- Release date: 12/8/2009
- Developer: Black Lantern Studios, Inc.
- Publisher: PopCap Games, Inc.
- Genre: Puzzle
- Content rating: ESRB E
- Features: 2 players simultaneous
Black Lantern Studios, Inc.
Bookworm Review. Classic Word Search Gameplay
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Bookworm has always been one of my favorite word search games, even during its PC heydays. Now ported to DS, this game makes a welcome addition to the Nintendo family, and packs a scintillating new Action mode.
I’m not the biggest fan of the game’s graphics, and though it stays true to the original PC title, the DS’s GPU is terribly underutilized by this production. The 2D graphics are quite plain, and even matching letters doesn’t release the spectacular flare that is typical of other tile-matching games on console. The colorful mascot and animated cutscenes, however, breathe a little fresh air into the often stale and repetitive graphics.
In Bookworm, you form English words by matching adjacent letters. Longer words naturally get you more points or bonuses. As you progress through the various levels of the game, you’ll start to encounter newer variations such as the red Fire Tile, which burns through the column beneath it and eventually reaches the bottom and consumes your library if you can’t eliminate it first. You’ll also play with Green, Sapphire, Diamond and Gold tiles, which you are generally awarded if you display skill in forming longer words. These colored pieces are resistant to burning by the fire blocks. You can shuffle the board if you can’t come up with any word combinations, although this will introduce more reds on your board.
You can play in either Classic mode which is untimed, or Action mode which uses the Fire tiles to present a timed challenge. You can collect special words, as part of the Book challenge which groups words in a similar category.
If you’re using a stylus, then it is quite simple to match tiles or shuffle the game board. This is the easiest way to play on the DS. However, you could always use the D-pad to make your selections. Of course, this requires you to move around more and makes everything more cumbersome. Overall, I’d say the controls are quite simple to master and intuitive, even for novice players.
Replay Value: 4.5
Bookworm offers Action mode on top of the Classic mode. This addition makes the gameplay exhilarating, and you’ll play repetitively to try and beat those high scores. There’s also a multiplayer mode in which you can play on different game boards (on the same device). This lets players find words while competing against each other’s time limits. The game has numerous levels, stats tracking, and words from the various book collections.
Bookworm gives you easy gameplay and doesn’t take away from the simple thrill of creating or learning new words. While it doesn’t quite match up to other puzzle games on console, the various levels and Action mode in particular help make Bookworm a simple yet addictive game for the DS system. The graphics are far from exhilarating, and there aren’t too many moments to remember from this game, but still, it does offer a great way to kill boredom.
Bookworm has always been a classic word search game from its PC days, and this DS version is no different.
Pros : Simple gameplay.
Offers numerous levels.
Detailed stats tracking.
Cons : Lackluster graphics.
Multiplayer is quite underwhelming.
Replay Value 4.5