Word Puzzle Review

Have you ever opened up your favorite newspaper and headed straight for the crossword puzzle, jumble, cryptoquip, and word search residing somewhere in the middle? I have, and working on the four of those could be pretty enjoyable on a boring morning. Word Puzzle is basically like a full book of just one of those four (arguably the least stimulating one) – the word search.

For a whopping 800 MS points, players enjoy finding words on the traditional letter grids, as well as on irregularly-shaped arrangements and four-sided 3D boards. The game has a variety of play modes, although the goal is invariably “find the words” in any given situation.

The Arcade mode is somewhat of a joke, because while there are special bonuses for finding words in rapid succession and there is a [much too lengthy to be of any significance] time limit on each set of words, the game highlights the first or last letter of each. To put it plainly, this mode’s utter lack of any challenge whatsoever makes it simply a waste of time. (Well, I rescind my statement. Those who don’t know how to read will find this mode slightly challenging.)

Survival mode is the cream of the Word Puzzle crop, and can actually become difficult during the final stage. The point in Survival mode is to locate all of the special ‘bomb words’ before the timer runs down. The best part is that the words are no longer tipped as in Arcade mode. Finding the other words on the list is unnecessary, because once the highlighted ones are crossed off, the player has successfully passed the level. Each of the eight three-puzzle areas comes complete with an extra bonus game where players must find as many words as they can within about 10 seconds.

Free Play mode is, again, valueless. Players choose a board style and game type (either themed words or synonyms/antonyms) and then go at it at their own pace. It gets old fast, and worse yet is that after a short stint of phonetic spelunking, words begin to recur often. This applies to all game modes.

Multiplayer exists in both local and online flavors. Players can compete in a single-grid race to locate the most words from a given list. The winners’ bragging rights are minimal, but I’m sure some crazed competitive gamer will find a way to glorify these sorts of victories.

There isn’t much more to say about Word Puzzle. It is your Sunday newspaper’s word search with a little extra incentive and competitive play thrown, but the gameplay isn’t as good. Plus, it will run you about $10, which to me is totally unacceptable. A one-week rental of a feature-length Xbox 360 title would certainly be more satisfying, and would leave you with enough money to buy yourself a snack or two.


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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