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Spellbound is a game which tries to get you to improve your spelling and many other aspects of speech and language.
I suffer from spelling problems and without a computer to help me cheat I would be terrible so getting this game was a big risk for me because I knew I would look foolish into some of the spelling errors I would create. I must stress this game is for other activities as well and not just spelling as I have mentioned.
The game lets you do many spelling contests or spelling bees as they name them and you have to listen to a word and then spell it and if you fail at the end you get told how good you did. Not only do you have games which try and assist your spelling skills but you have other games which help you work out which spelling is wrong in a selection of words given.
At times the game can seem to be easy but it does start this way and as you continue to improve scores and spellings your skill advances and so does the difficulty setting as well.
You do have games which give you options of choosing adjectives and nouns and working out which are not but to be honest the idea behind the game is to challenge you and I never felt that. My spelling is always
going to be poor and the spelling on this game does treat you like a child.
The adjectives part of the game I found extremely easy because it was not that complicated to work out which was which when you played various games.
I feel the whole idea behind the game is wrong because I think they should let you choose the type of spelling you want such as long words with 9 or more letters and perhaps try and give you more to do with complicated words you might not have heard from at least then your vocabulary would increase without a doubt.
After playing this game numerous occasions I have struggled to see any improvement in myself except boredom. I found the format of the game slow and boring and not only that but found the graphics rather poor as well.
I think people might buy this believing it assists you but I never felt that at all and would probably tell people to just try and revise on your own with a dictionary it is much more useful.
Paltform: Nintendo Ds
Rating: E Everyone / 3+
Spellbound is described as a challenging enjoyable word game for the whole family. The 11 games on offer are:
Spelling Bee - you need to correctly spell 10 words
Bomb Blast - find the word spelt incorrectly from a given selection
Right One - Again identify the misspelled word from a choice of two
Fifty Fifty - See notes for Right One
Odd One Out - Same as fifty-fifty but with four words to choose from
Not Noun - choose one word from the selection of four which is not a noun
Mish Mash - Anagrams
Fill It In - Glorified Hangman
Hit Or Miss - Another noun identification game
Catchword - Like the noun identification games but this time you have to identify verbs
Which is it - choose whether the words are nouns, adjectives or verbs
"Spellbound is described as a challenging enjoyable word game for the whole family" - This is true, but only if your whole family is aged about 8 and enjoys playing repetitive boring word games!
I was attracted to this because I love puzzle and brain games, and also justified the purchase on the premise that it may help the children with their spelling, but within a week or so I was so fed up with it I sold it on e-bay.
The game itself is in a quiz show format (and very cheesy at that) and you are invited to compete in over eleven different spelling and word challenges where to progress through the levels you need to earn points. You can jump levels if you achieve a really high score in a particular round and you may be allowed to play the Super Challenge (which is a bit harder).
If you haven't been challenged enough you can choose from 100 difficulty levels and even learn words in five languages. Why anyone would want to do this is a mystery when the game is unappealing enough in English.
In my opinion this game does not represent good value for money and is frankly a load of repetitive rubbish. In case you are interested that's Basura, Ordures, Müll, Immondizia and Vuilnis in five different languages!
If there's one thing I find it hard to get particularly excited about, it's probably a game that centers around spelling, ranking just above a times tables recitation simulator.
I looked into Spellbound more out of curiosity than anything else. The packaging looks nice, and I wondered, how could you pull off a game about spelling? I was hoping to find out.
Spellbound is presented in the format of a quiz show. As a starting point, everything is nice and shiny, which is good, and makes the game inviting to play. Despite the fact that some of the menus are less than easy to navigate, everything looks reasonably nice as you would expect these days.
Unfortunately it all goes downhill from there. Of the many, many, many, many modes available to play in Spellbound, there are *very* few that stand out, or that you'd want to play. Give typewriters to a million monkeys and eventually they'll churn out the complete works of Shakespeare... well, give them some Nintendo DS Game Development software and it's likely that sooner or later they'll come up with a list of potential game modes for 'Spellbound'.
The problem isn't necessarily that the modes available are bad, or unplayable as such. They're just, for the most part, very samey and boring. For example, take 'Fifty Fifty' and 'Right One'. In each, you are given 2 words. One of which is spelt incorrectly, and the other is spelt correctly. In 'Fifty Fifty', you have to choose the incorrect word (or is it the correct word?). And in 'Right One', you have th choose the correct word (or is it the other way round!?!).
Either way, if you're really into spelling there's a lot to get through here. There are 100 difficulty levels, so this could be suitable for all age ranges. Although it could likely improve your spelling, I find it hard to get the motivation to play every day to see if it does or not! If only the gameplay were more fun...
Overall, Spellbound is a poor game. It's not without it's plus points, as it is essentially a solid spelling based game. However unfortunately it is full of pointless options and subgames and without any inspiration or innovation it flounders against more varied games such as 'Brain Training' and 'Big Brain Academy'.
I'm a big fan of the brain training and word games on the DS so Spellbound seemed to be the perfect addition to my games collection. Described by the makers an exciting and enjoyable game for all the family I couldn't wait to try it out.
The game takes the format of a quiz show with an American host who sits at his podium and asks you questions. You have the option of playing on two modes in this game; challenge mode takes you through a spelling bee and two random games for your daily play and quick mode allows you to choose any of the mini games and play them in either practice mode or challenge mode where you try and beat your own personal best.
The game has 100 different difficulty levels, you start on level 25 and either move up or down the levels depending on how well you score on your challenge.
The games included are:
Spell the ten words given to you by the host using the stylus on a QWERTY keyboard on the touch screen. A written definition of each word is also given and you have the option of repeating or skipping any word you find too difficult. This is the best part of the game but the rounds are too short.
You are given two words on the touch screen and have to click on the misspelled word.
Odd One Out
You are given four words on screen and have to pick the misspelled word. This is simply a slightly harder version of fifty fifty.
Four words are shown on the screen and you have to touch the misspelled ones to detonate them. Very similar to odd one out.
An anagram game, you are given a number of letters on the touch screen and have to rearrange them into a word. You have the option of skipping any words but I don't like the fact that you are not given the option to retry them at the end.
You are given two words and have to click on the word which is spelled correctly. It has exactly the same format as fifty fifty.
You are given a series of four words and have to pick which one of the four is not a noun.
Fill It In
This is a game similar to hangman. You are given the definition of a word and have to use the keyboard to find the letters to make the word. You are given 5 minutes to find ten words and five seconds is taken off every time you guess incorrectly. It's pretty annoying that they don't have a list of the letters already guessed on the screen but otherwise it's a good game.
A series of ten words move down the screen and you have to identify them as verb or not verb. Of course many words can be verb and noun at the same time depending on the context so really this game is pretty rubbish.
Hit Or Miss
Exactly the same as catchword except you have to identify nouns. This game was easier with far less ambiguous words which can fall into more than one category.
Which Is It?
You are given a series of words and have to decide whether they are nouns, verbs, adjectives or other by clicking on the option on the touch screen. One of the better games.
The graphics on this game are a bit of a mixed lot, the host and games themselves are designed in a simple yet effective way but other aspects are lacking. The menus are clumsy and poorly designed and overall the game looks like it has been thrown together in hurry. The background music can get a bit irritating at times but overall the sound is good.
It only takes around five minutes to complete the daily challenges, there is no nice calendar like brain training to allow you to keep track of your progress. Some of the games are fun but the fact there is so much repetition between the mini games meant that I soon grew bored of playing it and it has a really poor replay value.
The game would be suitable for kids from about 8 or 9 onwards. My 12 year old completed level 25 easily but got bored after a few days. I have played it for a couple of weeks and only found it got challenging for an adult long past level 40 which took several days to reach.
Overall this is one of the poorest titles I've seen on the DS. It looks like it's been cobbled together really quickly to cash in on the popularity of the brain training games and simply does not have enough content to keep anyone interested in it for long. A far better word game is My Word Coach which we had loads of fun playing and has far more features on it. The game costs £14.95 new from Amazon with second hand copies not much cheaper but you would be better not buying it at all.