Bejeweled has always been a simple game with simple objectives. That has changed with this new iteration, Bejeweled Stars, and it's not the positive change you're looking for.
Activate your power-ups!
Bejeweled Stars brings the big-name puzzle game in line with the Candy Crush powerhouse.
The first noticeable improvement is the visuals. The gem movements and disintegrations are pretty and flow very well. The power-ups, especially the hypercube, all have a much better look. When you make matches, you'll hear nice musical flourishes that seem to interact with your play.
Speaking of power-ups, there are a couple of new ones in this title, likely to boost the microtransaction sales. You can shake up the board with the scrambler, or collect SkyGems and make your own boosts.
It's similar to Candy Crush, from the saga-like campaign progression to the depth of the in-app purchases. Bejeweled even has a 3-star rating system for each level now. As you collect stars, you'll fill up constellations and acquire rewards in the form of the in-game currency. It's good that there's a way to earn the coins, but their existence is justified entirely by the microtransaction environment.
And now there's a stamina system too. If you've played Candy Crush, you know what this is. You have a limited number of hearts, and each loss takes away a heart. This activity throttling design is built around encouraging players to buy more stamina or permanently increase their hearts.
This game only feels like Bejeweled on the face of it. It looks and sounds like Bejeweled does, but the soul of the original isn't here. It's been replaced by the 'games as a service' world, and the identity of this brand has suffered as a result.
Where can you run this program?
Bejeweled Stars runs on iOS 8.0 or later.
Is there a better alternative?
Yes. While it lacks in anything wholly original, it's still serviceable as a Bejeweled game with all of the appropriate visuals.
EA got their hands on and ruined yet another brand, as is their M.O., but even they couldn't totally gut Bejeweled's charming visuals and the spirit of originality that comes with the name.
Should you download it?
No. If you're a long time fan of these games, you'll be disappointed with the monetization route this app has gone.