Imagine colliding the most iconic elements of Tetris, Bejeweled and Bookworm together. What arises from the ashes is WordCrasher. Though word puzzles are plenty popular and quite well-represented in the App Store, Kevin Ng’s WordCrasher is one that definitely breaks the mold. Instead of the familiar grid that most word games are built from, WordCrasher drops its brightly-colored letter balls down onto your screen. From there, you select the letters provided to create words. Certain letters are worth more points than others and longer words will get you more points. Points are recorded with OpenFeint where there are achievements for scores as well as the number of unique words in your WordCrasher vocabulary.
There are two modes of gameplay, Marathon and Flood Panic. WordCrasher uniquely utilizes iPhone accelerometer technology to add a new element to the word game. Balls fall randomly from the top of the screen but once they land, they will roll around a bit when you tilt your iPhone. This will allow you to adjust your screen if one area is unevenly filled with the balls. The physics of the game is most apparent when playing Flood Panic. In this mode, water slowly fills the tank causing the balls to float around. Tilting the iPhone will cause the water to sway and depending on how you use it, can be helpful or harmful to your game. Scoring points (making words) will slightly lower the water level and longer words will remove more water. The game ends when the balls reach the top of the screen. The game is set in levels and as you advance through the levels, balls will start to fall at a faster rate. To help you out, there are two bonus balls, one that will stop balls from falling for a short time and another that will explode nearby letter balls and clear up screen space.
If you exit the app mid-game, it will reset your game and while it’s not a deal breaker, hopefully future updates will allow you to save and resume a current game. Another minor bother is that the way you advance a level is ambiguous, it is neither indicated in-game or in the instructions. This could easily be remedied with either a progress bar or even more simply, iterated in the how-to. There is also a minor bug in Flood Panic where moving the water when it is too close to the top will cause the game to not finish, however this problem is fixed in the upcoming update.
WordCrasher is very well-designed, its graphics and animations are sharp, clean and polished. As with its graphics, sound effects are light and perky. Currently going for pleasant launch price of $0.99 in the App Store, WordCrasher will add an entertaining and unique flavor to your word game arsenal and you can bet you’ll be returning to it again and again.
Here is a video demo of the WordCrasher app on the iPhone
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