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.
Those special pieces also come into play on the Puzzle mode, where you're challenged to clear arrangements with clever, often volatile chain-reaction combos, but even that's softened by freely available hints. Endless mode, which never lets the board become gridlocked, offers even less mental stimulation. When it comes to puzzle games on Xbox Live, Hexic HD feels fresher and Astropop proves more exciting. Unless you're already a Bejeweled addict, you can spend 800 Microsoft Points on more intriguing stuff.