For all you lucky puzzle lovers out there, may I take the time to interrupt you from your Sudoku or crossword to bring you the good news that Bejeweled Twist is on the Nintendo DS. That’s right, you can play Bejeweled on your trusty DS. Usually puzzle games are quite a niche market, because they are based on a simple premise. Hopefully Bejeweled Twist will be an entertaining entry into the puzzle genre.
There are 4 game modes on offer in Bejeweled Twist. Classic mode is unlocked the first time you play Bejeweled Twist; Zen is the game to play when you want a relaxed session (there are no Bomb, Doom or Locked gems to contend with); Blitz is a quick game which contains loads of Bomb, Doom and Locked gems, whilst Challenge mode has you attempting to advance across 13 planets completing various challenges. It’s a reasonable array of modes to play with, but considering how simple the Bejeweled Twist premise is, there should be at least another two more modes alongside the expected multiplayer functionality.
Tapping with the stylus or buttons twist the gems in a clockwise motion. The aim of Bejeweled Twist is to create a match of 3 or more gems, when there is a match the gems disappear and new gems drop down. You earn points every time you match the gems. You generate more points by making consecutive matches. Each match you make increases your Chain Meter, which in turn increases your multiplier by one. This multiplier can be increased all the way to 10. If you fill the Chain Meter all the way twice you’ll receive a super charged fruit gem! Bear in mind though, that one non-matching twist will result in your Chain Meter going back to zero. The controls are very simple and work well in this format; you won’t find yourself getting frustrated with a missed tap or an extra twist getting in the way.
With the inclusion of Bomb and Lightning gems things can get very chaotic very quickly, as multiple explosions can occur on the board ruining your attempted chain scores. This makes Bejeweled Twist become a very intense game in the later stages as your screen fills with these destructive gems. The Doom gems can technically kill you if you don’t manage to match them, so these are the ones to get rid of first. To move and match a gem in Bejeweled Twist you need to rotate whichever block of 4 gems you think will be of most benefit to your gem matching strategy. This rotational structure allows you to hopefully plan ahead and make the most of the chain bonuses that are available, although it may take you a while to get used to the fact you have to move 4 gems with each turn.
Graphically there isn’t a great deal to comment on. The gems are easily distinguishable; the same can be said about the special gems such as the Bomb and Doom representations. The menu is easy to navigate, whilst the scoreboard is very clear to read. The trip to each planet is pleasant looking, but you’ll forget it’s there after a while because you’ve been concentrating on the tapping and twisting. There’s not a great deal of sound either. It’s mildly satisfying to hear the bombs explode or the lightning gems crack as you match them successfully, but none of the Bejeweled Twist experience is lost if you decide to turn the music off.
Bejeweled Twist is a decent puzzler that will undoubtedly take up many hours of your time if you give it a chance. As a standalone game it’s a bit of a struggle to recommend Bejeweled Twist to most gamers, but if you’re a fan of the Bejeweled mechanic then this is surely a must have for your collection. If you love Bejeweled then add another 2 to the rating score, for everyone else, Bejeweled Twist would be a good game to take on a train or plane journey to pass the time.
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