Saturday, October 27

Review: Word Puzzles by POWGI [Nintendo Switch eShop]

With an abundance of options on the Switch eShop there’s going to be something out there for everyone, and that includes people who have more casual tastes, or at least enjoy unwinding with something a bit more laid back. To that end we have titles like Word Puzzles by POWGI, which serves up six different styles of puzzles for you to work your brain cells rather than your fast fingers. While it can be played in docked mode well enough with the controller, this is very much ideally a touchscreen affair, as it’s crisp and quick to test your mental dexterity.

Word Maze will challenge you to snake through a collection of letters to form words that all share a common theme. These tend to go pretty quickly but since you don’t know the words it can sometimes take a few moments to put together which way you’re going next. Mixups plays out a bit more like a variation on Boggle, where a collection of letters are put in front of you and you’re searching for the words hidden within them, again all tied to the same theme. Available hints will clue you in to the first letter in each target word but you’ll need to work out the rest from there.

One Word may be the most challenging option, providing you with famous quotes that you’ll then need to fill in the words for. To do so each word has its own word find puzzle and with so many of the same letters in them finding the word can be a bit maddening at times. Flowers is interesting, placing 2 letters in the middle of a flower and having you form 6-letter words using pre-made pairs of letters on either side.

Circles looks a bit like a Venn diagram, and will challenge you to determine a central hidden letter than is common to all of the words from the surrounding and overlapping circles. Finally, Crossovers reminds me a bit of the classic acrostic puzzle. You’ll first work to determine the missing letter common to 2 intersecting words, then taking the accumulated letters to form one final word that you’re provided a clue for.

There’s no doubt this is a niche package, but with that in mind searching for further clear deficiencies is difficult. The interface is clean, the variety offered by the 6 very different styles of puzzles is appreciated, and the hints provide just the nudge you may need without giving it all away. If you typically enjoy sitting down with a pen and paper to attack some word puzzles in a newspaper or a magazine you now have a viable electronic alternative.

Score: 7.5

  • Clean and clear presentation
  • Works impeccably with the touchscreen but is fine in docked mode with a controller
  • Includes a ton of word puzzles in 6 very different styles

  • There’s no doubt that people will enjoy some puzzles more than others
  • Very obviously a niche title with a narrow focus
  • The music is on a short loop and can become monotonous