Bejeweled

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Bejeweled
Bejeweled cover.jpg
Steam header
Developer(s)PopCap Games
Publisher(s)PopCap Games
Electronic Arts
Designer(s)Jason Kapalka[2]
Composer(s)Peter Hajba
SeriesBejeweled
EnginePopCap Games Framework
Platform(s)Windows
macOS
Flash
Palm OS
Windows Mobile
BlackBerry 10
Java ME
iOS
Android
Windows Phone
Xbox
Facebook
ReleaseMay 30, 2001[1]
Genre(s)Puzzle
Mode(s)Single-player

Bejeweled is a tile-matching puzzle video game by PopCap Games, developed for browsers in 2001. The first game developed by PopCap under their current name, Bejeweled involves lining up three or more multi-colored gems to clear them from the game board, with chain reactions potentially following.

Originally starting out as a Java web browser game titled Diamond Mine, Bejeweled would later be developed into a retail title and was released for PCs on May 30, 2001, with the name Bejeweled Deluxe.

The game sold over 10 million copies and has been downloaded more than 150 million times.[3] The game was followed by several sequels and spin-offs, with the game being followed by a direct sequel in 2004.

Gameplay[edit]

Normal gameplay mode

The main objective of Bejeweled involves attempting to swap two adjacent gems of seven colors (colored Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple and White) to create a line or row of 3 or more gems, which disappear once lined up. Lining up more than 4 gems or performing multiple matches at once awards bonus points. When gems are cleared from the board, gems above the game board fall downwards, potentially causing chain reactions, which award more points to the player. The player is able to use the Hint button to find a match, but will subtract points and reduce the progress bar if used.

Bejeweled features two game modes, each with a different set of rules.

The Normal (Simple in the web version) game mode involves attempting to score as many points as possible. Scoring points increases the progress bar on the bottom of the screen. When filled completely, the player progresses to the next level, where the number of points earned are multiplied by x0.5 per level. The number of points required to reach the next level increase within each level. When no more moves are possible, the game ends.

The Time Trial (Timed in the web version) game mode features similar rules to the Normal mode, with the only difference being that the progress bar retracts when the player is not making any moves. The number of points received are slightly higher than the Normal mode. The progress bar starts halfway, and retracts faster in later levels. When the bar empties, the game ends. If the player runs out of moves, a new game board appears instead of getting a game over.[4]

Development[edit]

Development on Bejeweled began around 2000 following Sexy Action Cool's rebranding to PopCap Games, with the team wanting to make a game that was "simple, web-based, and made in Java".[5] Diamond Mine was mainly based on Colors Game (Shariki),[6] a game that involves matching three or more colored boxes, but lacked unique visuals, animation or sound. The development team disliked the presentation (as the game was poorly coded and needed a page refresh for every move) but liked the gameplay, which led them to recreate the game with an improved presentation. The team decided to give the playing pieces (which were originally squares) unique looks to give them personality, and make the game accessible for colorblind people. The team decided on what objects would be used as the playing pieces. Fruits were considered at one point, but was rejected since many fruits "looked too round". Gems were considered as well, but was rejected after not being able to find interesting variations of gemstones on the internet. The team decided to use simple geometric shapes, but found them to be boring, until game designer Jason Kapalka brought up ideas for playing pieces; a few of them which involved transforming the geometrical shapes to give them a "gem-like appearance", which led to gems being used in the final product.

Originally, the game was planned to release without any timed modes, but a time limit feature was added to give the game "an arcade-like feel". Around the time the game was almost finished, a difficulty level without the time limit was added in-game as the default starting level, which was intended to act as a tutorial.[5] Diamond Mine was developed on the Java platform and was released for web browsers in November 2000.[7] The game's original name, Diamond Mine, was named after the song by Canadian country rock band Blue Rodeo, and featured a cave mining theme. Development on Diamond Mine lasted less than a month.[5]

PopCap later developed Diamond Mine into a full title with partnership of Microsoft, which allowed the Microsoft Zone and other game sites to host Bejeweled, including advertisement versions of the game. However Microsoft suggested a name change as the name sounded too similar to an existing game, Diamond Mines,[8] and wanted a unique name of the game for their website. Microsoft suggested the name Bejeweled, a pun to the movie Bedazzled, along with other names. Originally, game designer Jason Kapalka heavily disliked the Bejeweled name out of all the names suggested, but eventually the team went with the Bejeweled name. Development on Bejeweled Deluxe lasted about three months. Jason Kapalka provided the voice of the announcer in the game.[5] The soundtrack for Bejeweled Deluxe was composed by Peter Hajba.

Release[edit]

The original release of Bejeweled, Diamond Mine, was released for browsers in November 2000. The retail version of the game, Bejeweled Deluxe, featured pre-rendered 3D sprites, in-game music, a save feature and more. It was originally released for Microsoft Windows on May 30, 2001.[4] A port for the Mac OS X was developed and published by MacPlay and released in 2002.

Ports and re-releases[edit]

The game has been ported to several different platforms following the release of Bejeweled Deluxe. Ports for the BlackBerry PDA, Palm OS and Windows Mobile were developed by Astraware and released in 2001. A version for Xbox was developed by Oberon Media and released as a downloadable Xbox Live Arcade game. A web app version of the game made for iOS Safari was released on October 11, 2007.[9] A plug-and-play version of the game was developed by PopCap and HotGen, and published by Jakks Pacific in 2008. A version for the iPod Clickwheel was developed by Astraware and was released on September 12, 2006.[10]

A version of the game for Java-supported cell phones was published by Electronic Arts in 2008.[11]

The iPod, Java and plug-and-play versions of the game feature Bejeweled 2 graphics and sound, instead of the game's original graphics and sound.

Legacy[edit]

The success of the game led to the creation of several sequels and spin-offs, with Bejeweled 2, a sequel to the game, releasing in 2004. The game would begin a series of games, including Bejeweled 3, Bejeweled Twist, Bejeweled Blitz, Bejeweled Stars and other games.

On September 25, 2008,[12] Bejeweled was officially released as a free addon for the fantasy MMORPG World of Warcraft, alongside Peggle.[13][14][15][16] In addendum to the standard 'Classic' (Normal) and 'Timed' modes, the addon has an exclusive 'Flight' mode, wherein the game begins when the player takes a flight from one in-game location to another, with the goal to score as high as possible before they reach their destination.[17][12] The WoW addon adds achievements to the game, as well as a levelling system.[17][12]

In 2014, Bejeweled and Candy Crush Saga (along with many other similar match three games) were proved to be NP-hard.[18][19]

In 2020, Bejeweled was inducted into the World Computer Video Game Hall of Fame.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bejeweled Readme Archived June 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Bejeweled Readme: Credits Archived June 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Mark Ward (March 18, 2008). "Casual games make a serious impact". BBC News. BBC. Archived from the original on March 21, 2008. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
  4. ^ a b "Bejeweled® Deluxe Readme". June 12, 2010. Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved August 20, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d Classic Game Postmortem - Bejeweled, retrieved August 18, 2021
  6. ^ Hester, Larry (October 21, 2013). "Inside Bejeweled: An Interview with Executive Producer Heather Hazen". Complex. Archived from the original on October 26, 2017. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  7. ^ "Bejeweled.com - History of Bejeweled". Archived from the original on September 22, 2010. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
  8. ^ Brendan Sinclair (March 3, 2011). "Polishing Bejeweled". GameSpot. Archived from the original on October 5, 2021. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  9. ^ "Entry of Bejeweled on Apple's Web App listing". Apple, Inc. October 11, 2007. Archived from the original on February 10, 2011.
  10. ^ "Bejeweled for iPod Classic (2006)". MobyGames. Archived from the original on October 5, 2021. Retrieved August 20, 2021.
  11. ^ "EA and PopCap Extend Bejeweled Agreement" (PDF). March 9, 2007. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 20, 2021.
  12. ^ a b c Chalk, Andy (September 22, 2008). "Bejeweled Comes To World Of Warcraft". The Escapist. Archived from the original on March 20, 2021.
  13. ^ Cavalli, Earnest (September 19, 2008). "Bejeweled, Warcraft Combine to Form World's Most Addictive Game". Wired. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on June 16, 2014.
  14. ^ Schramm, Mike (September 20, 2008). "WoW Insider's preview of PopCap Games' Bejeweled addon". WoW Insider. AOL. Archived from the original on December 17, 2010.
  15. ^ Dumitrescu, Andrei (September 22, 2008). "Bejeweled to Appear as Minigame in World of Warcraft". Softpedia. SoftNews NET SRL. Archived from the original on September 24, 2008.
  16. ^ North, Dale (September 22, 2008). "Unholy unity: Bejeweled added to World of Warcraft". Destructoid. Enthusiast Gaming. Archived from the original on August 19, 2009.
  17. ^ a b Welsh, Oli (September 22, 2008). "Bejeweled add-on coming to WOW". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on February 16, 2012.
  18. ^ T. Walsh (2014). "Candy Crush is NP-Hard". arXiv:1403.1911 [cs.CC].
  19. ^ Gualà, L.; Leucci, S.; Natale, E. (August 2014). "Bejeweled, Candy Crush and other match-three games are (NP-)hard". 2014 IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games: 1–8. arXiv:1403.5830. doi:10.1109/CIG.2014.6932866. ISBN 978-1-4799-3547-5. S2CID 21294688. Archived from the original on October 5, 2021.
  20. ^ "Bejeweled, Minecraft among games inducted into hall of fame | The Spokesman-Review". www.spokesman.com. Archived from the original on October 5, 2021. Retrieved August 20, 2021.

External links[edit]