Bejeweled Classic: Tips, tricks, and cheats

It's an oldie but a goodie, so let's have a look at the original Bejeweled game. Whether it's a throwback for you, or a brand new game app on your phone or tablet, you can't knock a classic!

1. Slow down!

Even when you're playing a game on a phone or tablet, the old principles of strategy and patience still apply. It's tempting to dive in and just start shuffling things around to see your score go up. Bejeweled gives you plenty of playing pieces, so try to think of it like a giant chess board. Strategic moves mean serious points, so take the time to really survey the board before making your move.

2. There is only one rule

Every move you make must result in points. If you try to move a jewel into a position that does not give you any points, the game will automatically return it to the original position. A jewel can only be swapped with one of the jewels immediately next to it. No giant moves across the board here.

Speaking of moves, remember that tapping on a gem won't move it. It will put brackets around it and make it spin, but it's up to you to move it up and down or side to side by sliding it.

3. Levelling up

The bar across the bottom of the screen gives you an indication of how you are progressing through each level. Before you reach double digits in level numbers, you will have reached a six-digit score, even if you're brand new to the game.

With each new level, the basic score goes up by 50 points. The most basic way to score in Bejeweled is by matching three jewels in a horizontal or vertical row. To reach for more points, try to match four jewels; the four will condense down into a Flame Gem, which will carry over into the next level if you don't use it. Matching two Flame Gems creates an explosion, which is rewarding in points, but admittedly it does shake up whatever strategy you may have had in place.

Points can also be earned in less common patterns, like L and T shapes. These are easy to overlook when you're focused on rows of three or four. Pause to see if you can fit them into your strategy when the more obvious matches are hiding from you. If you do make these matches, you're rewarded with a Star Gem, which can be matched with others to make massive gem eliminations since it will also carry over into another level if unused.

4. View from the top

Anyone who has played Bejeweled will give you the same advice: always move from the top. Go for the matches that are in the first three rows, even if you see clear moves at the bottom. Eliminating jewels in the bottom rows too soon will cause the order in the top rows to change, eliminating easy scores. Save those bottom row moves for the moments when you've exhausted every top row move first. Remember, too, that hitting the Hint button won't necessarily give you the most strategic move, but it will give you an obvious one you may have overlooked.

5. Look up every now and then

Intermittently, the screen will cast a diagonal shimmer over all of the jewels. This actually does refresh your view because it redirects your attention to other areas of the screen, just in case you've been staring at one spot for too long. The real refresh, though, is to look away from the screen, for a few seconds or a few minutes.

Back to basics

New game apps are constantly coming at us, and games like Bejeweled have several newer versions, like Diamond Mine, or Bejeweled Blitz. These add levels of strategy, or reinvent elements of the original. If you've become a Blitz devotee, or you left Bejeweled Classic behind a few years back, or what's old is brand new to you, a classic is a classic.

Christine Lachance