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Bookworm PC Review

12/03/2009 Family Returning Gamer Review
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Bookworm PC




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If, like me, you are a fan of wordgames then you will potentially love this Bookworm game from PopCap. Bookworm brought back happy memories of watching Countdown with my college friends. My inner competitive streak has gotten me playing again, so this was rich pickings for my game time.

I should stress that this one is fun for the over 6's and adults alike. Bookworm is also handily available as a free 30-day trial for those of us that fancy a blast before committing to purchase.

Why do I like word games? I'm really not sure, but likeminded people will sympathise with my plight. For instance each day I go downstairs, head out the building, and pay for a cup of tea rather than make my own. I couldn't even use the excuse that it is more convenient - it's not. I don't know why I do it. In the same vein, if you are a word gamer, you just do it, and play repeatedly. That's how it is for us adicts!

For those of you that have played Pathwords on Facebook, the concept of Bookworm will be familiar. Faced with a grid of letters you attempt to make words from linked letters as fast as possible. The longer the word the more points you get. Words are eliminated from the grid, the letters above drop down and new ones appear at the top, simple and ridiculously addictive. Here's a tip - hold down your mouse to drag across the letters, thus making words faster.

Bookworm is delightfully presented and delightfully priced.

How does it differ from the Facebook version? Well for starters it is more child friendly. The games are hosted by a friendly worm called Lex and the graphics are bright and breezy. I made it to senior librarian rank in one sitting, well it impressed me anyway.

The classic game is more suitable for children, although they should be competent at making words of three characters or more. My youngest is under six but showed a lot of interest in playing. A handy feature is the ability to save your progress and return where you left off. One minor recommendation would be the ability to view other competitor scores online, or even the ability to play against others real time and watch each others scores mount up.

The action game differs from classic in that time is much more of a factor and the level of difficulty therefore increases. Another welcome addition is the presence of burning tiles, which you must use before they hit the bottom. The are also gem coloured tiles that provide bonus points if you manage to fit them into a word. Progress through levels is depicted by a bookshelf gradually filling with literature, and Lex the worm even helpfully shows the definitions of some words as we go along.

Bookworm is available for PC and Macs along with mobiles and PDA's and should therefore provide some welcome commuting relief. PopCap certainly has the hallmarks of a professional setup and I hope to see more games from them. Bookworm is delightfully presented and delightfully priced. I don't say that very often.

Written by Sinan Kubba

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Sinan Kubba writes the Returning Gamer column.

"As an 80s kid I was obsessed with gaming. But university, stress and life relegated my hobby to the backseat. After years in the wilderness, I'm back into video games. I don't just want to play games that remind of a happy youth though. I'm just as excited about games that take things forward, experiences that re-ignite that curiosity and fascination I had years ago."

Here are the games I've been playing recently:

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