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When the game starts, I get time-gems rather frequently, but they seem to become very rare after a very short time.

Are there some special moves/combinations that trigger the appearance of these "time-gems"? Or do they appear completely random?

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I just watched this GDC talk by Jason Kapalka (Co-founder and chief creative officer at Pop-Cap), where he talks about Bejeweled. It's a very interesting and entertaining talk btw., so have a look at it.

Around 48:30, he answers a question regarding A.I. and he says that apart from the fact that the A.I. will make sure you always have a possible move (in modes where that matters), there is no sophisticated A.I.

Earlier in the talk he also mentioned that a huge part of Bejeweled is simply based on luck. So this (and playing lightning-mode a lot), leads me to the conclusion that the "time gems" are triggered randomly and there's no A.I. or special moves that will increase their rate. It boils down to luck.

Update: Of course you get more time-gems if you can clear lots of gems faster (especially using power-gems) because more new gems entering the board also means more "time gems".

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    Love that you returned to answer your own question. It's people like you that make this network even more awesome.
    – Khez
    Apr 7, 2011 at 17:20

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