How many hours did you lose to Zoo Keeper last year? 10? 20? 100? Who's even counting? Maybe you're still playing it in lunch breaks and on commutes, busily trying to conquer all the modes so you can finally get a Time Attack score worthy of the name. Famously, it's the only game in Eurogamer's history that the same reviewer has felt the need to re-assess because the penny soon dropped that something this addictive deserved better than its initial score. Initial impression of it being little more than an overpriced, subtle reworking of Bejeweled (in itself a free Flash game) were swept away. It was one of the few games that almost seemed made for the DS' touch screen, and even now we're unlikely to leave home without it. Quite how it could translate to a joypad we had immediate concerns about, though.
As a game concept, Bejeweled is absolute unadulterated, unquestionable, mind-bending genius. In terms of puzzle greatness, it's probably the only game to rival Tetris for its stultifying, obsessively addictive qualities and maddening brilliance. Once you start switching those tiles around and matching up colour, it's pretty unlikely you'll ever be able to stop. That's EVER. Be warned.
Explaining it to newcomers never sounds that exciting, but bear with us. Based on an eight by eight grid, the game amounts to little more than frantically scouring said grid in order to match three or more of a kind by switching adjacent tiles (or in this case, gems) around horizontally or vertically. As lines of three or more match up the gems explodes, so new ones rain down from the top of the screen to fill the breach, often setting off chain reactions and high scoring bonanzas into the bargain.