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- "Hold back the rising ice columns."
- — Game menu description from Bejeweled 3
Ice Storm is a game mode in Bejeweled 3. In the computer and console versions, it is a Secret Mode that becomes available by earning a high score of 100,000 or more points in Lightning mode. Ice Storm is one of the few game modes that does not appear in the iPad and iOS versions of Bejeweled 3.
In Ice Storm mode, columns of ice rise from the bottom of the board toward the top. The objective of Ice Storm mode is to destroy the ice columns, which is done by matching gems over them. The types of matches made have different effects on the rising ice; horizontal matches only push down ice columns, while vertical matches shatter them. Columns of ice can also be pushed down/destroyed by using Special Gems. At the beginning of each Ice Storm game, the ice columns are doublewide and they rise slowly. As the game progresses, singlewide columns of ice appear and the rate in which the ice rises toward the top also gradually increases. It is worth noting that some ice columns rise faster than others.
Positioned to the left of the board is a large glass tank, with boiling water inside it. The water level in the tank rises when ice is cleared by pushing down and/or destroying ice columns. When the tank is full, it transfers the water via a pipe to the top of the board where jets of steam are released upon the ice columns, pushing them down significantly. Filling the tank requires clearing more ice each time it is emptied.
Throughout each game of Ice Storm, Hypercubes will randomly drop onto the board. These can be used to help push down/destroy ice columns more effectively.
There exists an oddity that occurs in each game of Ice Storm. At seven minutes and thirty seconds, the ice columns begin to rise so fast they end the game almost instantly as soon as they start appearing. These columns of ice are often referred to as "Sudden Death Pillars" by Bejeweled fans. It is currently unknown what causes this oddity, and it seems to be only present in the PC version of Bejeweled 3. It is also currently unknown if this oddity is intentional or not.
In the Chinese version of Bejeweled 3, Ice Storm mode combines gameplay elements from Lightning mode in which Speed Bonuses and Blazing Speed bonuses can be earned. These bonuses behave the same way as they do in Lightning mode.
When an ice column reaches the top of the board, a warning icon in the form of a blue skull appears over the column and a secondary ice column begins to rise slowly. This internal column resets when the ice column is pushed downed. As the secondary ice column approaches the top of the board, the column flashes bright red and a warning sound can be heard. The background also darkens and additional instrumentation is added to the in-game music to intensify the situation. When a secondary ice column reaches the top of the board, the blue skull icon displayed above the column turns red and enlarges. If the column of ice is not pushed down or destroyed within a few seconds, the game ends in which the entire board completely freezes over.
Upon completing a game of Ice Storm, a Stats Screen will appear with various information about the finished game, such as the total number of ice columns destroyed and the total duration of the game.
There are two badges that can only be earned by playing Ice Storm mode: Glacial Explorer and Ice Breaker. Reaching certain high scores awards the former, and getting certain levels of Column Combos awards the latter.
Similar to other game modes in Bejeweled 3, points in Ice Storm mode are earned primarily by matching gems. The base values of points awarded for clearing gems in Ice Storm mode is double the amount earned in Classic mode and Zen mode. For example, creating a single match of gems awards 100 points in Ice Storm mode, whereas performing the same action in Classic mode and Zen mode awards 50 points.
Ice Storm mode features unique bonuses known as Column Combos in which destroying columns of ice in quick succession awards points. Clearing an ice column awards a base value of 1,500 points. Destroying subsequent ice columns after the first two in a Column Combo award base values of additional points that increase by increments of one thousand, starting with 5,000 points. The maximum base value of additional points that can be earned by maintaining a Column Combo is 15,000. Column Combos reset if the ice columns are not destroyed within a few seconds of each other.
Displayed above the large tank positioned to the left of the board is the Score Multiplier. Each time the tank is filled, the Score Multiplier increases by one. The current multiplier level multiplies all base values of points in Ice Storm mode accordingly.
In the Chinese version of Bejeweled 3, earning a Speed Bonus awards a base value of 80 points. Each subsequent match of gems after the first one in a Speed Bonus awards a base value of additional points that increase by increments of forty. The maximum base value of additional points that can be earned by maintaining a Speed Bonus is 400. Similar to all other base values of points in Ice Storm mode, these are multiplied accordingly to the current Score Multiplier level.
- Horizontal matches knock ice columns down a bit, but vertical matches destroy columns completely.
- Don't get too focused on a column if there's no match on it; work around and toward it instead.
- Try to keep Star Gems and Hypercubes on hand as a safety net.
- The background featured in Ice Storm mode is a unique purple variant that is based on one of Bejeweled 3's other in-game backdrops. This background is not seen in any of the other game modes, not even in the Ice Storm mini-quests in Quest mode.
- In the Nintendo DS version of Bejeweled 3, the background featured in Ice Storm mode is the one that the purple variant is based on, which also appears in other game modes.
- Strangely, Supernova Gems do not clear ice columns in the PC version of Bejeweled 3. However, they do in the Nintendo DS version of the game.
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