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If you like word puzzles and games, you will probably enjoy Text Twist very much! Personally, I love this sort of game, and it's also something that you can play with other people as well, so it tends not to be so solitary as other computer games. I had actually challenged my husband to find a game that we would both enjoy and after having gone on the gamehouse website, he came up with this!
When you play text twist you have the option of playing either a timed or untimed version of the game. In either game you are provided with a set of letters which when rearranged will spell a word. The length of this word tends to vary between six and seven letters. The challenge is not only to find this word, but also all the other smaller words which you can make from the same letters - you know how many you need to find and the size of the word because there are blank grids provided.
If you play the timed version, you have two and a half minutes to find the words, whereas if you play the untimed version you have as long as it takes. It doesn't seem worth playing the untimed version to me because you know that ultimately you will get all the words, but I suppose it might be useful for younger players. As it is the two and a half minutes go pretty fast and sometimes you might have only ten words to find and at other times more than thirty! However, once you have found the longest word you know that you are safe to go through to the next round, so it is always worth taking some time to try and find this word first!
The reason why the game is called Text Twist is because when you are struggling you can click on the twist button and all the letters will rearrange themselves. This is very useful because sometimes a different order of letters will suggest a word which otherwise you would not have seen. There is no time penalty for this, which maybe there could be in order to make you think very carefully about twisting. Equally, there is no limit to the number of times which you can twist in any one round which again could hava added an edge to the game!
When playing the game you click on letters in order, to move them into the grid, and when the word is complete you press enter. If the word is acceptable it will immediately fill one of the blank grids at the side, and if not, you will get a little message telling you that it is not accepted. The side blank grids are very useful because not only do you know just how many words you are looking for, but also the length of each word, be it three, four, five letters etc. Also on the screen you have a timer that is counting down from two and a half minutes, and when you are in the last ten seconds you hear it clicking - you certainly feel the pressure at this point if you have not yet found the longest word! Your score is also visible at all times, and every time you add a new word this goes up! The longer the score, the greater the number of points that are added!
The graphics are not wildly exciting - it is basically just a blue background with the blank grids. But it gives all the information that you want and the screen does not feel overcrowded either!
One of the slightly annoying things about this game is that it is american and of course the obvious problem is some of the variation in spellings! Once you get used to this though, you remember which spelling you should use! More annoyingly though, is the fact that sometimes the game does not accept words which are so obviously in the English language. This is incredibly frustrating but there isn't anything you can do about it. Also, sometimes you are struggling to find the last few words, and then you discover you have been searching for some really obscure word that no one has ever heard of! (The missing words are always shown once the round is over)
Having had those couple of grumbles though, overall I would have to say that this is a really enjoyable and fairly addictive game. You are pretty much playing against yourself and can enter your own high scores. Sometimes my husband will play, and often we'll have a go together with me typing in the words and him shouting out all the ones that I have missed! This makes it much more social!
As I said at the beginning we found Text Twist at www.gamehouse.com
You can download it to try and the buy it for$29.95. However, if you can put up with watching a rather corny US commercial every few rounds for ten seconds you can actually play for free! This is what we do, and although it's midly irritating, it's no worse than watching any commercial TV channel - and you don't even have to watch the whole ad. So if you think this might be your sort of game, take a look at in in gamehouse and give it a try!