Developer: Rovio Stars
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.3
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Monsters get a bad rap (what with hanging out under kids’ beds and all), but it seems some of them want only two things out of life: Cookies and some fun with word games. Word Monsters supplies its hairy, googly-eyed stars with both, making for a decent (and crunchy) word game.

wordmonsters_03wordmonsters_02Word Monsters is from Rovio Stars, the publishing platform belonging to the studio behind Angry Birds. The game supports single player action, but like most games it’s meant to shine in multiplayer. Participants can play alone, with friends via Facebook or a user name search, or with random opponents (waving one’s word prowess around the world will never get old).

When the player is ready to go, they’re whisked to a playing field stacked with biscuits that are printed with seemingly random letters. But there are complete words hidden within those random letters, each one having to do with the topic chosen at the start of the round (Fruits, Vegetables, Animals, etc). The player must swipe the words hidden within the jumble of letters. As the words disappear, more words begin to form in the letters left behind. But players must work carefully: if letters are swiped out of order, there will be nothing left in the end except nonsense letters.

Hitting this proverbial dead end (constructed out of cookies, no less) doesn’t happen as often as one might think. The real challenge in Word Monsters is to move as quickly as possible, which can be tricky in itself. Sometimes, even after swiping legitimate words, the find doesn’t “stick,” and the player needs to repeat their actions. This is a bit of a frustrating hiccup in a game where scoring is dependent on speed and dexterity.

wordmonsters_04wordmonsters_05Players that find themselves unable to single out words in the cookie-stack have the option of buying hints at the cost of two cookies each. Cookies can also be used to slow down the game’s timer. Ten cookies are issued at the start of Word Monsters, and additional treats must be purchased via the game’s digital marketplace. Players win coins as they play, which can be used to open up new word categories. However, the payout is quite slow, so anyone desperate enough to unlock the “Soccer Stars” theme will probably opt to reach for their wallet.

Word Monsters isn’t the heartiest word game available, but it has cute touches – like the ability to dress up your monster avatar. While word game veterans might want to pass it up (especially since “saving” for extra content takes an age), younger players should have a blast with these cuddly critters.


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