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Publisher: MacPlay    Genre: Puzzle & Trivia
Min OS X: Any Version    CPU: G3 @ 233 MHz    RAM: 128 MB    Hard Disk: 35 MB    2x CD-ROM    Graphics: 640x480 @ 16-bit

Bejeweled & Alchemy
November 14, 2002 | Eddie Park

Click to enlarge

Title Screen

The Next Tetris?
As I stated earlier, both Bejeweled and Alchemy are fine examples of good puzzle games, although I found Bejeweled to be more addictive and playable than its cousin. Compared to Tetris by many, Bejeweled took the Palm world by storm and was voted Commercial Game of the Year by Handheld Computing Magazine. The gameplay can be learned in approximately 2 seconds, but deciding on the right jewels to switch to create better opportunities later is an exercise that could conceivably keep players occupied forever. Bejeweled is one of those games that Iíll close in disgust only to reopen 2 minutes later, despite my vow to leave it alone for the rest of the day.

Alchemy, by contrast, will take considerably more time for players to fully understand the gameplay mechanics and even longer to puzzle out good strategies when in play. Perhaps because of this, I found it wasn't quite as addictive as Bejeweled, although itís definitely the title of choice when a player wants more challenge and thought in his (or her) puzzle gaming. It also features that talking wizard head, something that may give you nightmares if you play this game too long.

I think it was a smart thing for MacPlay to package both of these titles together. Bejeweled is literally the jewel of this package, and people may pick up the package for it alone. However, when the simplicity of it runs a little too thin, Alchemy provides a much greater challenge with a steeper learning curve, perfect for kicking the brain into high gear. And then when the brain becomes lost and confused, itís nothing sorting out jewels with pretty colors canít fix.

Machine used: G4/867, 1.5GB RAM, GeForce 3, Mac OS 10.2.1

Bejeweled & Alchemy
Publisher: MacPlay


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