Bejeweled is a tile-matching puzzle video game by created by Jason Kapalka for web browsers in 2001 and managed by PopCap Games. Five sequels to this game have been released: Bejeweled 2 in 2004, Bejeweled Twist in 2008, and Bejeweled Blitz in 2009, Bejeweled 3 in 2010, and Bejeweled Stars in 2016 – all by Popcap Games and its parent company, Electronic Arts. More than 25 million copies of Bejeweled have been sold, and the game has been downloaded more than 150 million times.
The game was initially created by PopCap Games as a web-based Flash game called Diamond Mine. It was reportedly successful for PopCap — a company formed in 2000. PopCap created partnerships with established Internet gaming sites such as Microsoft Zone to host Bejeweled as well. The name Bejeweled was suggested by Microsoft, who thought that the original name Diamond Mine was too similar to that of an existing game, Diamond Mines.
The game has also been ported to other platforms, including Microsoft Windows, where it was called Bejeweled Deluxe. Astraware produced versions for PDAs on the Palm OS, Windows Mobile, Smartphone and Palm platforms. They also released Bejeweled Deluxe on the Xbox as a downloadable Xbox Live Arcade game. On September 12, 2006, it was released as one of the first games downloadable from the iTunes Store for the Apple iPod.
PopCap Games initially announced a version of Bejeweled for the iPhone that was not a standalone game but rather a web application playable over the Safari browser. A native application for the iPhone has since been made available for purchase in the iTunes store, although the web-based version still exists.
Recently, skill games like Bejeweled have been featured in online competitions for prizes.
Its influence has crossed the virtual divide, as a scratchcard based on the game has been issued by Lotterywest.
On September 20, 2008, a World of Warcraft fansite known as WoW Insider revealed that PopCap Games would be releasing a free version of Bejeweled as an add-on for World of Warcraft's interface for download the following week.
On October 27, 2008, PopCap released the official third instalment in the Bejeweled series: Bejeweled Twist. It is similar to the classic design, except now instead of swapping two gems, the player rotates clusters of four gems clockwise to make matches. The gems also will not move back if they do not initially match up, unlike in previous games.
On December 14, 2009, Popcap released a Bejeweled Twist for the Nintendo DSiWare.
On February 10, 2010, Popcap released a statement announcing that at that time, a copy of the Bejeweled franchise was sold every 4.3 seconds and that more than 50 million units had been purchased, making it one of the top ten best-selling video games of all time.
On June 13, 2010, PopCap released Bejeweled for the PlayStation Network.
The objective of this game is to swap one gem with an adjacent gem to form a horizontal or vertical chain of three or more gems. Bonus points are given when more than three identical gems are formed or forms two lines of identical gems in one swap. Gems disappear when chains are formed and gems fall from the top to fill in gaps. Sometimes chain reactions, called cascades, are triggered, where chains are formed by the falling gems. Cascades award bonus points to the player. There are two variations of the game to choose from.
Although normally the player gets only 3 in a row for gems, sometimes they can get 4 or 5 in a row. And in rare conditions, they can get 6, 7 and even 8 in a row. However, some versions of the engine do not register it. The player gets more points and sometimes special powerups from more than 3 gems in a row.
- Level up when the player reaches certain score
- Game over when no move can be performed
- Game over also when the timer runs out
- The level up bar starts in the middle, level up when the bar reaches the end.
- Over time, the bar decreases. The bar decreases faster as the stage level increases (and in some versions, the longer the level lasts).
- The game is over when the bar reaches the beginning (if a situation arises where no valid move can be made, the board is cleared and randomly re-filled).
Bejeweled was most likely influenced by the Shariki game, written in 1988 by Russian developer Eugene Alemzhin, which had nearly identical gameplay. The popularity of Bejeweled has spawned countless clones. Collectively known as Match 3 games, these all revolve around the mechanic of creating a three-in-a-row line of identical pieces. They include:
- Chuzzle, named after the fuzzballs around which it revolves. It was developed jointly and published by PopCap Games.
- Goober's Lab, a clone featured on Webkinz.com.
- Sutek's Tomb, a variant featured on Neopets.com.
- Jewel Quest
- Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, an RPG where combat is fought using a match three board
- Zoo Keeper, a Japanese game with an animal theme
- Aurora Feint, an iPhone/iPod Touch game
- Diamond Twister, published by Gameloft
- Beghouled & Beghouled Twist, mini-games in Plants vs Zombies published by PopCap Games
- Casual games make a serious impact – BBC News (Archived)
- Bejeweled for the iPhone, Blast Magazine (English). Archived from the original on September 27, 2007 Retrieved on 2007-08-12
- Bejeweled, PopCap hits to debut on Xbox and PS2, Blast Magazine (English). Archived from the original on October 20, 2007 Retrieved on 2007-10-10
- WoW Insider's preview of PopCap Games' Bejeweled add-on, WoW Insider (English). Retrieved on 2008-09-21
- Bejeweled Blitz Beta is live! via Twitter
- The Bejeweled In PopCap's Crown (English). Retrieved on 2010-02-11
- BeJeweled 6, 7, and 8 in a Row from eDepot.com
- Museum of the Schariki game (Russian). Retrieved on 2008-11-13