|Publisher: Big Fish Games Genre: Puzzle & Trivia|
|Min OS X: 10.2.8 CPU: G3|
Word Web Deluxe can be summed up as a word-finding game complimented by an array of game features to give you lots of replayability over the long haul. If you're the kind of person who buys a thick word-find book to fill the boring gaps in a long trip, or if your idea of unwinding is plopping down on the couch with pencil and crossword in hand, this game may be for you.
Word Web Deluxe was developed for Windows by GamesCafe and brought to the world by Big Fish Games, the same crew that brought us the popular Virtual Villagers game, among others. The game has been ported to the Mac, and is available as a digital download through our very own Macgamestore. If you like word or spelling games at all, you should go download Word Web right now and try the free trial.
This game is squarely aimed at the "casual gamer." No over-the-top graphics, sound, or gameplay. Word Web Delux is an easy to pick up and play word finding and word making game with some attractive twists. Nothing more, nothing less.
GameplayThe basic goal of Word Web is to make words, ultimately fending off the spiders and saving the kids. You can spell words in any direction, and you can use all the tiles except ones that are so heavily webbed over you can't read the letter on the tile. When you spell a word and submit it, the tiles are cleared of any webs, and new clean tiles are placed with random letters. If you need an extra letter or two to complete a word, simply grab a green letter and place it where needed on the board. Such intervention comes at a price, costing at least 1 coin for each letter changed. The longer or more complex the word, the more points and prestige you get.
There are two basic game types: house cleaning and survival. House cleaning is basically a progressive beat-the-boss to advance type game, and survival is a turn-based Tetris style last-as-long-as-you-can type game. To advance to the next level at house cleaning, you have to spell a number of three, four, five or even seven letter words. To advance in survival, you have to accumulate a certain number of points.
Word Web is a turn based game, meaning you can take as much time as you need to review the board and make your move. After each word is successfully submitted, the spiders try and expand their webs on across the board. You can block web growth by spelling a word around the web. By doing this, the web can't expand past those tiles next turn. There are other tricks at your disposal. You can use kid tiles as a free 'hop' on the board. You can also gather extra coins, get a bomb to blow up webs, and gather diamonds for more points. Personally, I really enjoy the injection of strategy into the game, and these features lift the game to a new hight in gameplay.
Installing the game is a breeze, and registration is painless. The game effortlessly guides you through profile set-up, including picking an 'avatar.' For me, install to play took less than 5 minutes. The ability to create multiple profiles is a gaming standard these days, although the inclusion of profiles in this game was a pleasant surprise. Profiles are used wisely in Word Web Deluxe, not only separating your game progress from, say, your wife's, but including transparent game saving and loading. Instead of manually saving and loading a game, simply quit the game (using the in-game menu, NOT Apple-Q) and next time you open it your game will be restored exactly where you left off.
I do take issue with one aspect of the gameplay. The gameplay in Word Web Deluxe is good, not great. The difference between good and great is how well the game executes its core selling point. Id makes games with mindblowing graphics. Bungie makes games with great stories. Word Web Deluxe should be a game with great word-finding, or great word-making. It isn't. It has mediocre word-finding. I found that you can spell three-letter words until the cows come home, but I never once found a seven letter word, and I almost always had to dig into my coins to spell a five letter word. There are also plenty of inconsistencies with the dictionary. Knowing which words are acceptable and which ones aren't is a game of trial and error.