Developer: Desktop Daydreams
Price: Free
Version: 1.00
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

IMG_0482Word games have long been a staple of the iOS gaming experience. That said, rarely ever do game creators take the genre outside of the usual grid of letters or scrabble board. The new game Wordy attempts to do just that, while also shedding other popular clichés associated with the game type. Does it manage to tread new ground, or does it pull things a bit too far outside of the player’s comfort zone?

It is hard to describe the experience of a puzzle game like Wordy, without the word ‘bizarre’ coming to mind. What would initially seem to be some sort of platformer turns out to be nothing more than a word hunt in disguise. Using clues in the environment, the player somehow has to magically discern what single word can solve the puzzle of getting a red ball to the exit of a stage.

There are a number of empty orbs on screen that act as the receptacle for each letter needed to form the word to solve each stage. What is produced as a result is an odd form of trial and error, with the assistance of three clues per stage. For example, if there was a large body of water in between the ball and the end of the stage, the word that the game might be looking for to solve the puzzle might be boat. As simple as that may sound, there are many cases where the answer is far more abstract than this example.

IMG_0478What probably holds Wordy back from gaining any reasonable amount of traction is its brief length. The free portion of the game is only a mere ten stages long, which under most circumstances will last roughly fifteen minutes at best. Upon completion a second world is opened up to the player, but it is at the cost of $0.99. This is also true of the third world as well, so in essence the free download is a glorified demo.

When games are masquerading as a cost free experience, it is hard to not be slightly off-put when hitting a pay-wall. Wordy has an interesting core gameplay mechanic, but unfortunately it lacks the necessary depth to attain anything remarkable.

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