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Bejeweled: The Best “Match 3 Puzzle game”

Image courtesy of Giant Bomb.
Image courtesy of Giant Bomb.

The following article is an opinion piece by Nolan Ferguson.

With thousands of games available for download, it’s hard to keep track of them all. However, despite there being numerous categories for games to fall under, one specific type dubbed “match-three puzzles” is quite popular. Some apps that fall under this category include Royal Match and Candy Crush Saga. These two games share immense fame; new levels continue to be added to these games as their popularity only seems to grow. Regardless of these two enjoyable games, I firmly believe these games are not the best ones, nor should they be titled the best; instead I’m talking about a less popular one. While this particular game I am talking about does not appear if you Google “popular match-three puzzle games,” I still stand by my point that it should be deemed the best of all other available options. The game I’m talking about is called Bejeweled.

This game is much older than Royal Match and Candy Crush Saga as it was released in 2001 by PopCap Games. Originally the game was a simple single-player game where you complete levels based on scores you earn from making matches and combos. The goal was to get the highest score before your moves ran out. Later on, the game was updated to include different modes that added additional fun to the game.

I believe that Bejeweled is the superior match-three game due to the creative modes they added to elevate the playing experience. The different modes include: Classic, Poker, Diamond Mine, Lightning, Zen, Butterflies, and Ice Storm. While the objective of the game remains similar in each of these modes, each mode provides players with a unique experience each time!

First off is the good old Classic Mode. In this mode, you play the original game that came out in 2001. The object of this mode is to make as many matches as possible to score points and beat levels. The levels in this game are infinite. When you first start, each match is worth 50 points, but as you beat levels, the value of each match increases. There are also no “lives” in the game so you cannot go back and redo a specific level. You lose the game when you run out of possible moves on the board. 

Next is Poker. The object of this mode is to get a Flush by matching the same style of gems in pairs of threes (similar to Candy Crush) five times.  The good thing about this is that it is okay if you don’t get a flush; there are other possibilities to score points. If you do manage to get a flush, it is worth the highest amount of points possible: 50,000. If you match four of the same gem you get a 4 of a kind worth 30,000 points. Then, if you match three of one gem and two of another gem, you complete a full house worth 15,000 points. Three of one gem plus two other gems that do not match each other, you will gain 10,000 points from three of a kind. If you get two gems that are the same, you get a pair worth 2,500 points, two pairs of gems equal 7,500 points, and finally if you make of match of all completely different gems you earn 5,000 points. With so many matching options available, one might ask: how do you lose? Well, it’s simple. As you play, if you move gems attempting to eventually get a match, the game will flip a coin to determine if you can continue until you make the match you are aiming for, or if your game will be terminated. Just like Classic, you will continue playing until the coin lands on game over.

Next up is Diamond Mine. In this mode, you make matches to destroy the dirt on the bottom. You are given a minute and a half to clear the dirt to a certain line. If you clear the line before the timer is up, you gain another 25 seconds to keep digging. As you dig and make matches, you also gain points. Your goal is to dig for as long as you can until your time runs out.

Lightning Mode is next. Here it’s all about speed. This mode is similar to Classic Mode, but it instead has an increased speed. You now have a one-minute timer, forcing your hand as the clock slowly ticks away. You have to think extra fast for this round. Each successful match you make adds an extra five seconds to the time. During the game, you will get a small section called “blazing speed” which provides you with even more points. However, along with offering more points for each match, “blazing speed” also speeds up the round until you make more matches. This power-up happens randomly, so try to get as many as you can. Like Diamond Mine, you keep matching until your timer runs up.

If trying to keep up with a timer seems too stressful, then Zen Mode is for you. This specific mode can help relax your mind as it caters to your individual needs. You can customize the music and game settings in this version, allowing you to tailor the game to fit whatever you need to help relax. The Zen Mode keeps track of your score just as every other mode does, but unlike the others, this mode never ends unless you wish it to, allowing you to relax for however long you wish.

Butterfly Mode focuses on changing some of your matches into butterflies. While most matches simply provide you points, special ones turn them into butterflies; these are the ones you want to specifically look for. Each match you make moves the grid up the screen, something you wish to avoid as there is an evil spider at the top waiting to eat your frozen butterflies. Every butterfly match you make frees them, allowing them to fly away before they’re captured by the spider. Once a butterfly reaches the spider, the game is over.

Finally, the newest mode that arrived is Ice Storm. The object of this mode is to keep the ice from filling up a row in the grid. To do this, you have to make matches. Each match you make will either push the ice back or reset the grid completely. This all depends on the type of matches you make, so make sure to look for good combos! Once a row is filled with ice, the game is over. 

Now that you know all of the modes of this game, it should be easier to see why I believe this game deserves to be number one for match-three games. With all of the various modes, this game can cater to any type of player who wants to play, as well as providing a calming entertainment route. Not only that, but the music, graphics, and animations are smooth and offer more entertainment in the game. You can spend hours playing the different modes of this game. I would highly recommend Bejeweled to anyone who is looking for a fun game to play!

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About the Contributor
Nolan Ferguson
Nolan Ferguson, Staff Writer
Nolan is a first-time journalist for the Hawk Herald website. He is a senior who works hard, has a creative mind, enjoys new ideas, loves to have fun, and makes sure the job gets done on time. Something Ferg is passionate about is programming theatrical lighting to music. In Ferg’s free time he loves to work on his light shows for either Eastern Basketball games or personal shows. You can often find him running light shows during basketball games or even performing light shows during halftime.
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