Posts Tagged ‘ Puzzle

Bejeweled Blitz Download Version Released

Bejeweled Blitz from Popcap has been a smash hit on Facebook for months now, but most Blitz fans probably know that the game’s roots are as a downloadable PC game. This week Popcap is bringing things around full circle – a new, downloadable version of Bejeweled Blitz has been released.

The new PC version is for sale for $19.95 – the standard price for Popcap’s downloadable PC games. To help ease the price-point pain for Facebook gamers that are used to playing blitz for free, Popcap is including 1 million Blitz coins with every copy sold. Players also get 50,000 coins just for downloading and trying out the game – no purchase necessary.

The new PC version includes a handful of other small additions and improvements, including a new achievements system, full-screen play, and enhanced sound and graphics. As a Mac gamer, hopefully an OSX port is on the way?

Bejeweled Blitz Announces Bigger Prizes

As Bejeweled Blitz addicts probably already know, when you play your one minute Facebook burst of Bejeweled, you aren’t just killing a little time. You’re also entering yourself in a weekly contest. Every week a variety of prizes up up for grabs, with a laptop grand prize.

Developer Popcap has decided to up the ante for March’s weekly tournaments, however. The grand prize this week is one of 16 iPod Touches. An iPod Touch might be a smaller prize than a laptop, but with 16 of them being awarded, the odds of actually winning one are much higher (albeit still very very small).

The true news here is that later this month Popcap is giving away a brand new, Mazda3 i Sport 4-door sedan! Winning a car just for playing a little Bejeweled? Sounds like a good deal to me! To be eligible for the grand prize you must sign up for email notifications. And you and your Blitz friends must achieve a combined score of 1 million points.


First Look: Bad Apples

Bad Apples from Metaversal puts a unique spin on the very well-known “match 3″ puzzle sub-genre. With a great, polished art style and innovative gameplay, this title could become a very big Facebook puzzle hit if Metaversal takes the time to build in social hooks.

The basic gameplay should be familar to puzzle game fans. Players swap two fruits, and when a set of three is matched, they explode and earn the player points. The hook is that the board is also littered with “bad apples.” Match these, and the player actually loses points. Match too many, and it’s game over.

So what’s the solution? After a few rounds I figured it out. A third type of fruit, a spiky crusher fruit, is also present. This fruit moves down its column, crushing the fruit immediately beneath it at the start of every turn. So the trick is to line up the bad apples underneath the crusher, so it will eliminate them for you, allowing you more room to match the good fruits. Strategic! Easy, Medium, and Hard difficulty levels are available.

The game looks great and is a lot of fun. So what’s the downside? Bad Apples on Facebook is essentially an advertisement – a demo of the iPhone version. The Facebook release isn’t limited – it includes all the iPhone features. It’s a full game. There is just zero Facebook integration. You can’t invite your friends, you can’t compare your score to theirs… there are no social hooks of any kind.

Bad Apples is fun and free, and definitely worth playing. But without any social hooks it is unlikely to ever become a big hit. Fingers crossed that Metaversal realizes this and is prepping some Facebook-specific improvements.



Bejeweled Blitz Apologizes with Free Coins

Popcap rolled out its major Bejeweled Blitz update last week, and despite a beta test, the release did not go smoothly. The game experienced intermittent downtime lasting for over four days. In Popcap’s defense, the downtime appears to have been the result of simply too many players pinging the game all at once, rather than true software bugs that could have been caught during the testing period.

To apologize for the downtime and win back their rabid fans, Popcap is giving all players who check in this week a hefty 50,000 coin bonus. To put things in perspective, you can expect to win 500-1000 in a typical round of Bejeweled Blitz, and the boosts themselves range in price from 2500 to 7500 coins. So, this is a BIG giveaway just for coming back and playing a round.

Thanks, Popcap! Free Bejeweled Blitz coins… sure beats having to earn them.

Bejeweled Blitz Update Coming in Two Days

Popcap’s new and improved version of Bejeweled Blitz has been beta testing for a while now. Today, the company announced that the new release would be coming out of beta and would be available to everyone on Tuesday, January 26th.

We took an in-depth look at the changes last week, but for those not in the know, there are two major additions to keep your eye on: coins, and boosts. Now, every time you complete a round of Bejeweled Blitz, you’ll earn a few hundred coins (or 1000+ if you’re very good). These coins can then be saved up and spent on various boosts, which provide power-ups in-game such as extra time, random power gems, etc.

Bejeweled Blitz is the biggest arcade puzzle title on Facebook – I’m sure Popcap is hoping that this enhancement makes the already tremendously popular even more tremendously popular.

Details on Major Bejeweled Blitz Update

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.

Coins
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.

Boosts
Now, here’s where things get interesting. Players can spend 3,000 coins to buy one of five boosts:

Mystery Gem
Puts a random special gem on the board at the beginning of the game

Detonate
Detonates all special gems on the board. Usable once per game.

Scramble
Scrambles all gems on the board. Usable twice per game.

+5 seconds
Adds 5 seconds to the end of the game.

Free Multiplier
Puts a multiplier on the board at the start of the game.

Hands-on Impressions
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:

Facebook Bejeweled Blitz New Boosts

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.