Bejeweled 2 comes to Android

Bejeweled 2 comes to Android

The match-three game that started it all is still great on Android.

I could start off by saying that Bejeweled 2 is a match-three game - but really, Bejeweled 2 is the match-three game.

For those of you who have never played a match-three game, the rules are pretty simple: Bejeweled 2 presents you with a board full of multicolored gems, and you have to swap adjacent gems to form rows of three or more matching gems. Depending on which mode you're playing, you're either trying to meet a quota of gem-matches or attempting to beat the clock. If you get stuck, Bejeweled 2 will point out two swappable gems (you can also use the hint button, though the game will dock some of your time if you do so).

If you manage to match four or more jewels, you produce a special gem that can blast away all the surrounding gems, or zap all of the gems on the board that are the same color.

Bejeweled 2 for Android is pretty addictive, and it looks great. The graphics are excellent, if a bit random (as they always have been). Behind your board you'll see a variety of fantastical landscapes, and when you beat a level you fly through a colorful warp tunnel. It's confusing but whimsical, which I assume is part of the appeal.

Though this game is good, it's not perfect. For example, while it has plenty of game modes (Classic, Action, and Endless), it doesn't have the newer Blitz mode. In Classic mode, you play until you run out of combinations; in Action mode, you try to make enough matches to beat the timer; and in Endless mode, you just play…forever. Blitz mode, a popular addition in both the Facebook game and the iPhone app, is a timed mode in which you see how many matches you can make in 1 minute. This is probably the most intriguing mode of play--it's short, snappy, and competitive--so I'm not sure why PopCap decided to omit it from the Android version.

The app also seems to be somewhat resource-heavy, and it runs slowly and occasionally crashes if you're running other programs in the background.

Still, Bejeweled 2 is a gorgeous, addictive app that's worth checking out.

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