I went to the PopCap Bejeweled Twist event today and I just want to give you guys some heads up about the new game that PopCap unveiled to the world today. Also you can expect some more coverage of this very soon over the next day or so. I’ll show you guys more pictures as well as tell you all what I thought about the new Bejeweled Twist as I did get some hands on time with it.
PopCap Games, the leading developer and publisher of casual games, introduced an irresistible innovation in its flagship Bejeweled® franchise this evening, at a gala celebration in downtown Seattle. Bejeweled Twist™, the first new Bejeweled title in almost four years, puts a completely new spin on the top-selling puzzle game that PopCap pioneered eight years ago. Featuring a revolutionary new style of play and the highest production values of any casual game in history, Bejeweled Twist is available now for PC via online download at www.popcap.com, with online partners such as MSN Games, RealArcade, Zylom, WildTangent ORB, Telstra and STEAM offering the game on November 18. On that same date, Bejeweled Twist will arrive on shelves at leading North American retail chains including Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Amazon.com and Target carrying a North American retail price of US$19.99. The all-new game will be also be localized for European markets and become available via PopCap’s international websites next month. Bejeweled is far and away the most popular casual game franchise of the 21st century, with more than 350 million copies downloaded and over 25 million units sold.
Formally unveiled this evening at a gala launch event at Seattle’s Experience Music Project museum and attraction, Bejeweled Twist is already winning over fans of the original Bejeweled and Bejeweled 2. “There’s no doubt this is the world’s greatest casual video game,” declared Cindy Robertson, who wrote, published and sells a strategy guide for Bejeweled 2 under the pen name Julia Gemstone. “PopCap has done it again, taking a ridiculously simple concept and honing it into an utterly enthralling experience that can be relaxing, challenging, exciting or incredibly strategic, depending on your mood. With so many ways to play, Bejeweled Twist provides thousands of hours of fun for anyone. If Bejeweled is hot chocolate, Bejeweled Twist is a double mocha latte!”
“It took considerably more time, more money and more people than the original Bejeweled, but we feel it was worth every ounce of that effort,” said Jason Kapalka, chief creative officer and co-founder of PopCap, and co-creator of all three Bejeweled titles. “We promised ourselves we’d come up with something really new for ‘the next Bejeweled’ and we must have gone through at least a hundred ideas before settling on the ‘twist mechanic’ in the new game. Then it was a question of making that mechanic as fun and intuitive as possible, and that took a lot of tinkering and tweaking. But we’re really happy with the final result. We believe the new game will be immediately recognizable to Bejeweled fans, and as easily accessible to novice players as the original game, but allow far more flexibility and freedom in play. So it can provide a challenging game for those who enjoy strategy, a fast-paced blitz for players with a passion for action, and a relaxing, Zen-like experience for those just looking for a quick stress-busting break.”
Bejeweled Twist removes the barriers of traditional match-3 games. Instead of swapping adjacent jewels to make a set, players rotate an entire 2×2 block of gems clockwise in an effort to create a line of three or more gems of the same type. Further, in Bejeweled Twist players don’t have to make a match with every move – instead they can freely rotate gems anywhere on the board, allowing far greater liberty of movement and vastly increased strategic freedom to plan combinations, cascades and chains.
New Features of Bejeweled Twist
Virtually every aspect of Bejeweled Twist is new and different from the previous iterations of Bejeweled, including:
Stunning visual and audio effects – the highest production values of any casual game, from high-definition imagery and widescreen play to subtle audio effects and a custom-composed soundtrack designed to enhance each of Bejeweled Twist’s four modes of play
Endless rewards – from instant replays and bonus multipliers to stats and rankings
Deep play – the more you play, the more you’ll discover new ways to play
All-new elements – new gem types, obstacles, challenges, and modes of play (see additional details below)
New Special Gems:
Flame gems are created by matching four gems of the same kind at once. When matched with like-colored gems, these fiery jewels explode with an incendiary blast.
Lightning gems are created by matching five gems of the same kind. When matched, they fire bolts of explosive destruction in four directions at once.
Fruit gems are rare but powerful gems that can only be created by making lots of consecutive matches to max out the chain meter. When the chain meter reaches its zenith, one gem on the grid is transformed into a special Fruit gem, which, when matched, vaporizes all like-colored gems, among other powerful effects.
· Bomb gems: These appear in later stages of the game and count down with every move you make. Eliminate them via matches or adjacent explosions from Flame or Lightning gems before they reach zero; if you don’t, only the last-minute disarm spinner can save you.
· Locked Gems: Locked gems can still be matched, but they can’t be moved. Break free of them with like-color matches and special gems.
· Coal: These inert rocks can hamper your ability to match gems, but they deliver a sparkly surprise when you burst them open with Flame or Lightning gems!
Bejeweled Twist has four game modes: Classic and Zen are available from the start, and you unlock the other modes as you progress:
· Classic: The essential version of the game, Classic features Bomb gems that tick down to a deadly detonation. You need to clear them before they hit zero or it’s game over!
· Zen: You literally can’t lose this in this free-form variant that is in some ways more a relaxation exercise than a puzzle. Explore dozens of alien worlds as you hone your gem-matching skills without the pressure of obstacles or time.
· Blitz: This timed mode is perfect for both hardcore arcade players and those who only have a few minutes to spare. You have just five minutes to maximize your score in this championship variant.
· Challenge: For a more cerebral experience, Challenge mode offers a dozen separate puzzle worlds, each with seven levels of difficulty and a final infinite stage. This mode is for the serious problem-solver.