Before Candy Crush Saga, before all the "match-3" games, there was Bejeweled. (Or Diamond Mine, as it was originally named.)
Bejeweled 3, to me, is PopCap at their best. Masterfully made visuals, music and sound effects combine into a mesmerising, entracing, addicting whole. I can spend hours in the groove, sliding gems into plac, hearing the satisfying clacking and tinkling as they fall on top of each other, setting off chain explosions, planning the perfect hypercube a dozen moves in advance.
Steam says I have 66.9 hrs logged, but I've played this game for hundreds of hours before I ever had it on Steam.
None of the modern free-to-play junk. Here's a full-fledged relaxation game, with several fleshed out modes all based on the simple mechanic of matching gems.
Did I say relaxing? Not all of them are. Some modes leave you with sweaty palms and twitching eyes, searching for that next match, visualising its effect on the whole board, before the timer runs out.
On the other side of the spectrum, you have Zen mode, where you can't lose or run out of time, just accruing more and more points and leveling up, while a talisman gets perpetually crafted with each new level. Seriously, every time I think it can't look any more elaborate the game adds more gems to it. I wonder how far it can go.
This zen endless mode even comes with optional binaural beats and ambient sound (like forest or rain or beach) for maximum relaxation.
Then there's modes like Poker, where you're not on a time limit but you need to think before each move, to get the best hand possible and stay ahead of the increasing restrictions.
Bejeweled 3 falls into the "casual games" genre. And this means a lot of gamers will overlook it or dismiss it as another "game for soccer moms." I mean, it is. But only because it's a game for everyone. It's as casual or as "core" as you want it to be.
(Check my Steam videos for a tiny clip about matching two hypercubes together, a very rare move.)