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Word Puzzle - Xbox Live Arcade review

Calling all wordsmiths

For

  • Easy to learn
  • Played in small chunks
  • Learning new words

Against

  • Awful interface
  • Scrolling puzzles
  • One-dimensional play

Nov 8, 2007

What a bizarre game... and what an awful lot of Microsoft points to ask for what is basically a digital version of the word search puzzles you find in every daily newspaper every day. But in the quest to turn all pen and paper logic puzzles into videogames, apparently word searches were next in line.

Problem is they just don't translate well to the big screen. Sure, maybe if this were a Nintendo DS game, World Puzzle would be more fun. Heck, it might even be respectable on the Wii. But playing a word search with an Xbox 360 controller? No, definitely not the way to go.

The basic premise is this: a scramble of letters appears on the screen, along with a group of words you're required to find before time runs out. If you find said word, you press a button when you have the first or last letter of a word highlighted, and then use the analog stick to drag that highlight to the other end of the word. Repeat... and repeat... and repeat...

It's an incredibly imprecise way to do a word search, and considering you're under a time limit most of the time, a really frustrating way to play as well. You'll quickly lose count of the number of times you miss a word because you scrolled a tiny bit too far or not far enough, or your diagonal drag was just a couple degrees to the right or left.

There are a few game modes to mix up the "action" a little bit, including a regular marathon session where you build combos by finding multiple words under a certain amount of time, and a survival mode where obstacles like dancing silhouettes or dark rooms are meant to slow down your progress. But in the end, you're doing a word search... and not a very good one thanks to the limitations of the media.

More Info

GenrePuzzle
DescriptionSave your $10 for something more worthwhile than this gussied-up word search. This isn't even a decent time-waster.
PlatformXbox 360
US censor ratingEveryone
UK censor rating
Release date:7 November 2007 (US), (UK)
Available platforms:Xbox 360
Genre:Puzzle
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