Bejeweled Blitz Gets a Boost, a Price Tag, and Facebook Connect

Since its appearance on Facebook in a year ago, PopCap’s social rendition of its top casual game, Bejeweled has grown to be one of the most successful traditional casual games on the platform. And now the developer is bringing it back to the PC as a download — but using Facebook Connect.

Sitting comfortably at #15 in this month’s list of top 25 Facebook games, Bejeweled Blitz currently holds around 10.6 million monthly active users. Bejeweled is the original “match three” type puzzle game, while Bejeweled Blitz is a 60-second version of its predecessor. The objective is to score has high as possible within 60 seconds, earn achievements, and brag about it to your friends.

What makes Blitz stand out is the level of polish the game comes with, like its sound, effects, power-ups, and social features. This is one reason why PopCap has launched a new, Windows-based, PC version of the popular Facebook version, rather than building out the original.

The new PC version of Bejeweled Blitz comes with full screen capabilities and extraordinarily improved sound and visuals. Of course, the epic sounding effects and music that has always gone with Bejeweled still feels a bit of a strange choice for a game about matching up gems, but we’re not complaining.

The game also comes new achievements and badges to earn. But more than that, there is the virtual currency feature already available in the Facebook version, called Blitz Coins. The currency can be earned through game play or purchased, and can be used to buy various power ups, such as scrambling the board, placing detonator gems, and so on. These virtual goods are intended to help players boost their scores. Couple this with other new score-boosting effects – a personal favorite is “Last Hurrah” that uses any special gems you have left on the board at the end of a round – and PopCap has truly perfected the concept of “beat my high score.”

You can play the game without being logged in to Facebook, but if you want to publish high scores and medals for your Facebook friends to see you’ll need to log in first.

Of course, if you read our review of Bejeweled Blitz 12 months ago, or have played that version yourself, then you have played this game. Honestly, the only downside to the PC version is that it costs $20, but considering the popularity of the game, that’s probably not a problem for most people. Even if it is, there is still a free trial. In the end, between these “box” sales, the Blitz Coins virtual currency, and the Facebook version, Bejeweled Blitz could be making good money.