Bejeweled is the name of the series of tile-matching puzzle games created by PopCap Games, first developed for browsers in 2001. Five follow-ups to this game have been released: Bejeweled 2, in 2004, Bejeweled Twist in 2008, Bejeweled Blitz in 2009, Bejeweled 3 in 2010, and Bejeweled Stars (formerly Bejeweled Skies) in 2016, all by PopCap Games. Blitz is a one-minute timed version, which can be played by linking to Facebook or in an offline mode. More than 25 million copies of Bejeweled have been sold, and the game has been downloaded more than 150 million times. An arcade version was released in Q3 2013.
Bejeweled was initially created by PopCap Games as a web-based Flash game named Diamond Mine. It was reportedly successful for PopCap—a company formed in 2000. PopCap created partnerships with established Internet gaming sites, such as Microsoft Zone, to host Bejeweled as well. The name Bejeweled was suggested by Microsoft, who thought the original name Diamond Mine was too similar to that of an existing game, Diamond Mines.
The game has been ported to other platforms, including Microsoft Windows, where it was called Bejeweled Deluxe. Astraware produced versions for PDAs on the BlackBerry, iPhone, Palm and Windows Mobile smartphone platforms. They also released Bejeweled Deluxe on the Xbox as a downloadable Xbox Live Arcade game. On September 12, 2006, it was released as one of the first games downloadable from the iTunes Store for the iPod.
PopCap Games initially announced a version of Bejeweled for the iPhone that was not a standalone game, but rather a web application playable over the Safari browser. A native application for the iPhone has since been made available for purchase in the iTunes store, although the web-based version still exists.
Recently, skill games like Bejeweled have been featured in online competitions for prizes.
- October 9, 2007: PopCap Games announces Bejeweled for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 platforms in a compilation with other puzzle games.
- October 11, 2007: Popcap releases a web version of the game for iOS.
- September 20, 2008: A World of Warcraft fansite known as WoW Insider reveals that PopCap Games would be releasing a free version of Bejeweled as an add-on for World of Warcraft's interface for download the following week.
- October 27, 2008: PopCap releases the official third installment in the Bejeweled series: Bejeweled Twist. It is similar to the classic design, except instead of swapping two gems, the player rotates clusters of four gems clockwise to make matches. Unlike previous versions of the game, the gems will not move back if they do not initially match up.
- December 20, 2008: Popcap releases Bejeweled Blitz, an application on Facebook that allows players to compete with their Facebook friends in a timed, one-minute game.
- November 11, 2009: Popcap releases a Bejeweled Blitz add-on for the iPhone version of Bejeweled 2.
- November 18, 2009: Popcap and Square Enix released Gyromancer, which combines the gameplay of Bejeweled Twist with RPG elements, for Windows and Xbox Live Arcade.
- December 14, 2009: Popcap releases Bejeweled Twist for DSiWare.
- February 10, 2010: PopCap releases a statement announcing that, at that time, a copy of the Bejeweled franchise was sold every 4.3 seconds, and more than 50 million units had been purchased, making it one of the top 10 best-selling video games of all time.
- June 13, 2010: PopCap releases Bejeweled for PlayStation Network.
- June 14, 2010: PopCap release a Bejeweled 2 for WiiWare.
- October 10, 2010: PopCap gives away Bejeweled 2 Deluxe for free to commemorate the 10-10-10 date, making a joke about the core game play design of "three-in-a-row".
- November 1, 2010: PopCap announces the fifth game in the series, Bejeweled 3. It is the true sequel to Bejeweled 2 from 2004 and features new game modes, HD graphics and high quality sound and music. The game returns to basics by swapping gems instead of rotating gems, as in Bejeweled Twist.
- December 7, 2010: PopCap releases Bejeweled 3.
- February 23, 2011: PopCap releases Bejeweled Blitz LIVE exclusive to Xbox 360. Bejeweled Blitz LIVE has both gameplays from regular Bejeweled Blitz with elements from Bejeweled Twist.
- June 25, 2011: PopCap announces Bejeweled 3 is coming to consoles in Q4 2011.
- October 19, 2011: Bejeweled 3 comes to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 via digital download or disc-based format. In addition, Bejeweled 3 is released for Nintendo DS.
- December 13, 2011: Bejeweled comes to Google Chrome Web Store as a HTML5 web application.
- Q3 2013, Bejeweled is released in arcades.
- December 2015, Bejeweled Skies was soft launched in Canada.
- May,2016, Bejeweled Stars has appeared on Google Play Store.
Bejeweled was most likely influenced by the Shariki game, written in 1988 by Russian developer Eugene Alemzhin, which had nearly identical gameplay. The popularity of Bejeweled has spawned countless clones. Collectively known as match three games, these games revolve around the mechanics of creating three-in-a-row combinations of identical pieces. They include:
- AniPang, an animal-themed KakaoTalk game, with game play very similar to Bejeweled
- Aurora Feint, an iPhone/iPod Touch game
- Beghouled & Beghouled Twist, mini-games in Plants vs. Zombies published by PopCap Games
- Candy Crush Saga
- Diamond Twister, published by Gameloft
- Gweled, an open source clone for GNU/Linux
- Goober's Lab, a clone featured on Webkinz.com
- Jewel Quest
- "King Boo's Puzzle Attack", a Mario-themed mini-game, featured in Mario Party 9 for the Nintendo Wii
- Magic Duel, a Wizards of Waverly Place-themed game free to play on the Disney Channel website, www.disneychannel.com
- Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, a role-playing video game where combat is fought using a match-three board
- Sutek's Tomb, a variant featured on Neopets.com
- Switch, a fruit-themed game on FunBrain.com
- The Treasures of Montezuma, published by Alawar Games
- Zoo Keeper, a Japanese game with an animal theme
- Luciano Gualà; Stefano Leucci; Emanuele Natale (24 March 2014). "Bejeweled, Candy Crush and other Match-Three Games are (NP-)Hard". arXiv:1403.5830. Bibcode:2014arXiv1403.5830G.
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- Bejeweled Blitz Beta is live! via Twitter
- "The Bejeweled In PopCap's Crown". Archived from the original on 4 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
- Tom Curtis (2011-12-13). "PopCap Tries Hand At HTML5 With New Bejeweled Release". Gamasutra.
- Christiansen, Tom (December 30, 2015). "Bejeweled Skies Is a Thing, Now Live in Canada". Gamezebo. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
- "Museum of the Schariki game" (in Russian). Archived from the original on 20 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-13.
- An intro movie of the mini-game in Plants vs. Zombies, Beghouled
- "Gweled". Retrieved 2011-04-13.