- Bejeweled: Twist (2009 on Nintendo DSi)
Description official description
Bejeweled Twist is a tile matching game, where the player rotates groups of four jewels to create rows and columns of three or more matching gems. In the Classic and Zen modes, the objective is to make enough matches to fill a tube at the left side of the screen to move to the next level. There's a chain meter at the top of this tube, that builds up with matches in a row multiplying the points, and making a fruit jewel appear when full. A box at the tube bottom shows the sequence of matches needed for bonus points.
Obstacles appear randomly on the game board. The coal can't be matched, but it can be exploded by one of the power-ups gems. The locked jewel is chained to its place and can't move, but it can be removed with a match. Bomb gems display the number of moves allowed before they explode, destroying the board and ending the game. They have to be matched before their counters reach zero, otherwise a revolving wheel-of-fortune appears that stops in one of two values, skulls or gems, that either detonate or disarm the bomb. This mini-game becomes more difficult every time it comes up.
The power-ups appear after making matches of four or more gems. A four jewel match creates the flame gem, that explodes when matched removing all surrounding jewels. A five jewel match creates the lightning gem, that destroys a column and a row at the same time in a cross of fire.
With the exception of Classic Mode, the other modes are unlocked with continuous playing. Zen Mode is similar to Classic, but is more relaxed without the bomb and locked jewels. Challenge Mode is a puzzle mode, where the objective is to perform a task, like removing all gems of one color, or making a number of matches in a row. In Blitz Mode, the goal is to accumulate the maximum amount of points possible within a time limit.
Credits (Windows version)
120 People (105 developers, 15 thanks) · View all
|Lead Artist and Fruit Choreographer
|3d Art and Hyperspace Wrangling
|[ full credits ]
Average score: 75% (based on 19 ratings)
Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 21 ratings with 2 reviews)
Bejeweled Twist is similar enough to Bejeweled 2 to appeal to the hordes of casual gamers who were hooked on it, but different enough that they're not paying $20 for a prettier version of the same game. While still geared toward mainstream hardware, it uses 3D graphics to display some beautiful visual effects in the background (thanks in part to former demo-coder Chris Hargrove, I'm sure). The option of 1920x1200 resolution works perfectly for my new widescreen display. If you liked the backgrounds of otherworldly landscapes, they still appear in the Zen (previously Endless) mode, which is good for practicing moves without frustration.
There's nothing drastically new about the gameplay, but changes here and there make it interesting. There is more strategy and planning this time around. The new Challenge mode is no longer the same objective over and over with different layouts. There are now a variety of challenges testing skill, strategy, speed, or just plain luck. The hardest ones really are hard and won't be finished in one sitting.
Instead of swapping gems to make matches (which has since been copied by countless other Bejeweled clones), the only move now is a clockwise rotation of four gems. It's confusing at first, but opens up new possibilities, especially when matches can be set up through multiple moves (although the game, through bonuses, encourages as many consecutive matches as possible). Still, it might've been nice to have an additional play mode with the traditional gem swapping as well.
The speed mode (now called Blitz instead of Action) got a little more basic - instead of racing against an increasingly rapid time bar which, if you were fast enough, could go on for a long time, it is now is fixed at 5 minutes. That makes this play mode repetitive and more predictable. Blitz and Challenge are supposedly "locked" modes, but unlocking them is far easier than the second set of modes (Twilight, Hyper, etc) in Bejeweled 2 - they could've just been available from the start.
The music is a little more varied this time, with different sections playing on different levels. It still has a nice tracker style to it, but doesn't match the quality of Skaven's tracks, which are similar to the last game but are now mostly confined to the Blitz mode. If they had four years, they should've spent more time on the music, which is an important part of the casual gaming experience.
The goofy, booming low voice is back, now goofier, lower and even more booming. A more soothing, more.. human voice might fit this game better. It doesn't startle you at game over anymore, but now there's a jingle that's almost happy.
Finally, I have to ask: "Fruit Bonus Dance". What the hell is this about? How the whole jewel theme suddenly becomes fruit is inexplicable, and the dance bit seems thrown in to amuse the gaming moms, I guess.
The Bottom Line
The king of casual games returns doing what it does best - giving positive feedback! More compliments, bonuses everywhere, and taking level-ups outside the role-playing genre.
In my review of Bejeweled 2, I'd wished that the bombs or other gems would appear in the regular play mode. Well guess what, bombs now appear and are in fact a key part of the gameplay. You no longer run out of moves, but instead get bombs and other nasties in your grid which must be dealt with (blown up or matched) or else the game is over. Locked (unmovable) gems and coal (unmatchable) shake things up in the later levels as well.
Bejeweled Twist loses a little of the last game's simplicity and the ability to get hooked right from the start. But it does keep things interesting and adds features many people were looking for. Call it "extreme casual" gaming.
Windows · by Andy Voss (1861) · 2008
Bejeweled Twist is an interesting addition to the series. Similar to the other games, the main goal is to create sets of jewels, however Twist utilises a twisting mechanic instead of a swapping one.
Music and graphics are on par with Bejeweled 2 - a feast for the eyes and ears.
One or two extra gameplay modes would have been nice.
The Bottom Line
Worth a try if you want to experience something different with the match 3 genre.
Windows · by q151 (89) · 2014
1001 Video Games
Bejeweled Twist appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
Related Sites +
Bejeweled Twist Microsite
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Macs Black.
Game added October 31, 2008. Last modified September 11, 2023.