As possibly the world's most popular Match 3 game, Bejeweled 3 is likely a game that needs little introduction. It's also the kind of thing pretty much anyone can play - all you need to do is swap around like coloured gems to make groups of three, and they disappear, leaving nothing but a handful of points in their wake. It's a really simple concept that requires more thinking than fast reactions, making Bejeweled 3 more suited to the kids that prefer slower paced games - although some of the more complex modes may prove tricky for very young children to get to grips with.
One of the most complex modes is Poker, which counts every match you make as though you're playing a hand of cards. Make five matches of gems of the same colour, and you'll have a straight, make two of the same colour, and three of another, and you'll have a full house, etc. It's easy enough to get your head around if you know Poker, though, making it best suited to older children. Another tricky one is Butterflies, which requires a lot of strategic planning - presenting you with a grid of gems, on which some are butterfly gems, it's up to you to match the butterfly gems before they reach the top. Every time you make a move, the butterflies move up, making this a game that requires a lot of thinking before making a move.
In terms of accessibility, given children's uncanny ability to play the same mode over, and over again though, the vast majority of what's on offer here should be OK for reasonably young children - though those below around seven or eight may struggle slightly with some of the concepts. The controls should pose no problems, and there's two different options on offer - the Classic controls just has you selecting a gem with the analogue stick and then pressing the A button along with the direction you want to swap the gem, whereas the Blitz controls map the swapping direction to each of the four lettered buttons on the Xbox 360 controller; the A button swaps downwards, X to the left, B to the right and Y upwards.
As a game that revolves entirely around switching gems, there's nothing for parents to be concerned about in here at all - no violence, swearing, gore, or sexual content.
Format Reviewed: Playstation 3