Popcap announced this morning on their Bejeweled Blitz fan page that they were looking for players to beta test a new version of the uber-popular gem swapping game. I hit the link, expecting some small user interface enhancements and other minor additions. Imagine my surprise when I saw coins, boosts, and other huge, brand-new features. Never fear, Social Game Central is here to give you the complete scoop, with lots of accompanying screenshots.
Bejeweled Blitz players now earn coins with each and every one-minute round they complete. There are a couple of ways to earn them. At the end of the game they are awarded according to how well you did. It seems like you earn 100 coins per medal you were awarded. Also, during the match itself, coin blocks will randomly fall from the top of the screen. Match these, and earn 100 coins as well. Or wait until the end of the game – you get the coins either way.
Now, here’s where things get interesting. Players can spend 3,000 coins to buy one of five boosts:
Puts a random special gem on the board at the beginning of the game
Detonates all special gems on the board. Usable once per game.
Scrambles all gems on the board. Usable twice per game.
Adds 5 seconds to the end of the game.
Puts a multiplier on the board at the start of the game.
These are definitely cool upgrades to Bejeweled Blitz. I’m not a great player so I was only earning about 500 coins per round. But once I had saved up 3000, I bought a detonator. The free multiplier is probably the smartest boost in terms of improving one’s score but… the detonator sounded more exciting.
The purchase actually awarded me *three* detonators, to my surprise. The detonator exists as a gem on the board itself, in the bottom-left corner. All I had to do was click it, and it lived up to its name, exploding all the special gems I had created. Beware, however. In another round I clicked the detonator with no special gems on the board, and it still used up one of my charges.
Our complete guide to the new Bejeweled Blitz coins and boosts, with lots of screenshots (click any image for full-size):
The boosts announcement. They won’t always all cost 3000 coins:
You’re shown your coin total as soon as you load up Bejeweled Blitz:
Coin Gems fall in from the top the same as normal gems. You earn the 100 coins whether you match the gem or not:
You’re also awarded coins at the end of the game based on your score (please ignore my poor performance):
Once you’ve saved up enough, you can buy a boost from the main menu:
Buying the detonate boost gave me three charges, and placed a special detonate gem on the corner of the board:
…that’s about it! Exciting. As soon as this update goes live, Social Game Central will be here with all the news on how much these boosts cost, and any other changes made between the beta and the final launch.