In the world of match-three games, there’s Candy Crush and then there’s everything else. The best of the “everything else”, in my opinion, is Bejeweled, the first match-three game I ever played and the one I am still horribly addicted to (unlike Candy Crush). The design studio behind Bejeweled, Popcap Games, have just released a new title on Android and iOS called Bejeweled Stars, with a whole bunch of addictive new gameplay potential.
There’s a lot more Candy Crush in Bejeweled Stars than the Bejeweled I’m used to, with verbal annotations like “excellent!” and “extraordinary!” when you bust a good move and over-the-top gameplay animations. There’s also a lot more glitz and glamor going on, with a mini July 4th every time you clear a level, complete with uplifting choir vocals. There are a couple of characters to coach you along your way and the stars you collect for clearing levels go towards completing constellations.
But the real joys of Bejeweled Stars are the new gameplay features like power-ups and board features like currents. Currents are streams that flow through your board, regularly shifting the gems caught in them. You’ve got sky gems you need to collect to create special powers, crystal blocks to smash (basically Jellies) and other obstacles and challenges, all to be completed within a set number of moves.
At first there might seem to be an overwhelming number of new things to learn and relationships to remember, but it doesn’t take long to get into it. In-app purchases are available, but there’s really no need to invest in them, as the gameplay is simple enough and the only real reason you’d spend money would be to continue playing a little sooner when you use up all your hearts or can’t wait for a new power-up to be “cooked up” in the lab.
If you’re in the market for a fresh new match-three game with some old-school flavor, give Bejeweled Stars a look.