Title: Bejeweled
Developer: PopCap Games, Inc. and Astraware Ltd.
Publisher: PopCap Games, Inc.
Year: 2000
Platforms: Flash, Windows, Mac OS X, Palm OS, PocketPC, Smartphone, XBox, fifth generation iPod
Genre: Puzzle
Players: One player only

Bejeweled is a simple colour matching puzzle game in a similar vein to Yoshi's Cookie, Columns and Puyo Puyo. A grid is filled with colourful jewels, and the object of the game is to swap pairs of them so that three jewels of matching colour line up in a row.

The classic mode of play has no time limit, which means that you can keep playing until you run out of valid moves. Considering that the colours of the jewels are randomised, there appears to be no correlation between how skilled you are and how far in the game you can progress.

Oddly, this apparent pointlessness isn't necessarily a flaw: considering that the game is available on handheld devices such as music players and mobile phones, the classic mode is a fun way to waste a few minutes. It's also a convenient way to learn the game. You can get into the habit of scanning for "V," "i" and "L" patterns of nearby jewels of the same colour without having to worry about losing the game before you've even started playing it properly.

As enjoyable as it is, the classic mode will probably become dull once you get the hang of it. This is where the action mode breathes new life into the game. In both modes, a meter at the side of the screen measures your progress towards the next level. In action mode, it also trickles back down like an hourglass, ensuring that you can only progress through the game if you can play it quickly enough. While this isn't relaxing like the classic mode, it makes Bejeweled feel more like a regular game that encourages you to develop your skills the more you play it.

While Bejeweled isn't the best game ever made, it's a fun way to entertain yourself for a few minutes. For this reason, it's perfectly suited to the portable devices it's most frequently played on. The iPod version in particular has the bonuses of letting you listen to your favourite music while you play, and letting you save the game to resume later on. I'd recommend it to anyone who commutes daily.