Word Puzzles by POWGI contains 6 categories of word games, each packed with dozens of puzzles to complete. Unless you regularly play word games, Word Puzzles will put your brain through the metaphorical wringer, but persistence in this game is rewarded with those fuzzy feelings of satisfaction and self-assurance.
Six puzzle types means you’re bound to find something you like. Here’s the rundown:
Word Maze looks like a simple word search on the surface. However, the goal in this game is to connect letters that spell words relating to a category of some kind (colors, careers, etc.). Every letter on the board must be used and, unless you turn on hints, you don’t even know what words you’re looking for (rely on the category!). Word Maze is an enjoyable brain teaser, but it’s easy to get stumped, only to find out that the next word in the pattern is something like “hotelier” or another word you probably don’t even know and wouldn’t think to look for on your own.
Mixups relies on a category as well. It’s also pretty self-explanatory; you’ll see a dozen or so letters scattered on the touch screen in no particular order, and it becomes your job to spell 3 words relating to the category using all of the letters. The concept is pretty basic, but solving these puzzles can be devilishly tricky, even after you turn hints on.
One Word tasks you with filling in the blanks of quotes from the likes of Jane Austen, Woody Allen, and more. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need to be familiar with these quotes (I, for example, didn’t recognize more than one or two); the game is more about searching for the correct word in a word search composed only of letters from that word. That may seem like it makes the game easier, but that’s not always the case. This game might resemble a generic word search more than any of the others.
Flowers is an interesting one in which you fill in blanks that resemble flower petals. In this game, there are two letters in the middle of the flower, and you have to form words by correctly placing two sets of two letters on either side of the middle letters. I know that sounds complicated (and my attempted explanation probably didn’t help), but this game can turn into quite a fun time once you get into the flow of it.
Circles is yet another tricky puzzle type that has a little in common with the aforementioned Mixups. In this one, three circles overlap, and letters scattered within those circles spell three different words relating to an overarching category. Letters that fall within the overlapping parts of the circles are shared with the words found in those circles. Once again, it can be tough to wrap your head around, but fun if you take the time to practice.
Crossovers is a little easier to learn than some of the other games, but it’s no less brain teasing and fun. Two words cross each other at a shared letter, and you have to determine that shared letter out of 4 choices. You can get through by simply choosing letters until one works, but after a sequence of these, you’ll have to unscramble the letters you used into a word that fits a crossword-like clue, making this game the closest, unsurprisingly, to a crossword puzzle.
Word Puzzles by POWGI has a nice interface that relies mostly on the 3DS’s touchscreen. In fact, if anything is wrong with it, it’s the few functions that are assigned to button presses (viewing hints, for example). Having to fumble with the 3DS to switch from touch control to button control and back breaks up the game’s flow, so I have to wonder why all the functions weren’t simply placed on the touchscreen. Visually, Word Puzzles gets the job done. The game’s mascot, a dog, shows up every time you complete a puzzle with humorous sayings or puns, which is a nice touch.
I didn’t expect much from the game’s sound, and my expectations were met, unfortunately. I’m not one to play my own music playlist during a game, but that’s exactly what I did during my Word Puzzles play sessions. It’s nice that the game offers a good selection of sound options, though, so you can customize your experience with the sound however you see fit.
I can’t wrap this review up without talking about amiibo support, of course. Word Puzzles by POWGI is the first game to support every last amiibo figure and card, and it does a surprisingly good job in that area. Scanning in an amiibo will allow the game to generate a random puzzle based on a word associated with that amiibo. I got a few puzzles based around my name, “Holly”, because I’m set as the owner of all of my amiibo figures, but I got to try a few “Lucina”, “Samus”, and “Ugly Mug” puzzles too.
Word Puzzles by POWGI would have benefited from a more interesting presentation on almost all fronts, but it does offer a huge variety of word games that will appeal to anyone interested in the genre. Owners of amiibo figures and/or cards will get a kick out of the randomly generated puzzles based on the names and owners registered to those amiibo (Ugly Mug is my Ganondorf amiibo, by the way).