Thursday, May 16, 2024

Colorado Plays

Playing in Colorado in all forms.


Why We Still Play: Bejeweled 3 on Steam

When it comes to puzzle games, I think Bejeweled 3 is easily among my favorites. In fact, I remember playing this game when we had the original disk from PopCap. Remember? When you could buy all kinds of games from Target?

Nowadays, it’s all about the digital download. And although I think using Steam and other platforms is convenient and saves on the life of a CD Rom, I do miss actually owning my game and having it in-hand.

Still, I’m glad I can find this game available online.

What is Bejeweled 3?

Released in December of 2010, Bejeweled 3 is a tile-matching puzzle game that goes beyond connecting various colored gems. During playthrough, you also unlock several game types that take the genre a bit further.

An incredible soft soundtrack goes splendidly with the backdrop of well-designed images and backgrounds. And although the game is more than a decade old, it still has some very beautiful aesthetics when compared to games of the 2020s.

It’s simply one of those games that you can easily play whether you have five minutes to spare or putting in hours to grind out the highest score.

And yes, I’ve done both.

Although I am just shy of 20 hours played on Steam, I can promise that I spent far more time playing the game shortly after it came out. It was one of my favorites before I had to build a new computer and lost the game disk.

I guess there’s something to be said about digital downloads and using platforms like Steam.

What Makes Bejeweled 3 Engaging?

For those who like matching games, Bejeweled 3 offers an incredible amount of fun. It’s simply one of those games that you can come back to at any point whether you’re relaxing with a nice glass of wine or competing with your friends.

It’s also probably one of the last games EA published and didn’t botch with microtransactions or buggy interfaces.

So, what makes Bejeweled 3 such a great game more than 10 years after its debut?

Competing with Friends on Steam

One of the nice additions for Bejeweled being on Steam is how it connects with all of your friends on the platform. This lets you compete directly for high scores across all of the different game modes.

Although you’ll see your own personal bests and can fill up the record with your name, friends on Steam will only see your highest score.

If you click on a friend’s name, the Steam overlay will open and show you his or her profile. It’s quite integrated and adds a bit more interaction to the game.

8 Ways to Play, After You Unlock Them

Playing Poker

When you start playing Bejeweled 3, there are four basic game styles. As you play, you begin to unlock the others. But when all is said and done, you have eight total styles of Bejeweled 3 to play:

  • Classic
  • Poker – Unlocks when you play Classic
  • Lightning
  • Ice Storm – Unlocks when you play Lightning
  • Zen
  • Butterflies – Unlocks when you play Zen
  • Quest
  • Diamond Mine – Unlocks when you play Quest

Each style has a unique feel while still maintaining the match-making functionality. Personally, I’m partial to Diamond Mine, Lightning, and Poker.

A lot of Achievements to Reach For

As with most games on Steam, Bejeweled 3 has a variety of achievements you can unlock. These are stored as “Badges” in the game as well as achievements in Steam.

There are currently 65 achievements (Badges) you can receive while playing the game.

Some of these are not all that easy to get, unlike some games that will just toss achievements out for installing. You actually have to work at some of these accomplishments.

Relaxing Background Music and Scenes

One of the things that sets Bejeweled 3 aside from other match-making games is the music and background scenery. It has some great artwork and a very relaxing soundtrack.

Each soundtrack for the different game styles fits almost perfectly while playing. And the changing background for certain game types makes it feel like an exploration itself.

Then again, I’m not sure if I’ve played a PopCap game that didn’t have some great visuals and music. Still, I think this one is perhaps my favorite when it comes to the overall ambiance.

Excellent Sound Quality Overall

Lightning Game Play

From the selection screen to detonating a group of gems, the sound quality is still quite something in Bejeweled 3. Even the narrating voice in the game has an incredible reverberation factor that is unique.

Especially when you play the game wearing something like a Corsair RGB Void headset.

For example, the Poker game style has the ambiance of a gambling hall with its sound effects. Kind of like what you’d experience while playing video poker.

And the sound quality is very apparent if you play the Lightning game mode. At one point, I experienced a constant flow of explosions as I matched the jewels at an incredible speed.

Great Visual Aesthetics

Not only does the game have great background art, but the visuals during play are still enough to pique my interest. Especially when you match certain special jewels to clear off a chunk of the map.

For instance, there is a massive heat bloom when you detonate a “Nova” gem or other special combinations that warp the game board.

Well, at least if you have the visuals turned all the way up in the options menu…which I do.

Keeping Track of Stats

Bejeweled 3 Stats

And lastly, Bejeweled 3 keeps track of your gaming stats. This is outside of the high score record sheet and breaks down overall gameplay.

This includes things like the highest score in Zen, your favorite matched color, the number of special matches you’ve made, and more. This also covers stats for the Quest Mode Completion.

You also go up in “Rank” as you play. This is kind of like a level if Bejeweled 3 was an RPG.

I suppose this is something for the numbers and statistics geeks, such as myself. I just find the data interesting as a whole. And I’m looking forward to matching more than a million gems.

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Where Can You Buy Bejeweled 3?

Back in the day, if I remember right, we picked up the original Bejeweled 3 from Target. And it looks like you can buy a digital copy from Target for $4.99. However, you’ll need to install the Origin platform.

In fact, Origin is what’s causing a large number of the negative reviews on the Target sales page. Not everyone can install it, and Target didn’t make it clear you’ll need a third-party app on the product description page.

You can also buy the game through Steam for $4.99, which is where I purchased my copy. Recently, the game went on sale for $0.99. At which point, I bought it for a few people on my Steam account.

From what I can gather, Bejeweled 3 is available on EA Play. This is a monthly subscription service that gives you access to a variety of games from Electronic Arts.

Though, I already have enough monthly subscription fees to cover. I don’t really need another.

For the Tile-Matching Enthusiast

If you enjoy tile-matching games, then Bejeweled 3 is definitely one to add to your gaming library. Even if you’re just an achievement hunter, it can provide many hours of entertainment.

As there are multiple styles to play, it’s great for playing a quick, 5-minute game to diving into several hours of grinding.

Mix in the prospect of scoring against friends and family on Steam, and it can get quite competitive.

Michael Brockbank
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Michael Brockbank

Michael developed ColoradoPlays to help various charities through his favorite pastime. Since then, the blog and Twitch channels have donated several hundred dollars to Extra Life, Geeks of Grandeur and Operation Supply Drop, to name a few.