — one for Verizon customers only, at $2.99, and one for everyone else, at $0.99 (more on this later). The original download is 1.3MB and requires and additional ~25MB download after the game is installed.
The point of Bejeweled 2 is simple, slide jewels one spot at a time, horizontally or vertically, and try to align three of more jewels of the same color. The concept has been done time and time again, but no one does it better than Bejeweled.
When first starting the game, you can participate in three different modes: classic, action, and endless.
- Classic Mode
Classic mode is the most basic version of the game you can play. Players must work to get rid of gems as they fill a bar located on the bottom of the screen to advance to the next level.
- Action Mode
Action mode is slightly different that classic mode. Instead of working to fill the bar at the bottom of the screen, it starts halfway full, and depletes depending on how poorly you’re playing. The game ends when you run out of moves, or the bar is emptied all the way.
- Endless Mode
Endless mode is pretty self-explanatory: it’s a more relaxed version of classic mode that doesn’t have a time limit, and, theoretically, can be played endlessly. According to GamesRadar, Mike Leyde played endless mode for three years and hit the programmed score limit, ending endless mode.
The settings you can change in Bejeweled 2 are incredibly limited. The only thing you can change from the main menu is the sound-effects volume, music volume, and turn auto-hint on or off. The same goes for the in-game options while playing classic, action, and endless modes as well.
The graphics are one of the key factors that set Bejeweled 2 apart from similar titles. The gems look great, the animations are smooth, and the backgrounds are fantastic. All of the on-screen menu keys are well made too, featuring a glossy look and custom font that appears throughout the game. It only takes one level of the game to realize that Bejeweled 2 has a very polished look sometimes not found in other Android titles. Pop Cap and EA certainly didn’t skimp out in this department.
When it comes to performance, I can only speak for myself. On my myTouch 4G running CyanogenMod 7, everything has performed flawlessly. I have switched in and out of the app for two days straight without a single issue. Animations were quick and seamless, there was absolutely no stutters or hiccups; everything ran great. Unfortunately, if Market commenters are telling the truth, not everyone has been so lucky. There seems to be a lot of complaints about blank screens and incompatible device errors that lead me to believe this is one game you need to rigorously test as fast as possible so you can get your money back should anything happen. Speaking of money…
I would have liked for the final word on Bejeweled 2 to be all positive. After all, the game looks good, plays well, and is really quite entertaining. But unfortunately, there’s this issue with compatible versions in the Market that drives me insane. Right now, if your are on Verizon you can go purchase Bejeweled 2 for $2.99. Everyone else, you can buy the same game for $0.99. This has been pointed out several times, as the original Verizon version was tagged at $7.99, but EA doesn’t seem to think there is much of an issue here. Until EA gets this situation sorted out, I can only half-heartedly recommend this game. If you’re willing to look past this snafu, there’s definitely a lot of fun to be had.