enfrdeitptrues

Puzzle

  •  

    boxart
    Game Info:

    Word Search by POWGI 
    Developed by: Lightwood Games
    Published by: Lightwood Games
    Release date: March 29, 2018
    Available on: Nintendo Switch
    Genre: Puzzle
    Number of players: Up to four online
    ESRB Rating: Everyone
    Price: $7.99

    Thank you Lightwood Games for sending us two copies this game to review!

    Word Search by POWGI is a collection of 324 puzzles available on the Switch. You can play solo, online, or against other nearby Switch owners who have the game on their systems. While I was able to test out the wireless play, I haven’t been able to find anyone online to play against. Thankfully, there are plenty of puzzles to solve on my own.

    There are twenty-seven categories with twelve puzzles in each one. The categories range from animals to sports. The number of words to find in each puzzle varies as some of them have over twenty and others have closer to fifteen. The words can be forwards, backwards, and diagonal.

    Word Search by POWGI
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Good collection of word find puzzles; option of playing with people online or nearby
    Weak Points: Nobody playing online; touch controls 
    Moral Warnings: Some Halloween levels with monster and zombie themed word finds

    In the past, we reviewed puzzle games on the 3DS and the stylus was ideal for highlighting the found words. The Switch doesn’t have a stylus and I found out the hard way that using my finger as a substitute is not ideal. Fortunately, using the joysticks work much better. If you need to pause the game, the plus button will bring up the pause menu.

    You can resume unfinished puzzles and the game will keep track of your completion time for each one. If you’re not happy with your time, you can replay the puzzle to improve upon it.

    Wireless play is fun and allows you to complete a puzzle cooperatively. Whoever starts the wireless connection first will become the host and the second player will automatically join the game. The first uncompleted puzzle by either player will be selected and the match will begin. One player is assigned orange and the other player is purple. It's neat seeing cursors moving across the screen. As soon as a word is found by one of the players it is crossed off and tallied to the score of the person who found it. Though a score is shown, it's not mentioned at the end of the game and is treated as a cooperative effort rather than a competitive one.

    Word Search by POWGI
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 74%
    Gameplay - 14/20
    Graphics - 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 4/5

    Morality Score - 97%
    Violence - 10/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 8.5/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    This title is rated for everyone and is safe for people of all ages to enjoy. The holiday category has some monster and Halloween themed puzzles. On the flipside, the nativity puzzle has Christian words to find including Jesus and his earthly parents.

    The background music is upbeat and pleasant to listen to. However, if you’re not a fan, it can be muted. The visuals are simple and effective. You don’t need astounding 3D visuals for word finds. I do like the puns at the end of each puzzle. After completing the computer themed one it had this one liner: “My keyboard got into a fight last night. Now it has a black I.” My daughter cringed when I told her that one.

    Even the puzzles I don’t relate with are still fun to finish. My son who recently joined Cub Scouts can appreciate the Boy Scout badges puzzle. As a relatively new guitar player I enjoyed the guitar themed one and the “finger picking good” pun after completing it.

    Puzzle lovers should consider adding this game to their Switch library. If you’re hesitant on parting with the $7.99, there is a demo available to try. However, if you’re hoping to find some multiplayer action, you may want to hold off for a sale. With over three-hundred puzzles to complete, there’s plenty to keep solo players busy for a while.

  • boxart
    Game Info:

    Word Sudoku by POWGI
    Developed by: Lightwood Games
    Published by: Lightwood Games
    Release date: October 23, 2018
    Available on: Android, iOS, PS4, Vita
    Genre: Puzzle
    Number of Players: Single-player
    ESRB Rating: Everyone
    Price: $7.99 (PS4, Vita), $1.99 (Android, iOS)

    Thank you Lightwood Games for sending us a review code!

    Since reviewing the Brain Age titles, I’ve learned how to play and enjoy Sudoku. Typically, it’s played with the numbers 1-9 and you have to place them in nine 3x3 squares without having any of the numbers repeat vertically, horizontally, or inside of the 3x3 square. In Word Sudoku, you’re working with nine letter words instead of numbers, but the same concept applies. If you’re dead set on playing with numbers, you can switch to them in the pause menu.

    Occasionally, the word will be spelled out verbatim, but that’s not always the case. Most of the time the letters up and down don’t form anything coherent. In total, there are two hundred and forty puzzles categorized in five different difficulty levels: Beginner, Easy, Medium, Hard, and Fiendish. The easier difficulty levels typically take me five minutes to solve and the harder ones are a little over ten minutes.

    Word Sudoku by POWGI
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Cross-Buy on the PlayStation Store
    Weak Points: Although it has double the amount of puzzles, it’s four times as much as the mobile version
    Moral Warnings: None!

    If you attempt to place a duplicate letter the game will turn it red and remove it for you. Placing incorrect letters is possible and you can press down the left and right triggers at any time to check and fix errors. There doesn’t seem to be any penalty for using this feature.

    The Vita version is convenient for occupying yourself on the go. While the touch screen is supported, it’s not very well optimized and I found myself relying on the controls more than using the touch screen. Performance wise, the game ran great and I didn’t encounter any issues playing it.

    Visually, this game is pretty simple, but puzzle games don’t need stellar graphics to be enjoyable. The canine mascot often tells a joke after completing a level. For example, his favorite movie is “Jurassic Bark.”

    Word Sudoku by POWGI
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 72%
    Gameplay - 15/20
    Graphics - 5/10
    Sound - 7/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 4/5

    Morality Score - 100%
    Violence - 10/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    The background music is pleasant, but can be disabled in the pause menu if you don’t like it. Alternatively, you can lower the volume on the Vita just as easily.

    There are no moral issues to report. I didn’t find any offensive nine letter words in the random sampling of puzzles I have played. I did earn trophies for completing a puzzle on each difficulty and for finishing the ‘Skeptical’ puzzle.

    Word Sudoku by POWGI was originally released for mobile devices with one hundred and twenty puzzles for $1.99. It’s currently free on Amazon if you want to try it out. While the price is reasonable for PlayStation users, it’s hard to not notice the better bargain elsewhere. If you enjoy Sudoku puzzles, this certainly is a good collection that’s bound to exercise your brain for hours. I’m not sure if playing it will improve your Brain Age score though.

  •  

    boxart
    Game Info:

    Word Wheel by POWGI 
    Developed by: Lightwood Games
    Published by: Lightwood Games
    Release date: June 6, 2019
    Available on: PS4, Switch, Vita
    Genre: Puzzle
    Number of players: Up to four locally
    ESRB Rating: Everyone
    Price: $7.99

    Thank you Lightwood Games for sending us this title to review!

    We have reviewed many POWGI based puzzle games and my kids love them. They are especially great on the go and come in handy while waiting at the doctor’s office or in line for a rollercoaster at Six Flags. With one hundred puzzles to solve, this $7.99 title is bound to keep your family entertained for hours on end.

    The goal in Word Wheel is to formulate words between four and nine characters long using the nine letters that comprise the Word Wheel. The only catch is that the letter in the middle of the Word Wheel must be used in each of the words formed. Upon discovering the puzzle’s nine-letter title, you’ll be treated with a goofy question or pun. For example, one them asked if it’s the s or the c that’s silent in scent.

    Highlights:

    Strong Points: 100 challenging word puzzles; local multiplayer
    Weak Points: No hints
    Moral Warnings: Inappropriate words only count as bonus words, not official solutions

    Before beginning each puzzle you’ll be shown how many words can be found in it. Some puzzles have less than twenty words while others have more than one hundred and twenty! As you solve the puzzle the game will keep track of all of the 4,5,6,7,8, and 9-letter words you have found and will even show you the last submitted word for reference. Some of the words formed could be considered inappropriate and if those words are valid, they will count as bonus words, but will not be counted toward solving the puzzle. The number of bonus words are tallied. You can leave and resume puzzles without worry of losing your progress.

    If you get stumped, there isn’t a hint feature to assist you. You can pick the brains of people nearby or ask them to join you in a cooperative or competitive local game. Up to four players can jump in if you have enough Joy-Cons handy.

    Word Wheel by POWGI
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 74%
    Gameplay - 13/20
    Graphics - 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 100%
    Violence - 10/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    The visuals are simple and clean. The text was clear and easy to read on the Switch’s screen. Not surprisingly, this title is quick to load and ran great.

    The background music is peppy and fitting. It was neither memorable or annoying. Since I mostly played this in public, I often muted the sound as a courtesy.

    If you enjoy word puzzles, then Word Wheel is certainly worth looking into. It’s family-friendly and has a lot of puzzles to keep you stumped for a while. I have yet to fully solve one! Since there is no hint system, your best bet is to play this around others and wait for solicited and unsolicited help. Just like a game of solitaire, people can’t resist providing you with your next move!

  • boxart
    Game Info:

    WordsUp! Academy
    Developed by: CoderChild
    Published by: CoderChild
    Release date: May 12, 2016
    Available on: 3DS
    Genre: Puzzle
    Number of Players: Single-player
    ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
    Price: $2.99

    Thank you CoderChild for sending us a review code.

    The 3DS eShop has an abundance of educational games. This edutainment game from CoderChild promises unlimited hours of fun and thousands of words to create.

    In WordsUp! Academy there are six game modes to select from.

    Story Mode: Here you will challenge the Academy's brightest minds, one by one. Battle to form more words in two minutes, and receive their approval.

    Versus Mode: Select one of the Academy's members and play solely against them. You can even upload your scores to an online leaderboard.

    WordsUp! Academy
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Thousands of words to make; Six different modes to play; Online leaderboards.
    Weak Points: Opponents are incredibly difficult; No music for cutscenes.
    Moral Warnings: Normally I'd say no issues, but certain word combinations were a bit strange (Arsed, Assed)

    Free-Play Mode: This mode allows you to customize your battles against a single opponent. You can add more rounds, adjust the round time, and even the difficulty of your opponent.

    Classic Mode: This is the original! This is all about how fast you can come up with words by yourself. Every correct word adds a little time to the clock.

    Blitz Mode: Definitely the most frantic mode of them all. Every 30 seconds the letters you can use will change. This mode also allows high scores to be uploaded to a leaderboard.

    Relax Mode: No time, no pressure. This mode allows unlimited time to form words, and is a great way to get faster at the game.

     

    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 80%
    Gameplay - 16/20
    Graphics - 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 98%
    Violence - 10/10
    Language - 9/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    Gameplay is extremely simple in WordsUp! Academy. The player and the opponent must use the random set of seven letters they start off with to create as many four or more lettered words. The top screen shows all the words that can be possibly be made, albeit with only one letter revealed. Each mode allows slight changes to the gameplay, but remains consistent throughout.

    Graphically, things look cute and the characters have a chibi-like aspect to them. Surprisingly, 3D has been incorporated, adding a nice layer of depth to the top screen. The music is also extremely relaxing. This helps to sink away hours trying to make as many words as you possibly can before your brain melts away. Much of my time with WordsUp! Academy was spent in Relax Mode. The calming music and removal of a time limit really made this mode incredibly enjoyable. Though, in Story Mode, the lack of music in the cutscenes is rather jarring and it feels rather empty without any sound playing.

    There's an incredible amount of challenge to this game. The randomness of each game creates tension. I was caught off guard my first few games, and I found myself failing to see basic words that could be formed. At $2.99 this is basically a steal. The six game modes certainly provide many hours of replayability. Younger players will also benefit from simply being able to learn word spelling and critical thinking. I highly recommend WordsUp! Academy to parents and those who like a good word puzzle game.

    -Kyuremu

  •  

    boxart
    Game Info:

    Wordsweeper by POWGI
    Developed by: Lightwood Games
    Published by: Lightwood Games
    Release date: August 8, 2019
    Available on: Android, iOS, PS4, Switch, Vita
    Genre: Puzzle
    Number of players: Single-player
    ESRB Rating: Everyone
    Price: $7.99

    Thank you Lightwood Games for sending us a review code!

    If you ran a version of Windows prior to Windows 8, chances are that you have stumbled onto the classic game, Minesweeper.  Windows Vista included an updated version, but the classic from the 90s holds a place in the hearts of many.  If you have yet to play Minesweeper, it’s freely available (with in-app purchases) on the Microsoft Store.  Your goal in Minesweeper is to locate and mark the deadly bombs by using number clues on nearby squares.  One wrong click and it’s game over.

    Though Wordsweeper does not contain any bombs, it does have clues to which letters can complete words in the adjacent squares of the crossword puzzle.  If a selection is completely wrong it will highlight it in red to indicate that there is a conflict.  It won’t always correct you, so don’t rely on that.  There is a handy error checking feature that will let you know if you have gone astray and will even fix it for you if desired.
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: 120 puzzles of varying difficulties to solve; error checking
    Weak Points: Mobile version is much cheaper
    Moral Warnings:None!

    In total, there are one hundred and twenty puzzles to solve and they are available in four difficulties (beginner, easy, medium, and hard).  The time taken to solve the puzzles is recorded, but you can replay them to improve it.   After completing each puzzle, you’ll be subjected to a cheesy pun or a one liner joke.  My favorite is “The thief that stole my diary recently died. My thoughts are with their family.”

    The length of the words vary and the three letter words are much easier to solve than the longer ones.  There is a hint option, but I haven’t found it very useful.   It just seems to highlight a random square.  When you begin a puzzle there’s a menu with a quick tutorial and button commands.
    Wordsweeper by POWGI
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 74%
    Gameplay - 13/20
    Graphics - 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 100%
    Violence - 10/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    Visually, this game is pretty simple.  The interface is clean and intuitive.  The letters and words are easy to read and use, even on the Switch’s portable screen.

    The upbeat background music will sound familiar to those who have played previous titles from Lightwood games.   

    Like other titles from this developer, this game is family-friendly and fun for puzzle-lovers of all ages.

    Before arriving on the Switch and Playstation Network, Wordsweeper by POWGI was released on mobile platforms and is still available for iOS users for $2.99. The Google Play version seems to have disappeared.  It’s a shame that the mobile versions are much cheaper for the same amount of puzzles. If you don’t mind paying more than double the cost of the mobile version, the $7.99 console game is sure to entertain for hours.  

  • boxart
    Game Info:

    You Must Build A Boat
    Developed by: EightyEight Games, Ltd.
    Published by: EightyEight Games, Ltd.
    Released: June 4, 2015
    Available on: Windows, macOS, SteamOS/Linux, Android, iOS
    Genre: Puzzle
    Number of players: 1
    Price: $4.99 (Steam), $2.99 (iOS, Android)

    It would be tempting to begin every sentence of this review with "you." But EightyEight Games, Ltd., already did that in their promotional material. However, I'm sure you would like to learn more about this game – otherwise, why did you seek this review out?

    There's all sorts of treasure out there along the river! But in order to travel the river, you must build a boat. Your character, which looks a little bit like Indiana Jones, begins in a desert area and travels through pyramids in order to collect enough treasure to change his humble raft into a decent boat. Once the boat is large enough, you sail on to the next area and repeat the process until you have a boat worthy of respect!

    Exploring the areas, collecting treasures and battling creatures are the substance of the game. This is done through a match-three style game. In the large grid that dominates the majority of the screen are a variety of squares, each with an icon. By sliding the columns or rows, you can line up three, four or five of a kind. If you match swords or staves, you can damage a monster. Lining up shields provides a defense against damage for a brief time. Matching up keys allows you to unlock chests. Matching crates can occasionally grant you items that can be used against enemies. Finally, matching power and mind squares earns you power and mind points respectively, which can be used to purchase monstrous crew members for your boat.

    With each run, you must choose at least one quest to accomplish. These can range from defeating a certain creature, making a certain number of matches, enduring for a set length of time, or other types of quests you might expect from an RPG-lite game. Each quest earns you a prize of some sort – often a new crew member or creature that you can recruit. Once you complete all the quests in an area, you sail on to the next. 

    You Must Build A Boat
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Interesting approach to the "match three" puzzle genre; great soundtrack; addictive replay value
    Weak Points: Sometimes frustrating quests; retro graphics are sometimes unclear
    Moral Warnings: Undead and demonic references; one level takes place in Hell; magic use; main character kills creatures

    There is no way to die or lose in the game. Your character moves to the right through the areas you're exploring. Running into a chest or a creature will halt the forward progress and that portion slides to the left. Taking damage from creatures or traps moves it faster to the left. If your character is forced off the screen, then the run is over. If you've completed at least one quest, you collect the rewards and return to your boat. If you don't complete any quests, you can try again, or return to the boat empty-handed. 

    At the boat, you can consult with your crew members to increase the strength of your attacks or defenses, recruit some of the monsters you've captured, or sell some of the items you've discovered. Recruiting monsters can add to your overall statistics, and make it a bit easier to explore for treasure in the area you're in. While these do add a few role-playing game elements to the match-three game, you don't have a lot of control over your stats. As long as they go up, you'll do better. 

    The controls are nice and responsive, and only require the mouse. While I haven't played this on a touch screen, I would imagine that those with mobile devices would have an even easier time with the game mechanics. This game is apparently a sequel to 10000000, which has been reviewed on this site here. Since that review focuses on the Android version, the controls for the portable version of You Must Build A Boat will be very similar to the one in that review.

    You Must Build A Boat
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 74%
    Gameplay - 15/20
    Graphics - 6/10
    Sound - 6/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 79%
    Violence - 6.5/10
    Language - 7.5/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 5.5/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    The graphics and music are distinctly 8-bit retro in style. In fact, my wife even commented that it sounded like early Mario games. Although the creatures lack detail, it's easy enough to tell what's happening on the screen, and the sounds clue you in as to what's happening as well. The lack of detail of the creatures actually works out to be a good thing – your first companions appear to be a zombie and a skeleton, and there are many undead you'll encounter, as well as have the opportunity to recruit to your team. The music is very catchy and changes with each area, so there's a decent amount of variety to the tunes as well.

    In addition to the presence of undead, there is violence as well. However, there isn't any blood, and defeated creatures simply collapse into a vague pile of pixels. The main character can use magic spells and attacks on the foes. Late in the game, the player adds a priest or cleric to the ship's crew, and can offer sacrifices of gold, strength or mind points to "gods." In addition, one of the levels takes place in Hell, complete with demons and rivers of fire, but there wasn't any Satanic imagery that I found.  I didn't come across any other language issues to be worried about, either.

    All in all, You Must Build A Boat is an entertaining title and a fun time waster. Although it can get frustrating to complete the more difficult quests, they aren't impossible, and it's quite satisfying to move on to the next area. The game also includes several achievements to obtain, including a couple secret ones, so the replay value is high. If you enjoy puzzle games and a retro feel, then it's time for you to follow the advice of the game's title: You Must Build A Boat.

     

  •  

    boxart
    Game Info:

    Zen Bound 2
    Developed by: Secret Exit Ltd.
    Published by: Secret Exit Ltd.
    Released: November 16, 2010
    Available on: iOS, Linux, Mac, Windows
    Genre: Puzzle
    Number of players: 1
    Price: $4.99
    (Humble Store Link) 

    There is a song in the Sound of Music called "My Favorite Things." One of the singer's favorite things is "brown paper packages tied up with string." If Maria von Trapp enjoyed tying other things up with string, then perhaps Secret Exit Ltd. would have just the game for her.

    Zen Bound 2 is an interesting conglomeration of ideas. The focus of this cross-platform game is to tie things up. This is done in a soothing atmosphere designed to help the user relax. As bizarre as it sounds, somehow it works well.

    The player is presented with a variety of wooden blocks carved into different shapes, such as elephants, birds, or even laser guns. Some of the objects pay tribute to other things, such as the Energizer Bunny or the first level of Donkey Kong. One end of a piece of string is tied to a nail hammered into the block of wood. The player needs to move the mouse – or rotate the tablet, if on a portable device – in order to wind the string around the wooden block. As the string touches the block, the surface will be painted. Once 70% of the shape is covered, the player can touch the string to another nail to complete the minimum requirements and earn a flower. However, additional flowers can be earned if the player continues to wind the string around the shape until 85% to 99% of the block is painted. These earn two and three flowers, respectively. This is easier said than done, since the physics in the game are pretty slick, too. The string will slide along slopes depending on the angle of the wooden block, so careful thinking about how to manipulate the object is crucial, especially near the later challenges. 

    Zen Bound 2
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Great graphics; soothing music; many objects to tie up; original gameplay
    Weak Points: Can get repetitious
    Moral Warnings: Yoga references

    The more flowers are earned, the more puzzles are unlocked. There are more than 100 puzzles in the game, and 11 achievements on Steam, so the game provides plenty of longevity. The graphics are sharply detailed and interesting, with a reflective sheen as the player turns the block. There is an occasional issue with clipping, where it appears that the string actually cuts into the block. Fortunately, this rarely affects the gameplay. 

    The music is soothing and fits the overall atmosphere. The sound effects also are pleasant, with the occasional creak as the string is pulled taut against the wooden shape. They also provide audible cues, including little pops as paint balls burst, or gentle chimes when certain goals are achieved. Although the game can get frustrating at times, the atmosphere helps to take the edge off the irritation. The soundtrack could be a good addition to anyone who likes calming electronica. 

    Zen Bound 2
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 82%
    Gameplay - 14/20
    Graphics - 8/10
    Sound - 9/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 98%
    Violence - 10/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 9/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    The only real problem is that, before long, the gameplay could feel repetitive. Zen Bound 2 is best played in short doses of time, perhaps while trying to relax or calm down from a more exciting or frightening game. Some of the achievements are very difficult, such as obtaining 100% completion for every object. 

    There is little to be concerned about on the moral front. One collection of puzzles features a variety of humanoid figures in various yoga poses. That's about the extent of anything that might be of concern to parents or Christians (and most probably wouldn't mind at all). 

    Zen Bound 2 is an interesting puzzle experience in small doses. It can provide a nice challenge and exercise your thinking skills while presenting a soothing atmosphere. The $4.99 price is reasonable for the amount of content it offers, and if it can be obtained as part of a sale or a bundle, it's an even better bargain.

Latest Comments

About Us:

Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

S5 Box

JFusion Login Module

Register