IGN Review of Bejeweled Twist
After parachuting into the DSiWare Store as a download of just its basics, Bejeweled Twist is now a full-featured game for the DS. The most recent sequel to PopCap's zillion-selling puzzler series has amassed a considerable audience, as you might expect for a title with such pedigree. But Twist is the weakest entry in the series, thanks to the new rotation move that adds complication instead of depth and just slows the once-furious pace of Bejeweled down too much.
As opposed to the DSiWare download, Bejeweled Twist includes the entire game. Classic mode, where you strategically work to match three or more gem colors by rotating quartets with a special cursor, is flanked by Challenge Mode and Blitz Mode, which add considerable heft to the overall package. Challenge Mode, in particular, is my favorite quadrant of Bejeweled Twist's four play modes (the final being the open-ended Zen Mode where you just match without any stress-inducing threats). The challenges including achievable but difficult targets like clearing 70 gems within 20 moves, make three red gem matches in a row, or somehow get 15 green gems on-screen at the same time – which is accomplished by not making any green matches if you can help it to eventually have the required number cascade into the play field. It's unfortunate that Challenge and Blitz are locked away when you start playing. You must hammer through at least ten stages of Classic mode to unlock them.
Of course, gem-matching is complicated by various troubles, such as goal gems that can only be eliminated by getting caught in bomb gem blasts or lighting/supernova strikes. Actually, scoring a lightning gem by matching five jewels is a real highlight of Bejeweled Twist. When you match the lightning gem with its same-colored brethren, sparks explode in all four cardinal directions. If you line up the lightning gem with coal and locked, unmovable gems, you can rack up a massive score. (Another high note: scoring a Mega Fruit Bonus by matching fruit gems like the pattern in the top screen.) I absolutely cannot stand the bombs gems, though. They have a countdown timer on them. If that timer hits zero before you match it, you go into a slot machine minigame to determine if the bomb blows up and ends your game or if you get to move on. A game that relies this much on reasons strategy shouldn't have cheap deaths based on dumb luck.
On the DS, you control Bejeweled Twist's rotation mechanic with the stylus, tapping a quartet of gems to "lasso" them and then tap again to rotate clockwise. Keep tapping until to have your match or until you''ve moved the gems where you need them for a bigger play. Stylus control works perfectly; no complaints here whatsoever. Bejeweled Twist also includes two-player competitive play, but both players need a copy of the game. In an interesting – ahem – twist, you can actually play against another person that just has the DSiWare download. That's very cool and increases the potential audience for multiplayer.
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