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Special Gems

Special Gems are created in the game by you the player making moves, or by cascades.

There are two stages to making use of a special gem: first you must create a special gem, then the gem has to be activated.

In order to create a gem you must make a 4-match or a 5-match (line, T, or L). If you only three gems in a row throughout a game, no special gems will be created except possibly by a cascade.

In order to activate a gem, you must make a 3-, 4-, or 5-match that includes that gem, or use another gem to activate it.

There are five special gems that can be created and activated:

The five special gems
Create with:
When activated:
image of flame gem
Explodes any gem it is touching
image of star gem
5-L or 5-T
Uses Lightning to zap other gems in its own row and column
image of multiplier gem
Increases the point value of all future moves
image of hypercube gem
Move it into an adjacent gem to remove all gems of that color from the board
image of yellow coin gem
Increases your coins by 100. Also worth lots of points

Best Special Gems

Which special gems are the best? This may be a matter of opinion, but this top 6 countdown will give you my least and best recommendations if you're trying to get a high score:

  • #5: Coin. I rank this special gem in last place mostly because it doesn't really do much for your current game in terms of helping you get a high score. Granted, this yellow gem coin is nice because it *will* give you 100 coins when you activate it, but it's still in last place as a contributor to high scores.

    During play, coins have great points value, so try to make a match containing a coin. I would also love to see PopCap add bonus points when matching two or more coins in a single move!

    Creating this special gem remains a mystery, but you will see them throughout your game!

  • #4: The Flame special gem ranks 2nd worst. But it's better to say it's 4th best! This is because the Flame the workhorse of your BB game. It's easy to create, but it makes lots of mayhem on the board, exploding itself and all the gems around it horizontally, vertically, and diagonally (for a total of 8 gems if the flame isn't along a side or in a corner).

    To create this special gem, match any 4 colored gems in a row.

    If this bad boy is way down in 4th place, there must be some great special gems to come!...

  • #3: I rank the Hypercube in 3rd place. But I really like this special gem because it has a special purpose and a unique way to activate it. With other special gems, you need to create a 3- 4- or 5- match to activate it. But with the hypercube, you can activate it at any time just be dragging it into an adjoining gem. The best way to use a hypercube is to activate other special gems, especially a multiplier.

    To create this special gem, make a match of five gems in a row.

  • #2: 2nd best in the special gem category is the Star. Talk about mayhem! When activated it throws a loud and aggressive lightning strike for its own column and row, activating other special gems and blowing away plain gems. What a monster!

    To create this special gem, match 5 gems in an "L" shape or a "T" shape. Stars are also created automatically in a "+" shape during a cascade.

  • #1: The Multiplier special gem is best! You might already know that activating a multiplier is the single best way to get you on your way to a high score. And you can multiply your score by up to 8x.

    But there's no clear way to force a multiplier to get created. Most often it requires a hypercube or star activation, or a flame gem activation followed by one or two cascades in a row. Nonetheless, multipliers are definitely necessary to get a high score, so when one appears on the screen, try to activate it as soon as possible.

Some folks might disagree between #'s 2 and 3, the star and the hypercube. Each of these two special gems serves qute a different purpose. If I have one or more multipliers visible on the board, I might prefer to have a hypercube to activate them. But otherwise the mayhem the star gem produces is preferable.

There is actually a sixth special gem, which appears on the board whenever you purchase a Phoenix Prism rare gem. But so far, this is the only special gem that requires a rare gem purchase.

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