Sunday, April 6, 2008


I found it hard to believe that Gweled accurately represents the game which began the casual craze, inspiring thousands of bloggers to write millions of words about the middle-aged women who are the biggest thing to hit gaming since the NES. But I checked out Bejeweled and it turns out that Gweled is a near-perfect clone. So I now find it hard to believe that anyone finds this gameplay 'addictive', but if Bejeweled is your thing, and you want a free off-line version, Gweled is exactly what you're looking for.

Don't get me wrong: it's not the exact same experience. While the graphics are as good as the original (I would go so far as to say better), and the core mechanics are completely unchanged, it suffers a bit on the sound side.

PopCap's game gives a variety of different audio hits whenever you do anything above the ordinary 'kill 3 gems'. There's but a single sound that plays whenever the player clears anything in Gweled. As PopCap Games is fully aware, sound-cues can help make the difference between addictive and monotonous.

If you're truly addicted to the gameplay, then it won't matter, but if you're playing because Bejeweled takes advantage of the brain-chemical rewards that you get from pleasing audio and visual cues to addict you on their presentation of the gameplay, Gweled will probably be less than adequate. On that note, I'd recommend that every fan of Bejeweled go ahead and check this one out, and let me know if you find it as satisfying without the wide array of audio/visual rewards. It's a very solid clone.

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