When you are Electronic Arts and you hold the rights to a really popular, well known, puzzle game it can be tough to re-invent for new audiences. The same old Match 3 formula is simply not enough to catch the eyes of today’s more picky gamer. EA has to do something unique and interesting with the former “leader” of Match 3 games. They did with Bejeweled Stars and I don’t mean just adding In App Purchases either.
The team behind Bejeweled Stars have been paying attention to the staples of mobile gaming today. Levels are rated with up to three stars, you are limited in lives (lose a level, lose a life) and super flashy graphics. Sometimes those flashy graphics get in the way of knowing what needs to be done next though.
At the heart of Bejeweled Stars is the classic gameplay that puzzle fans love. On top of that are much more modern graphics running in an engine that is capable of some 3D effects. Complete a level and the camera zooms in on the final jewel that you needed to clear. It is a small thing but it helps with the feeling of accomplishment when beating a tough level.
The challenge level in Bejeweled Stars is about right. I reached level 23 before losing my first life and then lost my second on level 28 or so. This gave me plenty of time to learn the ins and outs of the new options such as crafting gems and new takes on finishing a level. There are many ways to finish a level- from clearing special blocks to capturing butterflies that float up the screen with each move. There is plenty of variety in Bejeweled Stars and that is certainly welcome as many competitors in this genre are still competing at a 2002 level.
There is a story to Bejeweled Stars but I frankly didn’t care about it. I was more interested in completing the various zodiac signs, oops sorry constellations, as I progressed. For the time being Bejeweled Stars will be stay installed on my phone. The levels are quick and easy to grasp, but hard to beat.
There are In App Purchases but for the purpose of my reviews I don’t use them. I have spent a whopping $5 on In App Purchases in my gaming career and that was to get the final pieces needed to get Jesus in Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff just so I could say I have Jesus in my game.
Bejeweled fans, your new fix is here. Those burned out on Bejeweled, give this new one a chance, it may bring you back into the fold.
Bejeweled Stars by Electronic Arts
Genre: Match 3 puzzle
Platform: Android (version reviewed) and iPhone/iPad
In App Purchases: Yes
Rated: E for Everyone on Google Play and 4+ on iTunes
Available now on Google Play and the iTunes App Store