EA and PopCap launched the latest installment in the popular Bejeweled franchise: Bejeweled Stars. The match-three puzzle game allows players to collect stars and complete constellations in the night sky.
In Bejeweled Stars, players are challenged to complete one or more objectives on each stage without running out of moves. For instance, levels may ask players to collect the required number of a single gem color, or clear crystal squares by making matches on top of them, and so on.
While playing, gamers can collect special symbols called SkyGems by using them in matches. These SkyGems can be used to create power-ups in the game’s crafting menu. Each power-up has a different recipe and will take time to complete. Players can only create one power-up at a time. One power may allow players to remove any chosen gem from the board, while another may scramble the locations of every gem on the board.
Players earn up to three stars on each stage, depending on their final score. Each star becomes part of a constellation in the night sky, and when players complete a constellation, they’ll unlock a new power-up to create in the game’s crafting menu. Users will collect additional power-up recipes as they complete levels over time.
In addition to creating power-ups, players can use SkyGems to create special keys that unlock charm chests, as well as create food to feed the game’s friendly chicken character. Feeding the chicken gives players additional SkyGems, while charm chests contain charms, the game’s collectibles.
Users can select charms to display on their profile, and a single charm will be visible to friends on the game’s level map (attached to their profile picture). Additional social features allow players to send messages and in-game lives to friends. These messages can be written using the charms player have collected.
Outside of the game’s main levels, users can play special daily challenge levels for a chance to win power-ups, rare SkyGems and more. These levels are designed to be challenging, but if players can complete six daily challenges, they’ll receive another present.
Finally, players can use charms to answer a daily question within the app. Each time they answer a question, they’ll receive at least one prize stamp. When users collect six stamps, they’ll receive an additional prize.
After 15 years with this genre and franchise, we feel like we’re in a unique position to innovate based on player needs. We’ve worked really hard to try to understand their motivations by doing things like bringing them into the studio to get their direct feedback on components of the game and then addressing that. We’ve created a variety of ways for them to engage and play: short sessions for creating powers or keys to use later or the ability to sit down and play a few sessions while being thoroughly strategic.
As you progress, the game board comes alive in a bunch of new ways through things like Currents, Clouds and Butterflies, and as you collect Stars, you complete Constellations to unlock more ways to play. Over time, players will collect Charms and find new ways to express themselves to their friends in the game. Players are going to experience things no one has ever seen in this genre, and Bejeweled Stars will continue to evolve well after worldwide launch.