Long before everyone and his cousin seemed to be releasing Match 3 games, PopCap was at it with its Bejeweled series. Since then, PopCap has become part of Electronic Arts, which has released a new Match 3 game for Android and iOS devices alike, Bejeweled Stars. But before we give you some tips for this brand-new game, let’s talk you through some of the features.
According to EA, this game promises “endless fun and the freedom to play your way in a beautiful world filled with surprises, explosions, and unique challenges.” The company also promises several twists and challenges that you won’t find in your average Match 3 title, such as dealing with “Currents” of gems that can help you improve your matching skills, and “winning cascades” that can result when you move gem-filled Clouds around the board. You can also open chests to uncover Charms, which are Bejeweled emojis that allow you to add a personal touch to the messages you send to other players.
We can keep going on about the game’s features, but we won’t waste much more of your time here. Let’s go straight into our Bejeweled Stars strategy guide – even if you’re a master of Match 3 gaming, you may most likely be needing this, as EA is on the level when it says this game is different from your average title in this genre.
1. The Time Lapse Cheat Works For Now
As this is a new game, the time lapse cheat is apparently still a thing, though you might want to set your expectations and prepare for EA to nerf it at some point in the future. Anyway, you’re still free to set the time on your phone or tablet ahead in order to quickly regain your lives without waiting; your lives regenerate in about 20 minutes per life, so if you want to get all five lives back, you should set the time on your device ahead by an hour and 40 minutes. You can switch the time back to normal on your device and still have your lives, though if you don’t want to use this cheat, then it’s okay – 20 minutes per life isn’t that long, anyway, if you come to think of it.
2. Take Your Time
Another old mainstay tip that still applies would be to take your time when solving the different puzzles in the game. Match 3 games, in most cases, won’t come with any time limits, which means you can analyze a level, look at the gems on the board, and take it from there. Yes, it’s true that this is a more advanced Match 3 game than most, but you would still want to take it easy and make sure you’re making the right moves.
3. Connect Your Game To Facebook
Match 3 games are typically games that you can play on your own, making Bejeweled Stars and others perfect for those who don’t want to interact with other human players. But at the end of the day, you still might want to take advantage of the benefits of connecting your game to Facebook. For one, if you have other friends who play the game, you can send gifts to each other, and that includes sending lives; if waiting is too boring and time lapsing too dishonest, you can ask friends for lives, or send them lives should they request from you.
4. A Brief Backgrounder On The Special Gems
Like in other Match 3 titles, some of the vintage mechanics still apply, such as the ability to create a special gem by matching more than three of a kind. For example, if you clear four in a row, you’ll get a Flame Gem, which can destroy pieces within a small radius by acting like a bomb. If you match five in a row, you’ll get a Hypercube, which allows you to get rid of all gems of a certain color, based on the color of gem the Hypercube collides with. The Star Gem will show up if you match five gems in a “T” or “L” formation, and would shoot out a beam in a +-like formation, destroying all the gems in its path. Then you’ve got the Dark Hypercube, which is created when you match six gems in a row. It works like a regular Hypercube would, except for one main difference – it doesn’t just destroy the gems, but also converts gems of the same type into regular Hypercubes. Use that plethora of Hypercubes you’ll get to clear levels faster, and with less moves.
Additionally, if you mix two special gems, you can get much more devastating effects that take out a lot more pieces, and allow you to score a lot more points.
5. Make Use Of The Skygems
Early on in the game, you should find out what SkyGems are. But without even downloading or playing the game, what are they? For starters, SkyGems are special gems that look similar to regular gems, but with a few key differences – they come in unique shapes and have unusual indents not found on normal gems. You can, however, match them like you could normal gems, and once you’re able to match them, they go into your inventory. It’s these SkyGems that will serve as ingredients when you unlock the Power Lab (after beating Level 6), and with that in mind, you should try to collect as many of them as possible.
6. You Can Go To The Power Lab To Craft Powers
One of the rather unique features of Bejeweled Stars is that you can go to the aforementioned Power Lab to create your own special power-ups. You can do this at any point in the game, though it will take time for the power-ups to actually be created; you may want to use the time lapse cheat we told you about in order to expedite the process. There’s also the option to pay some coins to speed up the power creation process, though at the end of the day, waiting may be the best thing to do.
What kind of special power-ups can you expect from the Power Lab? One good example would be the Flame Swapper. If you create this power-up, you can transform any gem on the board into a flame gem, all without having to match four gems in a row.
Also, as a bonus tip, make sure that you only use those created gems/powers when you truly need them! Don’t use them simply because you have them, and are able to create them.
7. More Moves Left Over Means More Stars
It’s a basic aspect of Match 3 gaming, but we’re going to mention it nonetheless. Once you’ve accomplished all of the objectives stated for the level, whatever leftover moves you have will create special gems out of the random gems on the board. So if you weren’t able to make it to three stars, or even two stars, before the level ends, those extra points from your extra moves can help you out, taking you to the three-star level and eliminating the need to grind it out by replaying those levels you weren’t able to three-star. It all goes back to the tips we told you above; make use of them so you can optimize the moves you’re allowed to make in the game.
8. What Happens When You Get Three Stars?
Fortunately for you, earning three stars is more than mere bragging rights among you and your friends. Once you’re able to get all three stars out of three, you’ll be treated to a special graphical display that shows off the different constellations of the night. And each star you earn will take you closer to completing a constellation (you can always grind for more stars). Once you’ve got a constellation completely filled up, you’ll get a good number of SkyGems as a reward, allowing you to do more crafting at the lab.
9. Be Smart When Working At The Power Lab
Let’s go back to the Power Lab for yet another tip on how to make the most out of this feature. Before you leave the game for an extended period of time, such as if you need to go to sleep, or need to head off to work or school, you’ll want to go to the Power Lab. Once there, you can queue up new power-ups to be created, so that way you don’t have to do any time lapsing; once you return to the game, your new power-ups will be all crafted and ready to use!
10. Always Be Aware Of The Objectives
Last, but not the least, you should always be looking at the objectives of each level before you try to solve it. It’s easy to play a new level like you would the last one, but since different levels have different objectives, you should always be prepared to make some changes to your game plan, in order to complete those levels with the least possible moves.