Developer: http://www.jumbline.com/
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.5.1

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Word puzzles, along with tower defense and line drawing games, were the coolest things in the beginning stages of the app store. Unlike other genres, word genres were the perfect storm for the original iPhone, a slightly underpowered gaming system that was owned by the masses. Now with crisp retina displays and fancy processors that would make my $3,000 computer circa 1997 jealous, iPhone gaming has moved on to bigger and, well, bigger things. Better is what we’re striving for though, and word puzzles have a bit more jive than the average chicken.

Jumbline 2 is a word puzzle game that is comprised of three word puzzle minigames, all three of which are variations of the same anagram game.

Here’s a quick recap of what an anagram is, because some of us have been out of 1st grade for too long to remember. Anagrams are word jumbles that you have to mix up to find real words. For example, if you had the letters, DSOWR, you could make the words, SWORD, WORDS, WORD, ROWS, RODS, etc.

Ok, now that we’ve gotten past that, it’s back to the review.

As I was saying before, all three of the minigames in Jumbline 2 are variations of the same thing. The key in every game is to pound out anagrams, using as many words as you can possibly use, in speeds slightly faster than your brain is supposed to think. What’s great is that once you’ve decided that you’re too hardcore for regular anagrams, you can move onto the “expert words”. Being the cunning linguist that I am, I went on to this mode, but then failed to beat level 1 after failing to unravel the word “belleek”.

I don’t want to sound like a sore loser, but I’m fairly certain that belleek is a made up word. Situations such as this are typically solved by using the in-game dictionary (which is a fantastic addition), but “belleek” came back with the unexpected message, “No Definition Found.” I then went to wikipedia and found that it “may refer to” one of two villages in Northern Ireland. I’m fairly certain that names of villages are proper nouns, and that proper nouns shouldn’t be included in word games like this. Maybe it can be used as an adjective describing the pottery that comes from the village. Seems like a reach to me.

Regardless of my opinion of the game’s (outrageous) use of the word “belleek,” Jumbline 2 is a fun puzzle game that will be appreciated by any fan of the genre. As far as word games go, It’s not quite as exciting or original as Word Fu or Wordsworth, but it is definitely a worthy purchase.

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