Developer: Heavy Ninja LLC
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Wordweaver adds new features, twists and roadblocks to the typical "find and select" word puzzlers. It could be one of the most innovative word games I've played in a while, and it's easily the most challenging.
At first glance, Wordweaver from Mini Monster Media looks like just another jungle-themed word finder. You know, the kind where you drag a finger across — usually horizontally, vertically or diagonally — to make as many words as possible. Although that works in Wordweaver too, it's just the most basic form of gameplay. Better yet, drag your finger any which way or change directions to zig-zag across the board and create longer letter-combinations.
Add in a timer, two modes of gameplay, and difficulty options and you've got a pretty well-rounded word game that's good for short bursts of distraction. Now, add on a layer of fresh, original graphics, custom soundtrack with sound effects that can be controlled independently and you've got a game that deserves a permanent place on your iPhone, one you'll probably come back to again.
Finally, add in bonus letters that allow players to earn higher scores, tack on a series of achievements to incite competition, wrap it up with made-for-iPhone features like using the accelerometer to scramble the letters, and now you've got Wordweaver. This "simple word game" just became a full-fledged game that will push players to maximize their glossary for glory.
But, what good is glory without gloating? For those of you who can't appreciate a win without the chance to crow about it, Wordweaver has all the popular options to share your success with friends. Post your scores to the Global Leaderboard, use Facebook Connect to compare your score with friends, or send the news to Twitter. The app is also OpenFeint enabled for the ultimate in community involvement.
I only have two problems with Wordweaver. One, there are so many extras, bonuses and features that it can take a while to master the game. There is no instant gratification here. And two, some of the buttons are difficult to use. The letters are all perfectly sized and easy to select. But, the buttons that allow the rows and columns to move are pretty narrow and I had a hard time getting the rows to slide. Practice makes perfect, but I'd rather it "just work."
Wordweaver has taken a simple word game and added so many features, I'm not really sure it even counts as a word game any more. Wordsmiths will enjoy working their vocab voodoo, but puzzlers and strategy seekers will also want take this game for a spin.
Mastering this jargon jungle is a right of passage that will take skill. But, if you're getting bored with what the word-game genre has to offer, then it's time to move on to the next level. Wordweaver will test the limits of your lexicon and — even after 30 levels — leave you ready for more.