Bejeweled 3 announced, will 'take the match-3 genre to new heights'

PopCap announced today that the third numbered Bejeweled game - the first "true" sequel in over six years - will be released on December 7 as a web game and at "leading retail outlets." It wasn't announced, but it will almost definitely be ported to consoles in the future, like Bejeweled 2.

"Bejeweled 3 elevates the 'match-3' category of puzzle games pioneered by PopCap a decade ago to an entirely new level," states the press release. That's a pretty silly statement, but we totally believe it. PopCap's accessible games have relentlessly impressed us with their polish, humor, and unbreakable death grips on our free time.

Bejeweled 3 will contain updated versions of the four modes from Bejeweled 2, a relaxtastic "Zen" mode, a not-at-all-relaxing-sounding "Lightning" mode, four "Secret Games," and a "Quest" mode, which demands that we "journey through 40 magical puzzles."

It's a journey we'll have to take, because Bejeweled won't let us not, even if it means blowing off stupid, real life obligations in favor of deep, colorful trances.

Above: Quest mode, pretty shiny things, and a "quit" button in the lower-right, which isn't a word we recognize

%26ldquo;No other casual game comes close to the success of Bejeweled in terms of popularity and influence. PopCap has been able to keep the franchise strong for 10 years because they have focused on quality and innovation and have not flooded the market with dozens of sequels. I fully expect Bejeweled 3 to not only be a big success in its own right, but also ensure the Bejeweled brand continues to grow in popularity over its next decade on the market,%26rdquo; said David Cole, founder and president of DFC Intelligence, and stater of the obvious.

It's true though. Did you know that Bejeweled is one of the top ten franchises in gaming history? The press release said so, and as mentioned, PopCap doesn't jerk us around. And why wouldn't it be? It's got the simplicity and charm of Tetris (not saying it's Tetris, just that it has that je ne sais quoi), and that's why the Bejeweled franchise has sold 50 million units across 17 platforms. Of course,most of the revenues went back into buying vowels - that many 'e's doesn't come cheap (I'd like to give a shout-out to spell check for its contribution to this article).

Nov 1, 2010

Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer