So, after what seems like years of waiting, not to mention a month later than PopCap indicated, Bejeweled 2 finally lands on Google’s Android platform.
Bejeweled is the classic match three puzzler. Presented with a screen full of multi-coloured jewels, the idea is to slide the jewels in one of four directions, swapping with the adjacent jewel, in an attempt to make rows or columns of three or more jewels.
If you match four gems, you create a power gem which, when itself is matched, gives you a score boost and also causes a big explosion. The power jewels are the key to building impressive combo’s and cascades, not to mention building up that all important score.
There is a built in hint system that automatically highlights a gem that can be moved on the screen if you get stuck.
That’s basically it for the basic gameplay, and this Android version is as addictive as ever, although it does have some major problems.
First of all, there is no Bejeweled Blitz. The Facebook enabled mode was the reason this skyrocketed on iOS after it was added to the game, and there will be a lot of disappointed buyers out there who, after buying this will realise that their favourite mode isn’t included. A real shame. Classic, Action, Zen and the Puzzle mode did make the cut, however.
Secondly, performance. When you manage to find a device that the game will play on(many reports indicate that the App Market won’t let certain handsets download the game, and it isn’t available in all countries check here to see if you can get it), the game is rather sluggish, and seems to slow down a lot when the phone is performing background tasks.
The game also bizarrely seems adds a load of graphics to the phone’s photo gallery and music to the audio player, be careful not to delete them as they are actually assets for the game! Very professional.
This feels like a beta, and that has to reflect in the final score below. The basic magic gameplay is still there, but choppy, which, when added to the missing Blitz mode, means that you will be playing a version of the game that, to be brutally honest, isn’t too many steps up from the free Flash version available on PopCap’s website.
Extremely disappointing, let’s hope that, when PopCap eventually does release Plants Vs Zombies and Peggle on Android they actually release finished products.