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Bookworm Deluxe (PC)

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2 Reviews

Manufacturer: Activision / Genre: Educational / ESRB Rating: E - (Everyone) / Platform: Windows / Distribution Media: DVD-ROM

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    2 Reviews
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    • More +
      24.01.2009 17:27
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      A compelling game in its own right.

      The moment I sit in front of my computer, set on writing a review but nothing review-worthy comes to mind, I always end up straying from my original purpose and wander off elsewhere online or click on the Bookworm icon. Bookworm is a fairly easy but entertaining puzzle game. This type of puzzle game belongs to the category of casual games where unlike the popular hardcore games that most gamers review on here, Bookworm doesn't require exceptional gaming skill to excel in it. If you have played Scrabble before, then there shouldn't be any problem acquainting yourself with this wormy entertainment.

      Developed by PopCap Games, Bookworm is presented in the same way as a Scrabble board. There's a grid of letters in which you will try to form words by connecting them. Each word must at least consist with three letters but the longer the words you can form the better. You highlight each letter that connects adjacent to each other and you either double click on the last letter you've highlighted or click "submit" which is located at the left side of the board when you're done.The words will then be eaten by an eager worm, Lex. If you happen to submit a much longer word, Lex will say something like, "excellent", "very good", "astonishing" and the likes, which really makes you feel like you're on top of the game. This worm cannot be bothered by etiquette since he would burp loudly when he's got enough words in his tummy and would never apologize for it. Cute, eh? Every time you level up you will be ranked. Basically, the aim of the game is to reach the highest rank possible. The ranks are named after professions or book-related works. For example, your first rank is; Encyclopedia Salesman, then on to Trainee, Clerk, Scribe, so on and so forth, accompanied by illustrations of people that represent the ranks. The way these people are sketched is so funny because they look like they're in pain, struggling and hate being there with passion.

      This is really a great way to improve your word-skill. You'll be amazed at how many legitimate words are actually acceptable. Sometimes, I would try to submit whatever words I can find that sound decent enough and will be surprised that they are acceptable. The meaning of difficult and unique words would sometimes appear above Lex. For curious heads this can help broaden your vocabulary. But if you're like me, I don't think you'd given this your second glance, especially when you're so engrossed in the game and don't want to ruin your concentration. When you're able to spell out longer words, bonus tiles will appear. Bonus means bigger scores. Bigger scores mean levelling up to a higher rank faster. Green tiles appear randomly while Gold appears every time you form 5-letter words. Sapphire tiles appear when you submit a string of exceptionally formed longer words. There are also diamond tiles but they have not appeared on my games yet. Go figure how good I am. The thrill of the game rests on the red tiles that appear every now and now to keep you on your toes and test your reflexes and skills. Red tiles burn through the letters below them and if they reach the bottom, they'll set the board ablaze and your game will turn to ashes. Yep, game over. Bonus tiles have other purpose besides increasing your points. They hold the red tiles longer from burning through when they sit on top of these special tiles. So it gives you a few more seconds to strategize and prevent the flaming tiles from ruining your entire game. However, bonus tiles are not invincible and they do get burned too so you have to use them up before the red tiles reach them to fully maximize the benefits of the bonus.

      Like any other game, you also have to employ strategies to keep your game running longer and reach the highest rank. For the short time that I have been playing this game, I have only reached the 300,000 mark. I forgot where that put me in ranks but my sister has already reached one million plus points thus reaching the rank of Bookworm. She plans her game well that's why she's able to reach what I have only been trying to achieve. Sure, this is pretty serious stuff. To prevent the burning tiles from flocking the board frequently, you are given a hint the moment the first red tile to create longer words instead. It is advisable to take your time (but not that long) and scan the board carefully so you can form better words than be on a quicker pace but keep submitting 3-letter words. During the second level, words will start appearing below Lex and these words are very important in improving your game. If you are able to submit them you will be awarded an additional 1,000 points. Whether they are already on the board or you have to form them. Usually, they are just 3-letter words so they're easier to spot and form. This is not to be disregarded since you'll climb faster if you keep feeding these words to Lex. You also have to prioritize the burning tiles and get rid of them by using them in a word. When I'm playing I tend to concentrate on the upper part of the board because that's where the tiles keep appearing but do keep an eye below because there might be juicier words lurking there.

      The game has two modes to choose from, "Action Game" and the "Classic Game". The first mode is a much faster, more exciting form. The letters move on their own and you don't have any control over them. The best thing you can do is be quick with your moves and purge the board of the dangerous tile as fast as you can. You are also given the chance to scramble the letters by clicking on the worm but at a cost. When you use this lifeline, you'll lose any bonus tiles existing on the board and you will also be swarmed with more red tiles making it harder to make out the words, not to mention the danger of ending the game sooner than you want it to. Scrambling comes handy when the red tile is almost at the bottom and you haven't found the use of it yet. By, scrambling it's more likely that you'll be able to spot a word for it. "Classic Game" is set at a slower pace and much more suitable for beginners. You have more control over the game and the red tiles don't burn through unless you make a move. You can definitely take all the time you want in scanning the board to look for longer and worthier words to submit. The downside is, you cannot scramble Lex when the red tiles reaches the bottom and when you can't find the word for it yet, then you can definitely expect it's the end of the line for you.

      The two modes have different soundtracks playing in the background but it is the sound of the "Action Game" that sticks to my mind since this is the one I play more. The sound is friendly and pleasant to the ears. It shifts strategically when a red tile is nearing the bottom so you are warned of the danger looming ahead and it perfectly adds tension to the game. When the game is finally over and the board is scorched, a loud boom accompanies it and that will surely heighten your disappointment. Despite its easy mechanics and simple graphic design, I find this game engaging and enjoyable. The participation of Lex the worm really amuses me. His voice is so tiny like somebody's squeezing his tail (I was going to mention another part of his body but I don't think he has them. Hehe) and he can barely breathe. I was laughing hysterically when I've read this comment that in contrast to the worm's popular status, the worm somehow irritates her and she wants to shoot it because it distracts her from performing well. Aww, I thought that was harsh. All in all, this is a great game to pass the time and a perfect stress reliever.

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      • More +
        16.11.2008 22:24
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        An all time classic

        I've played Bookworm deluxe on my computer for a couple of years now, and I never tire of it. It's one of those classic games that you can return to again and again play for just a few minutes or for hours.

        Bookworm is a word game where the board is covered in tiles, each with a letter, and the game works by clicking on adjacent letters to make words, If the word is in the game dictionary, you double click on the last letter, or click on the submit button and the bookworm eats the word. More letters drop into the top of the frame, and you search for your next word. The longer the word, the more points you get, and as the game progresses, gemstone tiles appear, which increase the points when you use those. If you choose a lot of small words, burning tiles appear, and these burn though the tiles below if you don't use them. If they drop right down to the bottom, they burn through the base of the frame, and the game is over.

        Its a delightful game, suitable for everyone, educational, and fun for all levels.

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