Go get a chessboard. Then grab your collection of sapphires, pearls, rubies and other precious stones and put one gem on each square. Now, kinda move them around a bit; try swapping their places. If any of them start disappearing - or better still, exploding - when they line up with two other jewels of the same type, congratulations! You've invented a real-world version of Bejeweled 2. Let us know how you managed it. It didn't work when we tried it.
The Xbox 360 version worked a little better - after all, the update of the puzzler that practically defines the term "casual gaming" doesn't require tricky controls or even a terribly fancy presentation. (You will wish those controls were a little more precise, especially after fumbling your analog stick over the wrong jewel during the final moments of a timed Action game.) However, since it's a sequel, Bejeweled 2 does add a few new elements to the tired, traditional formula: removing four gems at once makes an explosive Power Gem and knocking out five creates a Hyper Cube (which, for reasons unknown, is a glowing sphere), which can nuke all the gems of one color. These special pieces and their random events make the game feel a little more exciting, but it's still pretty sedate.
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