Don't worry if you're not quite ready to upgrade just yet, as you can switch back and forth between the classic version of gameplay and the beta by clicking on a banner at the very top of the game's page. For those willing to jump into something new, you'll find an updated (yet still streamlined) experience that adds in a level system and experience points, three Boost slots, and more.
The most basic elements of gameplay have been retained in that you'll need to make matches of two like cubes, so long as those cubes have at least one free side, just like in a standard game of Mahjongg Dimensions. Here though, some of the game's features have been moved to be unlockable bonuses as you level up. For instance, the ability to rotate the puzzle for a better view at all dimensions seems to only be unlocked once you reach level three, while additional Boost slots are unlocked at levels 8 and 16. This really seems to give you something else to look forward to each time you play, as you can set real goals for yourself.
As for the Boosts system itself, you can now combine up to three Boosts in a single game to have all three of their effects take place simultaneously. For instance, you could combine a Blocked Tile and Time Bonus refill to make your game board highlight only the tiles that can currently be matched, along with adding a three second bonus to your timer. For each 60-second gameplay session, you'll need to use more and more Boosts, leaving you to spend Facebook Credits or simply win them by logging in every day to stock up.
Other unlockables include new types of tiles that appear on the game board. For instance, at level four you'll unlock the Blue Tile, which increases your score multiplier. Another bonus is the Blast Chain, which allows you to score huge amounts of points by quickly matching tile pairs in rapid succession. Incorrectly click on a tile, or simply take too many seconds to make your next match and the chain resets.
Gallery: Mahjongg Dimensions Blast Beta
All of these elements seem to make the game far more exciting than it was before (dare we say that playing the game is a "Blast?"). Where I would usually find myself playing one or two games in a sitting, I'm now playing for far longer, becoming completely side-tracked by the thought of what I'll unlock next. By listening to user feedback, Arkadium seems to have really struck on something here, and it will be interesting to see if these changes help the game climb back up the leaderboard to eventually challenge the big players like PopCap in the 60-second-gameplay space.
If you're interested in giving this new version of the game a go, remember that it is in beta, so you may run into bugs. We personally haven't found any, but they could be hiding.
Play Mahjongg Dimensions Blast on Facebook -->
Have you already tried the Mahjongg Dimensions Blast Beta on Facebook? Do you prefer this style of gameplay over the more relaxed gameplay found in the original version of the game? Do you think these updates will push MD to the top of the app leaderboard? Sound off in the comments.