Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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Slicing fruit with one's fingers is fun. Mindless but fun. Fruit Ninja and its spin-off have happily demonstrated that. How about something a little more cerebral but with the addictive quality that slicing things with fingers offers? That's what Word Ninja Deluxe promises and it makes for a frantic and often challenging experience.
The idea is as simple as Fruit Ninja, just with tiles instead of fruit. Letter tiles fly up the screen and the player has to "slash" them with their finger in order to use them. This letter is then added to the top of the screen and the word that is gradually formed. Slash the relevant tiles and create a word to gain points. It takes a little practice to master. The tiles fly up the screen at some speed and it's quite a challenge to both slash them in time and to concoct a word along the way. Slash the wrong tile and the player has to start the word all over again.
And did I mention the time limit? Even more reason to succeed faster as time is extended according to how many words are created and how many points are gained. Multipliers are added according to the length of the word and each letter is given its own point value, like in Scrabble. With these points, players can also opt to buy things from the Ninja Store unlocking numerous bonuses that can help them gain even more points.
It's an addictive medley of game types, requiring fast reactions and quick thinking all at once. Word Ninja Deluxe also requires plenty of practice. Swiping is responsive but the tiles are a little small, depending on the letter, which can make slashing cumbersome. With practice though, this does become a bit more natural. It's worth pursuing as the game is a fun mix of genres and makes a welcome change.