WordScapes - Word Puzzles
- Good visuals
- Lots of words to make.
- Limited vocabulary
- Predefined levels, no procedural generation or external vocabularies support
- Controls not as obvious as expected
- Too many ads.
Word games are one of the oldest played by mankind, and they got even more popular in the digital era. Wordscapes is more than just fun: it’s a great assistance for those learning English or attempting to enlarge their vocabulary.
Graphics and Sound 7/10
There’s not much required from the game that in theory could be played with a pen and a sheet of paper. This one benefits from digital representation, but still, it doesn’t imply that graphical splendor we expect from action games or quests. WordScapes is a well-drawn game, easy to understand and control, and that’s quite enough for it.
As for the music, it seems too jolly for the mind game. This upbeat electronic sound would fit into an arcade or a racing game, but not into a word one.
It can take you some nervous seconds of tapping or dragging letters into the boxes, until you realize you need to swipe upon them like you do with Swype keyboard on your smartphone. When you get through it, the game becomes quite logical.
Surprisingly the app requires a lot of your PC’s performance. So don’t be surprised if it doesn’t react immediately as you swipe.
The core of the game has been known long before the computer era. It’s what the famous Scrabble is drawn upon: you have a set of letters, and you need to make words out of them. In WordScapes, the set is quite limited, and the number of the words to make is predefined.
As said above, you need to swipe from one letter to another to make a word. If it exists, the app will fill the boxes above where the word is hidden, leaving you to search for the rest of them.
On passing one level you proceed to another, more complicated. If you’re in trouble with making a word, you can use a hint, revealing one letter in a random hidden word.
The only flaw is the vocabulary. It doesn’t contain some quite common words; for example, it gladly accepts “lady” (sorry for this spoiler), but declines “lad,” though the word exists. How sexist! Later (a spoiler again) it wouldn’t accept “sea,” one of the most common and obvious words, though it recognizes “ads” at the same level. No wonder: you see ads after each level, and the sea is not included. So, the mission is not about making existing words out of the letters; it’s about guessing what words the app hides.
And, of course, you can purchase more hints for in-game coins that can be bought for real money. Not the worst method of commercial education.
Lasting Appeal 6/10
The original game has almost unlimited potential of creating new combinations and encouraging you to learn new words. That’s not the case with WordScapes, alas. It’s no fun to replay a level. Luckily, the game has tons of them.
It’s a good word game, but not perfect, because of some flaws one can consider absurd. Anyway, guessing what the developers meant is a special kind of fun, sometimes irritating, and sometimes amusing. So the word is worth installing if you like this sort.