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They found a way...

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TANSTAAFL

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I don't know quite how they pulled it off, but they managed to ruin bejeweled.

Bejeweled was a beautifully simple game:

Swap two gems to make at least 3 in a row. Those gems disappear and the gems above drop down to fill their spot. More gems come onto the board from the top as needed.

Three frickin' sentences to describe the game. You'd be hard pressed to make a game that simple to explain, except maybe something like Click the Yellow Rhombus, where the title of the game serves as the instructions.

But Bejeweled 2 has to give you nifty, shiny graphical effects that make you feel like you are going warp speed, a scary HAL-9000 voice for certain events, and special power up gems for 4 and 5 in a row.

Is nothing sacred anymore?

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The random elements pretty-much ruin any chance for long-term planning on the board.

Reminds me of the card game "Schotten Totten". Beautiful little German two-player card game with deep strategy. A diamond in every respect. An American version was released called "Battle Lines" which added "event cards" which added random elements to the game and wrecked any opportunity for strategy.

That's a rule embedded somewhere in my old "Game Development Common Sense" article. . .

If you feel you MUST add things to your game that have no point, at least give the user the ability to shut them off.

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