App Review: Bookworm by PopCap Games, Inc.
Bookworm by PopCap Games, Inc. (the makers of Bejeweled) is a unique word spelling game. The game board consists of seven columns containing 7 letters each. You must spell words using letters that are adjacent to one another. The letters in each column are offset from the ones in the adjacent column so that you have more choices of letter sequences. To spell a word, you simply tap on the letters in the right order to spell a word and double tap the last letter to submit the word. As you might expect longer words earn you more points. After you have submitted a word, the letters used in that word disappear from the screen and the letters above them fall down and new ones fill in the board at the top. This process is very reminiscent of the game Bejeweled.
There are a couple of unique tiles that begin to appear as you play the game. First, are the bonus tiles. They appear green and give you extra points when you use them to spell a word. The red, burning tiles are a different story. These tiles must be used to spell a word before they reach the bottom of the game board or they will burn down the library and the game will be over. At first, this task does not seem too hard. However, if you use tiles below the burning tile causing it to fall down, it may just burn through the tile below it and advance towards the bottom more quickly than expected. You can help avoid these burning tiles by spelling longer words. The longer the words you spell, the less often these unwanted tiles will show up.
If you get stuck and cannot find anymore words to spell, you can shake your iPhone/iPod. This shaking motion will shuffle the letter tiles around. It will also add more burning tiles to the screen. You definitely have to way the benefit against the risk. As you spell words, the app will pick out certain words that belong to a category and add them to the library. Each book in the library contains a list of words that all belong to the same category. One of your goals in playing the game is to fill up the library books.
If you get tired of playing the game a want a little more of a challenge, there is a timed mode. It is a little bit of a misnomer because you are not really timed, but you are racing against time. If you take too long to spell a word in this mode, the tiles will begin catching on fire and turning into burning tiles. Before you know it, you have several letters burning that you need to use fast.
I found this game to be addicting. It was harder to find words to spell than I had anticipated. Although, I am sure with some practice, it would get easier. I was also surprised at how slowly the difficulty increased. This slow progression allowed me to play for a longer time and achieve a higher score. The one complaint that I would voice would be that the game did not recognize all the words I thought it should.
Overall, Bookworm is a great word game that will keep you coming back to beat your last high score.
Bookworm is $4.99 in the iTunes App Store.
Developer Website: popcap.com