Bejeweled 3 is here, and kinda huge

You’d be forgiven for thinking that a certain MMO expansion set was the biggest launch in gaming this week. With a playerbase of more than 12 million subscribers, sure, World of Warcraft is pretty big.

But PopCap Games boasts an even bigger playerbase for their Bejeweled series – and with the launch of Bejeweled 3 this week, the number’s set to jump even higher. Want to check it out? We’ve got a demo right here. The first taste is free…!
[img_big]center,6791,2010-11-21/BEJ3_Screenshot_MainMenu_01.jpg,It’s here![/img_big]

Bejeweled 3 is considered “the first true sequel” to PopCap‘s flagship franchise in more than half a decade. The developers have spent that time pouring energy into the game, to make it a quantum leap forward in the match-3 category. It boasts twice as many game modes as its predecessor, eight mini-games, a brand new soundtrack and high-def graphics, to make your jewel-swapping as enjoyable as it can be.

Julia Gemstone, author of the unofficial strategy guides for Bejeweled 2, Bejeweled Blitz, and now Bejeweled 3 (and known to her parents as Cindy Morrison), gushes:

“I’ve played Bejeweled nearly every day for 9 years, and have been astounded at how much more there is to explore and enjoy in Bejeweled 3 than in previous editions. Not only do I get to play my favorite Bejeweled game with new gems and Hypercube matches, but the new Quest mode and secret mini-games are beyond incredible fun! I expected fantastic, and it’s so much more than that. My hat’s off to PopCap!”

There are even 65 achievement badges to pick up too, if you’re into that sort of thing.
[img_big]center,6791,2010-11-21/BEJ3_Screenshot_Quest_03c.jpg,Alchemy quest mode[/img_big]

If you’re a fan of Bejeweled Blitz, you’ll enjoy thenew Lightning mode, which brings all-out, beat-the-clock action to the game. On the flip side, Zen offers a relaxing endless mode, complete with options for meditation and stress relief (including binaural beats, ambient sounds, breath modulation and mantras to focus your thoughts). And Julia’s favourite Quest mode features a whole bunch of unique variants – like Alchemy, which sees gamers trying to restore lost relics.

The four all-new modes of Bejeweled 3 are:

  • Butterflies: Match the butterfly gems to free them before they ascend the board. If they flutter all the way to the top, the spider wins!
  • Poker: Make matches to create poker hands, with better hands scoring more points. Avoid “outlawed” hands as the game progresses, or only a lucky flip of the coin can save you.
  • Diamond Mine: Delve deep beneath the earth by exploding gems to tunnel downward. Unearth gold, artifacts and Hypercubes to score big!
  • Ice Storm: Hold back the rising ice floe in this chilling, speed-based variation. Match gems quickly to keep columns of frost at bay.

Now, if you don’t believe that stuff about playerbase, I’ve got some figures for you. Bejeweled was introduced 10 years ago, and is one of the top 10 video game franchises in history. Apparently, more than half a billion people worldwide have dipped their toe in these addictive waters, with more than 50 million units sold across 17 platforms (I can’t even think of 17 platforms!). 7.5 billion hours have been dedicated to the game, and – wait for it – somewhere around the world, one copy sells every 4.3 seconds. Believe me now?
[img_big]center,6791,2010-11-21/BEJ3_Screenshot_Poker_07.jpg,Yep… poker![/img_big]

…don’t forget, that demo is languishing in our file library, just wanting some attention. Go on, give it some!

This story was featured in Episode 13 of playerattack News:

playerattack News is a once-a-week wrap up of the biggest and most interesting news to hit the pages of playerattack. If you’d like to subscribe, you can do that via RSS feed, through iTunes, or if you’d prefer, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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