iApps: Bookworm and Bejeweled 2+Blitz
Issue: 8.6 (September/October 2010)
Author: Geoffrey A. Rabe
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Article Length (in bytes): 5,595
Starting Page Number: 19
RBD Number: 8605
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IN BRIEF Product Bookworm Manufacturer PopCap Games, Inc. Price $2.99 Contact Info http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bookworm/id307176281?mt=8 Pros Fun spelling game; surprisingly challenging late on in games; educational. Cons The beginning of games is too easy; games take a long time unless you played a Timed Game. Rating (1.0-5.0): 4.0 Product Bejeweled 2 + Blitz Manufacturer Apple Price $2.99 Contact Info http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bejeweled-2-blitz/id284832142?mt=8 Pros Addictive; easy to learn and play; includes cool variations to freshen the original premise; integrated social media connections. Cons Addictive; some games can last a very long time; can get repetitive after a while. Rating (1.0-5.0): 4.5
Bookworm and Bejeweled 2 + Blitz are two of the most addicting and fun to play games I've found on any platform. I first discovered both games for my Mac at my local Apple Store and soon found myself playing both during much of my spare time. So I was thrilled to find both games in the App store on my first iPhone. The play for each is simple, yet challenging, especially in each one's Timed Mode.
Bookworm starts off with a screenful of random letters, with the Bookworm sitting at the upper-left corner of the screen. Your goal is to form words out of adjacent letters, in any direction. Once you've done so, just tap on the last letter of the word and the letters fly up into the Bookworm's mouth, as if he's eating them. Longer words are obviously worth more points. When letters are used, the letters above drop down into the empty space left by the word you played.
But you have to watch out: as you progress in the game, flaming letters will occasionally appear at the top row (creating short three-letter words increases the number of flamers you receive). These flames will gradually burn through the letter and destroy it, and then spread further down to catch the letters below on fire. While a letter is burning, you can still use it as part of a word (and thus eliminate the fire), but you need to do to so before the flames reach the bottom of the screen or it's "Game Over." You need to be quick -- the more flamers there are, the more likely it is you'll get more of them as you make more words. There's a cute element regarding the flamers -- when the Bookworm eats words containing flaming letters, he burps a puff of smoke!
Bejeweled 2 + Blitz is one of the original 'match-3' games; in this case your goal is to match three or more jewels, which will then disappear, allowing more jewels to drop from above. The game ends when you cannot find a match.
If you match four or more of a given jewel, a new sparkling jewel remains behind. If you then use that jewel as part of another 3+ match, it and the surrounding jewels explode, giving you lots of points. Another cool feature is that if you match five in a row you receive a different kind of sparkling jewel that, when eliminated as part of a match, will explode all the jewels of all that color regardless of where they are on the screen.
The 'Blitz' features are new in this version. As you score higher, in 25K increments, you are awarded medals, which you can then sign on to Facebook to share (or brag about) with your friends. To get those higher scores, not only can you get the 4+ or 5+ matching points, but there are special suped-up jewels that appear from time to time. One appears as a hurricane, and whichever jewel you touch next around it, all of the same type of jewels on the board will be zapped, with bonus points for each one of them. Another jewel looks as if it's bubbling, and if you make a match with it, the entire row and column it is part of will get zapped. In addition, random jewels have a token attached to them, and if you match them the tokens fall to the bottom of the playing field. With these tokens, between levels, you're able to purchase several different type of Boosts, including an additional five seconds on the clock or a scramble of the jewels on the board.
For those who enjoy playing games on their iDevice, whether it's on the bus, train, or airplane, during lunch, or waiting for some kind of appointment, either of these games will help you pass the time. And they're inexpensive at less than three bucks each -- so even if you're unsure from my descriptions, they're worth a try. Have fun!
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