A well done W-O-R-D S-E-A-R-C-H game
Windows Phone is no stranger to the addictive world of online word games. These titles continue a heritage set forth by the old guard of newspaper crossword puzzles, kindergarten word searches, and the family mayhem incited by Scrabble.
Games like Monkeyworks.se's Twisted know what you expect from a smartphone word game, and it gives you everything you'd ever really want from one. But does it deliver anything more?
Twisted is a variation of the game Boggle, which has been thoroughly updated for the modern smartphone experience. Here you are given a 4x4 grid of letters and the game gives you one round of two minutes to find as many words as you possibly can. To 'find' a word, you drag your finger from the beginning letter and connect the other letters thus forming the word. Points are given based on the letters used, with each indicating its value in the top-right corner. Once the round is over, the turn-by-turn aspect comes into play and your opponent (random, friend, or computer) takes their turn. In one game you play three rounds, and the winner is decided by the total number of points accumulated. (Plus while you wait, you can trash-talk using the built in chat.)
I suddenly valued these bonus letters more, and it made our word searches a bit more deliberate than they would have been otherwiseIt all sounds a little routine, but Twisted throws in a surprisingly satisfying variation on the gameplay that's unlike its contemporaries. Much like the aforementioned Scrabble, the game denotes certain letters with a few bonuses: DL means you get twice as many points for the letter, TL means you get triple points for the letter, DW means you get double points for the entire word, and finally TW means you get triple points for the entire word. It's such a simple tweak to the core gameplay, but it dramatically changed my experience. I suddenly valued these bonus letters more, and it made my word searches a bit more deliberate than they would have been otherwise.
However, I fear Twisted will just get lost in the noise, falling victim to an overcrowded genre in gaming.Beyond that inspired gameplay innovation, Twisted can be run-of-the-mill. Like I said, this is but one of many Boggle-inspired games available on Windows Phone. Each title brings something unique to the table, and I value any creativity when I see it, but at the same time one has to wonder why anyone would pick Twisted over another online word search game. The only situation where one would deliberately choose Twisted is if they already had a friend who played it, or if it was the first word search game they found.
I don't mean to discount Twisted, since it is an extremely well-executed game in its own right. However I fear it will just get lost in the noise, falling victim to an overcrowded genre in gaming. It also does not help that Twisted's controls tended to feel 'sticky', where I would slide across letters and it would not register letters I thought I had gotten. That's a minor issue though, and something that will likely be resolved as Monkeyworks.se gets more feedback.
|The Good:||The Bad:||The Score:|
4 out of 5
|+ Excellent presentation with polished graphics|
+ Double and triple points add some strategy
|- Nothing you haven't seen in other Boggle-inspired games|
- Controls are a little clunky
|Twisted is another word game augmented by online competition, but it makes up for that lack of originality with balanced gameplay and lots of features.|
Download Twisted from the Windows Phone Store now by clicking on the link found below, or by scanning the QR code.