Rating

B+

Specific Ratings

GameplayA-
GraphicsB
Learning CurveA-
Replay ValueB+
SoundC-

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Just as good as the internet version
  • Save your progress (for those long games!)
Cons
  • Low production run = hard to find
  • More costly than the free internet version

Bookworm (Game Boy Advance)

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Summary

The hit internet word game is ported to the GBA almost flawlessly.

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Description

Many internet gamers have already heard of Bookworm by playing it online. Thanks to Majesco, they can now play it on Game Boy.

The premise is simple and somewhat similar to Scrabble: build words, letter by letter, from a large grid of letters to earn points. Create large words or words with obscure letters for more points and possible extra point letters (which you can use to increase a word's value that includes that letter). Create small words and you could see burning red letters, which will continually burn to the bottom after each word, until you use it up (red letters also lower a word's score). Keep creating words and leveling up to higher levels until a red letter burns through the bottom.

In addition, there is a bonus word that you can create for a special bonus. That bonus increases with each successful bonus word completion. If you get stuck, and can't create a word, you can shuffle the letters, but be careful: shuffling erases all bonus letters you have created and may cause red letters to appear. In the GBA version, you can now save your progress and pick up your game later in one of three files. These files also keep track of your highest point totals and level number for you.

There are a few downsides to the game (in general, not just the GBA version). There really is no time limit (although the GBA version does time you, it doesn't affect your score), or penalty for trying to submit false words, so you can click your cursor along until you find a word (even ones you didn't know existed) and at leisure, which saps the challenge rating.

The graphics are standard fare for this type of game, and get the job done. The sound is a different issue. While there are sound effects, there is no music whatsoever. Perhaps this is better than bad music though.

This game is fun to play if you are puzzle or word freak like I am, and can be a bit of a challenge, especially on higher levels. Even those not familiar with this title can pick it up easily with the Bookworm giving hints throughout (which can be turned off for advanced players). This is a great portable game that really helps the time fly.

The only downsides to the GBA version are this: it is hard to find (low production), and more expensive than the internet version (which is free!). However, if you liked the internet version, and feel the need to play on the go, you won't be disappointed with the GBA version.

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