DUBLIN, Ireland – October 28, 2008 — PopCap Games, the leading developer and publisher of casual games, today introduced an irresistible innovation in its flagship Bejeweled® franchise. Bejeweled Twist™, the first new Bejeweled title in almost four years, puts a completely new spin on the top-selling puzzle game that PopCap pioneered eight years ago. Featuring a revolutionary new style of play and production values unrivalled by any other casual game, Bejeweled Twist is available now for PC via online download at www.popcap.com/games/bejeweledtwist.
Portal partners including MSN Games, ORB, RealArcade/Zylom, Steam.com, Telstra, and WildTangent will offer the game on November 18. On the same date local language versions of Bejeweled Twist will be available via PopCap’s international websites and other European portal partners. Also on November 18, Bejeweled Twist will arrive on shelves at leading North American retail chains including Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Target. Bejeweled Twist is due to hit European retail shelves in 2009.
Bejeweled is the most popular casual game franchise of the 21st century, with more than 350 million copies downloaded and over 25 million units sold. And Bejeweled Twist is already winning over fans of the original Bejeweled and Bejeweled 2: “There’s no doubt this is the world’s greatest casual video game,” declared Cindy Robertson, who wrote, published and sells a strategy guide for Bejeweled 2 under the pen name Julia Gemstone. “PopCap has done it again, taking a ridiculously simple concept and honing it into an utterly enthralling experience that can be relaxing, challenging, exciting or incredibly strategic, depending on your mood. With so many ways to play, Bejeweled Twist provides thousands of hours of fun for anyone. If Bejeweled is hot chocolate, Bejeweled Twist is a double mocha latte!”
“It took considerably more time, more money and more people than the original Bejeweled, but we feel it was worth every ounce of that effort,” said Jason Kapalka, chief creative officer and co-founder of PopCap, and co-creator of all three Bejeweled titles. “We promised ourselves we’d come up with something really new for ‘the next Bejeweled’ and we must have gone through at least a hundred ideas before settling on the ‘twist mechanic’ in the new game. Then it was a question of making that mechanic as fun and intuitive as possible, and that took a lot of tinkering and tweaking. But we’re really happy with the final result. We believe the new game will be immediately recognizable to Bejeweled fans, and as easily accessible to novice players as the original game, but allow far more flexibility and freedom in play. So it can provide a challenging game for those who enjoy strategy, a fast-paced blitz for players with a passion for action, and a more relaxing, Zen-like experience for those just looking for a quick stress-busting break.”
Bejeweled Twist removes the barriers of traditional match-3 games. Instead of swapping adjacent jewels to make a set, players rotate an entire 2x2 block of gems clockwise in an effort to create a line of three or more gems of the same type. Further, in Bejeweled Twist players don’t have to make a match with every move – instead they can freely rotate gems anywhere on the board, allowing far greater liberty of movement and vastly increased strategic freedom to plan combinations, cascades and chains.
New Features of Bejeweled Twist:
Virtually every aspect of Bejeweled Twist is new and different from the previous iterations of Bejeweled, including:
• Stunning visual and audio effects – highest production values - from high-definition imagery to subtle audio effects and a custom-composed soundtrack designed to enhance each of Bejeweled Twist’s four modes of play
• Endless rewards – instant replays and bonus multipliers to stats and rankings
• Deep play – the more you play, the more you’ll discover new ways to play
• All-new elements – new gem types, obstacles, challenges, and modes of play (see additional details below)
New Special Gems:
• Flame gems are created by matching four gems of the same kind at once. When matched with like-colored gems, these fiery jewels explode with an incendiary blast.
• Lightning gems are created by matching five gems of the same kind. When matched, they fire bolts of explosive destruction in four directions at once.
• Fruit gems are rare but powerful gems that can only be created by making lots of consecutive matches to max out the chain meter. When the chain meter reaches its zenith, one gem on the grid is transformed into a special Fruit gem, which, when matched, vaporizes all like-colored gems, among other powerful effects.
• Bomb gems: These appear in later stages of the game and count down with every move you make. Eliminate them via matches or adjacent explosions from Flame or Lightning gems before they reach zero; if you don’t, only the last-minute disarm spinner can save you.
• Locked Gems: Locked gems can still be matched, but they can’t be moved. Break free of them with like-color matches and special gems.
• Coal: These inert rocks can hamper your ability to match gems, but they deliver a sparkly surprise when you burst them open with Flame or Lightning gems!
Bejeweled Twist has four game modes: Classic and Zen are available from the start, and you unlock the other modes as you progress:
• Classic: The essential version of the game, Classic features Bomb gems that tick down to a deadly detonation. You need to clear them before they hit zero or it’s game over!
• Zen: You literally can’t lose this in this free-form variant that is in some ways more a relaxation exercise than a puzzle. Explore dozens of alien worlds as you hone your gem-matching skills without the pressure of obstacles or time.
• Blitz: This timed mode is perfect for both hardcore arcade players and those who only have a few minutes to spare. You have just five minutes to maximize your score in this championship variant.
• Challenge: For a more cerebral experience, Challenge mode offers a dozen separate puzzle worlds, each with seven levels of difficulty and a final infinite stage. This mode is for the serious problem-solver.
From PCs and Macs, PlayStation and Xbox consoles to mobile phones, PDAs, iPods and iPhones, Bejeweled is available for more than a dozen devices and platforms and is the most popular casual game of the 21st century. More than 350 million copies of Bejeweled/Bejeweled 2 have been downloaded from the Web, accounting for nearly a third of the 1 billion-plus downloads of all PopCap® titles. Tens of millions of copies of Bejeweled have been installed on mobile phones worldwide, and more than 25 million units of the game have been sold across all platforms, amounting to over $300 million in consumer spending over the history of the game. The Bejeweled franchise has been enjoyed for more than 6 billion hours by consumers worldwide, with no end in sight.