I am desperately behind on writing reviews, but I have a good excuse: I’m too busy playing games. Haha ... . Really — except the editor is not so much with the laughing.
Lately I seem to be spending a lot of time playing Facebook minigames. I’m not sure why, exactly. I have a veritable smorgasbord of full-size games all calling for my attention. I won’t even begin to admit how many MMORPGs I’m currently subscribing to while I play free games on Facebook.
I think the trick is that they’re all broken down into little bite-size chunks. You’re not really a game addict if the game only lasts a minute ... never mind that you’ve played several hundred of those minute-long games (probably not all at once, though).
I’ve played many of the full-size versions of Bejeweled (in various names and incarnations). The basic premise is that you swap two objects to make a match of at least three of one kind of object in a row. The matches disappear, you earn points and all the little objects drop down on the screen with more filling in from the top. In Bejeweled, as you might guess by the name, you’re matching little sparkling jewels. If you’re good, you can play for quite a while on the full-size version.
It’s the one-minute timer that makes Bejeweled Blitz like gamer crack. Sure I have time to play a game. It’s only one minute. Hah! And 20 or 30 minutes later, I’m still cranking away, trying to knock my friends off their positions above me on the high-score ladder. Blast it!
Bejeweled Blitz is guaranteed to get my adrenalin pumping. I only have a minute, so I’m making matches like a mad woman. Three in a row gets me a match. Four in a row gets me an exploding gem. Five in a row gets me a gem that lets me blow up everything of a given color on the board. One T or L match (two threes joined together) gets me a pulsar on the board. A match with that baby shoots lightening all the way across the board — as well as top to bottom — in that line. Multiple matches in sequence gets me a bonus multiplier. With enough multipliers, the points really rack up.
Thanks to the latest incarnation of Bejeweled, I can keep making matches even as gems are falling into place from my last match, adding onto my score the speed bonus for making continuous fast moves. If I go fast enough long enough, the board catches fire and every move is an explosion.
Finally, just to put the cherry on the top of this sugar-packed sundae, after time is up, every unexploded bonus (including unmatched multipliers) on the board goes up in sequence, letting you squeeze out every last drop of scoring goodness.
Just by itself, the game would keep me coming back for more. Add in seeing my place on the friends’ ladder, and I’m helpless in the face of my addiction. Apparently I’m competitive — go figure. I have spent many a night telling myself, “Just one more game!” trying to knock just one person one step below me on the ladder.
Bejeweled Blitz is a flash game, so you will need a flash player installed. Having a social account helps (like Facebook), but I understand there’s a stand-alone version as well. The sound effects are exciting, and the graphics are great for what they are. The action gets my little neurons hopping.
For those that want to analyze their gameplay after they’re done, players even get a little chart breaking down how they scored in five-second blocks. I usually don’t look ... unless my game was totally awesome, and then I want to gloat to myself for a few seconds until I start the next game.
I highly recommend Bejeweled Blitz — unless you have an addictive personality and a need to sometimes get more than a few hours of sleep a night.