Word-Puzzle Gameplay Expands Players' Vocabularies
In Bookworm Deluxe, players' quick-thinking skills will be put to the ultimate test as they combine letters to make words. The game features 2 gameplay types and offers lots of fun for both kids and adults. The game's ultimate goal is to help players improve their vocabulary skills while having fun, ensuring that they stay entertained while they learn. The game also allows multiple users to play on the same computer, which makes it fun for the entire family.
At the start of each game, players are presented with seven columns of letters. These columns alternate between having eight and seven rows, for a total of 52 letters. The player's overall goal in each game is to combine letters together to form words that are at least three letters long. This process is made more difficult by the fact that all the letters used in the word must be adjacent to at least one other letter in the word. This forces players to constantly be scanning the game area for words.
Players are given a score that is based on the length of the words they create, the scarcity of the letters used in the word's creation and any bonus squares that were on the board. Bonus squares are frequently placed around the board, and if the player uses a letter located on top of a bonus tile they will receive a multiplicative bonus to their word's score.
The flip side of this is that whenever a player forms a three-letter word, it will leave behind flaming tiles. Players will need to use these flaming tiles in a word immediately or the fire will spread to the rest of the tiles on the board. If left unchecked, the flames will spread downward until they reach the bottom of the board, at which point the player will lose the game.
The game is also available in two different modes of play: a classic mode that allows players to play at their own pace, and a time attack mode that pressures players into forming words as fast as possible. This is another great way for users to customize their experience, as the time attack mode is much more challenging and the classic mode is better suited for beginners. Both of these modes feature online leaderboards that track the user's world ranking, letting them know exactly how they stack up against the best players in the world.
Lack of Originality Hurts An Otherwise Well Done Game
Word games have been around for quite some time, and Bookworm Deluxe simply doesn't do enough to separate itself from classic games like Boggle and Scrabble. While the game has some fun mechanics, it really doesn't do enough to get the player excited to play it. Feeding words to a cartoon bookworm just seems like a lack of creativity on the part of the game's designers, as they really had the opportunity to do something more original. This is extremely unfortunate, as the game itself isn't half-bad.
The Story Is Mostly Non-Existent
The story in Bookworm Deluxe is practically nonexistent. Players are tasked with feeding the hungry bookworm Lex, who eats words instead of food. This thin attempt at a plot line is never even acknowledge in the game, as it never shows Lex actually eating any of the words. Instead, the words just sort of float off-screen and disappear. The good news is that players don't have to sit through any long, boring cutscenes; they're able to jump right into the game and immediately start playing.
The game is very simple and straightforward. Although there's no tutorial stage present in the game, the inclusion of one isn't really necessary. The game starts players out with relatively simple puzzles that gradually ramp-up in difficulty. Players are also able to adjust the game's overall difficulty settings on the main menu, which will affect the difficulty of the game board that they start out with. Interacting with the game is as simple as clicking on individual letters on the board, and the game does a good job of making the player aware of what moves are available to them on the game board.
Boring Colors And Lack Of Excitement
Even though graphics aren't the focus in most casual games, it really seems like very little effort was put into the graphics in Bookworm Deluxe. The game's color palette is almost entirely comprised of various shades of brown, which gives the game a very drab overall appearance. Whenever a player completes a word, it should be an exciting event that the game recognizes with lots of special effects and music. Instead, the words merely light up and move off the board. Just because the game is educational doesn't mean it has to be boring. In fact, boring is precisely what an educational game shouldn't be.
Fun Game In Short Bursts
Bookworm Deluxe is a game that manages to be mostly entertaining, although there are some significant flaws present. The addition of two separate game modes goes a long way towards increasing the game's replayability factor. Additionally, the game's multi-player mode will allow players to challenge their friends and family, which always makes a game much more exciting.
Unfortunately, the gameplay never really changes or has any new mechanics added to it. No matter how many stages the player manages to beat, they're still essentially doing the same thing over and over again. This makes the game fun for short periods of time, but it's tough to play it for any longer than a half-hour at a time. Nonetheless, it's still an excellent game for fans of word puzzles.
Review by Robert J
Robert J is an IT professional currently employed in the Milwaukee area. He has been an avid gamer his entire life and lives with his dog Buddy.
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