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Publisher: Fire Maple Games    Genre: Puzzle & Trivia
Min OS X: 10.4    CPU: G4    RAM: 128 MB    Hard Disk: 50 MB

January 9, 2009 | Ted Bade

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Akkadia is a word game. It is pretty basic and simple, but it can be quite addictive if you are into word games. I know I spent a lot of time with it, and enjoyed very minute.

Let me start off by saying that word games like this exercise the intellect. That is a good thing. The best way to keep one’s brain healthy and happy is to exercise it regularly. Finding words in a grid of letters not only acts to increase your word skills, but also exercises pattern recognition. Faced with a grid of 100 letters, you need to find a word in there somewhere. So exercise your intellect, play Akkadia.

The game is basic, but not necessarily easy. The playing board is a table of ten columns of ten letters. The object of the game is to made real (English) words using letters that connect together in any way as long as they touch. The connection can go up, down, back or forth, the only requirement is that the word is made of letters that connect in a string. As you play, some of the letter tiles change from normal tiles to tiles that add various bonuses such as five times the letter value or up to 3 times the entire word value. You also have to beware of the Black Magic tile. If this tile reaches the bottom the game is over.

Game play continues forever until either the Black Magic tile reaches the bottom or you just want to quit. You can quit and then return to the same game board, or you can quit and start a new game. If the Black magic tile appears on the board, you can remove it by making a word that includes it. Each time you make a word that doesn’t include the Black Magic tile, the tile falls down destroying the tile below it. You get ten chances to build a word with this tile, as it falls down the column. In my experience, finding a word that includes this tile isn’t all that hard.

There is no time limit on normal play. You just search through the letters provided and try to find a word of three or more letters. Obviously, you get more points for more letters and for using harder letters. If you are familiar with the classic game Scrabble, you probably understand what I mean about more points for harder letters. If you can, include one or more of the bonus tiles in your word, for extra points.

As you complete words, a bonus bar on the left side of the screen lights up. When it reaches the top, you get 3X score for each word you are able to create as the level drops back down. You might have time to figure out a word or two in the time allowed. (If you are going for a high score, you can always save a few words for the bonus time).

Getting longer words is a function of the player’s ability to see word patterns as well as random luck as the tiles fall. One strategy might be to create smaller words so a big word falls in place. Making use of the tiles with the higher bonus values gives even more points for words.

There are also the “Genie’s Bonus Word” aspect of Akkadia. When you make this simple word, you play a bonus round, a search through mysterious jars,which add points and might even add a magic ring. This side game is simple: click on jars and you get points. One particular jar ends this round when you click on it. When you acquire one of the Genie rings, bonus tiles show up more frequently. You don’t need to play this side aspect, but doing it will increase your point collection.

The game imagery builds a place of middle eastern exotics. The music, and the images of the game all point to this. It is rather nice over all. Some people might become annoyed with the repetitious music, especially if you play for a long time. I personally didn’t find it annoying and was content with the repetitions. But if it does annoy, you can always turn it off.

The only thing this game lacks is a means tracking more complex words. While it does offer a “Hall of Fame” position for best scoring and longest words, there is no other real way to track complexity. One could create a high score for the game by creating lots of three letter words or fewer greater than three letter words. If you manage to include several bonus tiles in a word, even a simple word can have a lot of value. It would be nice to offer statistics, such as: “In the current game you have created 245 three letter words, 123 four letter words,” and so on. It might also be nice to include a word complexity score. Words like "his" or "her" are pretty simple words, as is "zoo." But think about "xeon" or "uvula." I feel this game would be a bit more rewarding if it offered a little more in the way of this type of feedback.

If one is into word games, then one could easily spend hours and hours playing Akkadia. It is pure intellectual bliss. I often have to physically push my wife away from my computer now that I have this game on it. I find myself playing for long stretches as well. It is a lot of fun and a decent workout for the mind. I really enjoyed this game and hope to continue playing it for a long time. This game is a great option for not only enjoying some game time, but to also exercise your word power and pattern recognition. Great for the mind. I highly recommend giving Akkadia a try.

• Adictive gameplay
• Good graphics
• Intelligent game

• Music can be repetative
• No way to track word complexity

Publisher: Fire Maple Games
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