This evening at a gala celebration in downtown Seattle, PopCap Games introduced their newest title Bejeweled Twist. Their first new Bejeweled title in almost fours years, Bejeweled Twist puts a completely new spin on the top-selling puzzle game that PopCap pioneered eight years ago. For those of you unfamiliar with the Bejeweled franchise, it is the most popular casual game of the 21st century with more than 350 million copies downloaded and over 25 million units sold.
John Cook of TechFlash interviewed PopCap co-founder Jason Kapalka in advance of tonight’s release at the Experience Musci Project in Seattle and got the inside scoop.
Bejeweled Twist removes the barriers of traditional match-3 games. Instead of swapping adjacent jewels to make a set, players rotate an entire 2×2 block of gems clockwise in an effort to create a line of three or more gems of the same type. Further, in Bejeweled Twist players don’t have to make a match with every move – instead they can freely rotate gems anywhere on the board, allowing far greater liberty of movement and vastly increased strategic freedom to plan combinations, cascades and chains.
Bejeweled Twist is available now for PC via online download at www.popcap.com, with online partners such as MSN Games, RealArcade, Zylom, WildTangent ORB, Telstra and STEAM offering the game on November 18th. On that same date, Bejeweled Twist will arrive on shelves at leading North American retail chains including Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Amazon.com and Target carrying a North American retail price of US$19.99.
PopCap Games was founded in 2000 by John Vechey, Brian Fiete, and Jason Kapalka, who learned their trade working for Internet game companies like Flipside and pogo.com. As the Internet boom was busting, the three decided to stake their futures on creating good-lookin’, simple games that folks could play on the Web and PopCap Games was born. PopCap is currently 180 employees strong.