Reviews

WordHunters review: a Stacked Puzzler

Adding to Sony's surprisingly impressive 'PlayLink' lineup, 'Wordhunters' eschews the predictable quiz based battling of its contemporaries and conjures up something not only fun but surprisingly inventive.

As with other PlayLink titles, Wordhunters is a multiplayer game where not having a controller for every player is no issue – everyone simply downloads the app to their phone and enters the game when ready, not dissimilar to the Jackbox Party Pack series.

Controller Free Play

Playable from two to six players (and supporting drop-in/drop-out play), Wordhunters is a globetrotting trip stacked with fifteen mini-games. Each win brings players closer to unscrambling their own word that once revealed, wins the game.

Of course, games such as these live or die based on the strength and variety of their mini-games, and thankfully Wordhunters excels in both categories. Some are old ‘puzzle book’ mainstays like the humble word search, or what is essentially a digital recreation of perennially popular board game ‘Boggle’, while others are a little more unique.

Not a Numbers Game

One particularly frantic game has players forming words from numbers that are in a constant scrolling motion across the screen, while another has you choosing which words are real and which are made up (much harder than it sounds). My personal favourite had one player swapping letters in and out of a word before passing it on to the next player, almost like the “Pass The Bomb” title my family and I have enjoyed.

Each in-game location (of which there are twenty) is shown with impressive detail considering you spend ninety per cent of your time staring at a smartphone, but in any case, the effort is appreciated. Throughout each game, your adventure is narrated and hosted by ‘Amy’, an affable enough pilot with a penchant for dismal jokes. With that said, it’ll bring some laughter out of your older relatives, I’m sure, even though her voice does tend to grate after two or three games in a row.

Family Friendly

There’s also a lot of fun to be had by younger players, and I’m sure this is where Wordhunters’ longevity will lie. In pushing players to conquer it’s many different challenges with a keen mind, as well as extending one’s vocabulary, it could be an excellent learning tool for the whole family.

Verdict:

Graphics: 7/10
Presentation: 8/10
Sound: 6/10
Gameplay: 8/10

Overall Score: 7/10

As stated, Wordhunters can’t be played in single player (with no option for bots), but as long as you can find a group to play with it’ll easily last an evening or two. Compared to PlayLink favourite Knowledge Is Power, the number and variety of mini-games on offer are much more impressive and it’s potential utility as a learning tool for a new generation of gamers and children alike could leave an impressive legacy. Fun AND educational? Time to hunt.

Format: PlayStation 4 (Reviewed)
Price: £15.99 (PlayStation Store)
Publisher: Wired Productions
Developer: Thumb Food Ltd.
Age Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 15/11/18 (UK eShop)

Review copy provided by publisher

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