I admit it, I am now hopelessly addicted to Bejeweled. I first caught a glimpse of the game on the London underground, and peering in awe over the shoulder of my fellow commuters I was mesmerized. After receiving many an unimpressed stare from my fellow travelers in return for my wonderment, I decided that a download was finally in order. Since that day I have become addicted to Bejeweled to the point that when I close my eyes all I see are lines of gems. I like shiny things, even virtual shiny things, enough said. In an aim to justify my hours spent quite unsociably glued to the game, I have decided to pass on some of the tips I have picked up from my many hours of gem hunting.
Though the originally Bejeweled has now been transformed into Bejeweled Blitz (and many other variations online) for me the action is very much still in the original game, specifically in Diamond Mine. Why you ask? Well I am a speed freak and I like a challenge. Being limited to a minute really doesn’t do it for me and when it comes to blowing up gems I’m in for the long haul. The below tips are therefore based around the fast paced Diamond Mine game, but for the most part can also be applied to the other versions of the game where speed is key such as Bejeweled Blitz.
Tip 1 – Go before Go
We all know the drill from childhood races, its ready…steady…Go! Right? Wrong. In the Diamond Mine or Blitz versions of the game it pays to start before the game tells you to go. It may only save you a second but I find starting the game as soon as the gems appear will help you to get a head start on the grid and maximize your time. I am not sure which I prefer more, the extra time itself or the sense of smug stratification I get by getting a cheeky head start and getting away with it. Ether way going before the ‘go’ is always an epic win.
Tip 2 – Slide to success
Now for an obvious one. Slide don’t tap. Now this may seem like a tip so blatant that even the smallest child would laugh at me for mentioning it, but seeing as I am forever seeing people on the tube tapping to exchange gems instead of sliding I had to include it. Now you could argue that the difference in timing between a tap and a slide is minimal, but in a game where time is everything every fraction of a second will count meaning that the difference between a tap and a slide could be the difference between death and glory. I personally also feel that to slide is a much more controlled motion making the gameplay also feel calmer and therefore more fluid. To sum up, don’t be a fool with the jewels, slide don’t tap!
Tip 3 – All clear
Time for a tip specific to the Diamond Mine game. As you may know the aim of the Diamond Mine game is to dig to the set depth within the time limit set uncovering treasure as you go. Though the game only requires you to dig to the line to progress, my advice in the early stages of the game is to aim for all clear. Not only will clearing all of the gems on the screen (above and below the line) give you great level progress, it also gives you a massive 70 second time bonus. Now sometimes you can clear the mine just by using special gems and blind luck but there are a couple of things you can do to help towards your goal of all clear. The first thing to do is to keep on working even after you have cleared the level. Even though you may have reached your goal, as long as you keep moving and clearing gems the game will allow you to keep playing until you have reached your goal. Speed here can be the key as move too slowly and the game will scroll down to the next level and you will have lost your opportunity. The second tactic I have found useful is to work one side of the grid down to the ground and then clear the remaining blocks together at the end. This can be tricky to do, but if timed right can work really well. Of course if tactics are not really your thing and you are the lucky kind you can always match two Hypercubes together clearing the entire screen instantly and earning yourself the Annihilator badge. An impressive title, but hey, this is an impressive achievement.
Tip 4 – Know your enemy
Now to talk about the later stages of the game when things get really difficult. Once you get beyond about 200 feet into the Diamond Mine pesky little cubes will start appearing which can only be destroyed by using special gems. These Lava like cubes, pictured below, must be hit hard with fire or electricity and the further into the game you get the more of them you will come across. Though it can be difficult to control when and where the special gems will fall, I find that it can be helpful to make a mental note of which color gems these annoying indestructible blocks are next to when they first appear at the start of each level. If you make a mental note of what color you are aiming to destroy whilst the level is scrolling up (whilst you cannot move) you will not have to waste time looking across the screen to see what color you are aiming to blast when a Hypercube does come your way. I have found this technique saves me valuable time, and in these games a fraction of a second can be all it takes to meet or miss your next time bonus. Though this tip seems Diamond mine specific it can also be applied to other game modes such as Blitz. If you make a mental note of any dominant colors or lines that are forming whilst the game is scrolling you can make more use of the special gems without loosing valuable seconds deciding what (or what not) to target. It is also worth noting that it is not always the most dominant color which is best to target with the Hypercubes. Lots of gems of one color on the grid means that there is a higher chance of more special gems forming, and so sometimes it is often better to remove one of the lesser colours in order to bring large numbers of the same color together to be destroyed later. Pick your tactics well and know your enemy, that’s my advice.
Tip 5 – Don’t think, Do
Finally perhaps the most important tip for this game, Don’t think about it, just do it. I find that thinking too much about making clever moves and creating Hypercubes can often be counter productive, wasting valuable time and causing disruption to the flow of the game. Some of the best games I have had have happened when I have just put my headphones on, zoned myself out, and made the matches as and when I see them. Overall its best to try to keep the game in constant motion as this leads to more special gems and more options, but if you get stuck don’t panic. It’s often better to use the hint button when you first find yourself stuck and recover your rhythm more quickly than fall into blind panic. After all they do say that pride often goes before a fall.
Upon compiling this list of tips I realized that enthusiasm for Bejeweled is more widespread than I ever really realized. Upon confessing my own addiction several people offered up their own tips regarding other game modes. My favorite tip came from a friend of mine who favors the Classic mode, and here it is.
Bonus guest Tip: In Classic mode aim for the top
Annina shares with us her Classic mode skills, telling us that if you want to rule Classic mode then it pays to aim for the top. Unless you see special gems try to start making your matches at the top of the grid and work your way to the bottom. By starting at the top you can make sure that new gems are constantly coming your way and I am told this will make your game last longer and your scores higher.
I must go now as it has been 3 hours since my last game and I am starting to experience withdrawal. I hope that these tips have aided you in your Gem hunting adventures but if not perhaps you have your own tips which you would like to share with the rest of us. If this is the case then please get in touch, we would love to hear them! Until then my personal addiction continues, happy gem blasting everyone!
Until next time,
Bejeweled and Bejeweled Blitz are available now for iPhone and iPod touch
Additional versions 2 and 3 available for PC, Mac, Nintendo DS and Android.