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Video games have long been influenced by tabletop games, and recently a few have made the jump back over from video to board game form. PopCap will be the next to get into the act, as it's penned a deal with Hasbro to make "face-to-face" games based on its most popular franchises. The first two will be based on the popular Bejeweled series.
This spring, Hasbro will release "Bejeweled" and "Bejeweled Frenzy." Bejeweled will involve swapping gems on a game board to match 3 or more. Frenzy is a fast-paced card game that has you matching gems to build up your stack of cards. Both games come with an online code; Bejeweled grants a code for Bejeweled 3, while Frenzy gives a code to redeem for four Rare Gems in Bejeweled Blitz.
"Hasbro shares PopCap's vision and commitment to high quality and endlessly enjoyable game play," said PopCap brand licensing director Brennan Townley, in the announcement. "We're thrilled to work with Hasbro to create unique game experiences around PopCapâs intellectual properties that expand our brands in authentic, meaningful ways."
[Update] This is not, as we said, the PS3 debut of Bejeweled 3, as it hit retail last year in a collection.
It may be late to the party, but Bejeweled 3 is finally hitting the PS3. The match-3 gem-swapping game will be available to download on the PlayStation Network tomorrow.
The PS3 version appears to be a straightforward port, offering eight modes of play, 12 trophies, and 20 badges. While PopCap didn't mention a price in the announcement, the Xbox 360 version costs $15.
Bejeweled 3 is an excellent video game. Normal people play it on computers. But special people—people who work at PopCap, the studio behind the Bejeweled series—get to play it on a massive touch-sensitive TV right in the lobby of their headquarters.
Lucky them. Giant Bejeweled 3 Touch (my name for it) is irresistible, as my own hands can attest.
I took this video of two of PopCap's top men playing the game in their lobby during a visit to the studio last month. It is but another argument that this game needs to come out on the iPad already....and on giant iPads too, for multiplayer.
Presumably as part of the coming together of Games for Windows and Xbox.com, you can now play four free "trial" games (ie demos) on the Xbox 360's homepage, right in your browser, no install necessary. The games are Plants vs Zombies, Bejeweled 3, Zuma's Revenge and Text Twist 2. [Xbox]
The makers of great, time-stealing games like Peggle and Plants Vs. Zombies are bringing one of their biggest successes to consoles and handhelds later this year, with Bejeweled 3 making the leap to five platforms (or three, depending on your point of view).
PopCap Games will bring the latest and greatest Bejeweled to PlayStation 3, PlayStation Network, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and Nintendo DS by the end of the year in North America and Europe. That's great news for people like me who have invested dozens of hours playing Bejeweled 3 and for some unexplained reason feel like doing it all over again with a game pad.
PopCap is quiet on specifics, only saying that Bejeweled 3 hits sometime between October and December and that the ports will "look great and play even better on each platform."
Bejeweled 3 is a wonderful game, a collection of mostly great riffs on the pure gameplay concept of matching gems. But two modes — Lightning and Ice Storm — are tough.
Courtesy of the game's developers at PopCap, here are some exclusive tips on how to beat those levels.
Good luck, Bejeweled 3 gamers.