Phone Fun: Does ‘Bejeweled Stars’ Shine?

With the boom of smartphones, you’re never far away from a new time-consuming game. With so many different options to download, it can often be hard choosing the next handheld game to get sucked into. We’re here to help, showing the latest, the greatest, and the games that aren’t worth the space on your phone.

Last Time: Clash Royale

What We’re Playing

Bejeweled Stars (iOS/Android)


Like many of you, I lost many, many (too many) hours to Bejeweled. The classic match-three game is a massive time suck, with its addictive nature and its gorgeous sound effects and music. It’s also a game destined to be a mobile classic because you can pick it up and put it down abruptly with ease. Or, like me, get sucked into the dang thing for hours on end.

Bejeweled Stars is the latest incarnation of the game and it has the same gameplay as previous editions. However, Stars follows the Candy Crush model. That means you move along a virtual game board, finishing levels with specific goals. You can spend in-game currency on power-ups that’ll make those infuriating levels just a bit easier. Of course, you’ll eventually run out of lives and have to let a timer run out before you gain more. This isn’t a new type of game, it’s Bejeweled following a popular trend.

A popular trend that bothers many, many gamers. The timers, the level-to-level goals, the power-ups that end up costing you all your cash – these are things that countless games have used and countless players now consider tiresome. Stars is still quite fun despite these changes, but there’s no doubt that it pales in comparison to the original, straight-up Bejeweled. Why play with the restrictions of timers and increasingly harder levels when you can just zen out to the classic?

Despite that, it’s hard to put Stars down. I found myself getting stumped often but I also found myself saying “just one more time” before giving it another shot. Some levels seem downright impossible but if you’re willing to try repeatedly – and maybe spend some in-game (or real) cash – you can beat any puzzle presented. It’s also a fantastically made game. It’s beautiful to look at, easy to control and contains some epic music. There is a lot of effort put into Bejeweled Stars even if the game unfortunately does what so many others do.

A Game From the Vault

Canabalt (iOS/Android)


There are endless runners and then there is Canabalt. The game from Semi Secret Software is the endless runner to rule them all. Moody, artistic, wildly fun – Canabalt is nearly impossible to put down.

What’s it about? Well, that’s hard to say. You play an anonymous man (in a suit for some reason) who is sprinting across rooftops, running from…something. You never really see the creature (or creatures!) chasing you but with the high-tempo pace of the game, music and scary scenery around you, you know that you have to run, run, run.

The thing that Canabalt has that so many games lack is style. Black and white and dripping with dystopian sci-fi goodness, this is a game that’s beautiful to look at. And it’s insanely addictive. The joy of endless runners is that you can never really beat them. Each round has the chance to be your best yet and you continually play to try and beat your score. Beating your score and running further and further never feels as urgent as it does in Canabalt. 

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