Kyle Orland writes:
"0:00 I've played the original Bejeweled and a few other match-three-type games before, but never for very long. Even the critically acclaimed Puzzle Quest left me feeling empty. For the most part, I'm just not good at sensing the patterns needed to succeed in these games.
0:01 Some quick loading and ethereal music plays over a sort of purple spiral black hole. I enter my username and receive a "Trainee" ranking automatically. The music has switched to astro-funk.
0:02 The "How to Play" videos show how I can twist squares of four gems clockwise to make lines of three or more of the same type. Four or more in a row creates explosive "flame gems," while five gets me a "lightning gem," each of which can explode to get rid of nasty, unkillable coal. Locked gems can't be twisted. Bombs have to be removed before they asplode. If I make a bunch of lines in a row, my score multiplier goes up.
0:04 Playable modes include the untimed Zen mode, the five-minute Blitz mode, the classic, er, Classic mode and the locked Challenge mode, which has "brain-busting puzzles." Let's start with Blitz, as five minutes is usually my tolerance for these kinds of games.
0:05 Before we start, a cut scene shows a brightly colored 3-D spaceship flying toward a massive space cube. This seems a little unnecessary for a match-three game. "GO!" says a guttural voice. And I do!"