Words of Wonder
- Release Date: March 10, 2013
- Publisher: Disney's Playdom
- Developer: Disney's Playdom
- Genre: Puzzle
Words of Wonder is a word puzzle game from Disney’s Playdom, featuring neat interface, simple gameplay, lots of levels and a great many maps. In spite of all the features a traditional word puzzle addict may desire, the game is likely to put off many others who are not so good at words and who go in for exciting gaming experience due to its lack of hints and rather static spelling scenes.
Pros: tidy interface, nice soundtrack, great visuals, multiple difficulty levels
Cons: unoriginal gameplay, mediocre stories
In many ways, Words of Wonder is a rather conventional word puzzle game, where you are assigned tasks of finding words among the rows and columns of letters in accordance with certain rules. With the basic formula that is typical of this genre, Words of Wonders will naturally appeal to the word-hungry folks who have a special liking for tranquil moments of mental challenge, while it may drive off gamers who are in search of exiting events and turns. Though the game appears somewhat similar to crossword, the multiplied tile-clearing methods together with a few other new features will indeed enhance your gaming experience.
Word games never seem to embrace great popularity, but they always have within their grasp of a good share of the game market. The reasons are quite obvious: they can train and develop our brains; and they provide us with amusement. That is precisely why I get addicted to Words of Wonders. It is just the right word game for me with simple gameplay, good visuals and plenty of difficulty levels, but honestly I would not recommend it to impatient and thrill-seeking players.
In Words of Wonder, the interface is not so glamorous as you may imagine, but it presents clearly almost everything you might want to do in the game. You can invite friends to be your allies to clear the tiles; you may send gifts to your friends, so that you may get some in return; and the store allows you to purchase in-game currency to explore the world of the game. While you are ascending the tower of levels, various boosts will be unlocked and shown to you on the top of the letter matrix. Meanwhile, the number of moves left for you and your score are all also available for your reference on the left side of the interface. It is really tidy and nifty.
Equally intuitive is the gameplay. As the story goes, Words of Wonder is actually a magic book, yet a gray curse has come over it; as a result, it has neither color nor magic now. What can been seen is little more than a few cursory sketches. There are altogether 5 maps in the book waiting for you to restore magic and colors, each of which are spaned with stops representing different levels. Each of the maps features a different landscape, including farm, forest, desert and so on. When you start a level, a corresponding objective will be revealed to you. For instance, on the first map at level one, your objective is to spell five words, which sounds pretty easy. But as you ascend in levels, you are facing increasing difficulty.Let’s take level eleven for an example. At this level, you are asked to drop thrill quills to the bottom, and you can take only 18 moves. However many words you may have spelled out, it does not count. What matters is whether you can clear the tiles below the quills wedged between the letters within 18 moves. Very challenging, huh? When you have cleared a word, the space its letters occupy will be emptied, resulting in some other letters falling into the spots. And if these words are composed of four letters, the last letter will be left and highlighted as a hint for another word. This reward is named Double Word Score bonus. With five-lettered words, you can find an even greater surprise: a Triple Word Score bonus that will blow up tiles in every direction around it. However, these words are pretty hard to find.
With the game’s growing difficulty, you will inevitably get bogged somewhere in the game, where you cannot work out a way out even if you have racked your brain. This is perhaps one of the moments you want to resort to in game boosts, which will definitely cost a fortune. These boosts can be bought with in game currency–gold. If you need to add 3 more moves, 45 gold has be paid, which cost roughly 5 USD. Another boost is called “shuffle the board”, which will perhaps give you a chance to turn your tide of fortune. But for me, I would rather give up the level than allow the game to swindle me out of my dollars. When you have finished a map, if you want to continue your game, you will have to pay to unlock new maps. These cunningly embedded micro-transactions are simply outrageous.
On top of gold, the in-game currency, you might also want to know about the energy and star system of the game. In order to play the game, you need to spend energy, which recharges over time, can be gifted to and by friends, and can be bought with gold. In the middle of a game, if you run out of energy, it could be very tricky. Stars indicates your performance and progress in the game. At least one star is needed to complete a level, and fast completion within the set number of moves can give you up to three stars.
For gamers who are observant and with a large vocabulary, Words of Wonder is a blast with relaxing music, good artwork, as well as challenging and amusing tasks driven by believable stories. Yet its exorbitant micro-transactions and mediocre gameplay will surely lose the favor of an even larger audience.
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