Day 89: Word Soup

Posted: 2011/02/06 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and no longer appear in the top 50 downloads. Today is day #89, and today’s game is “Word Soup”.

I’ve had my eye on this one for a while, and it was finally time to purchase it today. Word Soup’s a game that’s somewhat similar to Bookworm, but with several key differences that make it unique.

Like a video game mash-up of Boggle and Scrabble, you create words from a grid of letters. The letters need to connect horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

There are three games modes (Timed mode, Brain mode, and Relax mode). Timed mode (a race against the clock) and Relax mode (take your time finding words) are just like what you would expect, but Brain mode is a little different in that you level up over time as you create words, and every time you level up you get more letters dropped into your grid, allowing you to continue playing… if you’re good enough.

With the exception of the aforementioned Brain mode, Word Soup focuses on clearing the grid to progress through the levels. Unlike Bookworm there are no exploding blocks to contend with here, it’s your vocabulary and pattern-matching skills (or lack thereof) that are both providing the challenge and helping you conquer the challenges. I like that about it, in the same way that I preferred original Tetris over the exploding-blocks of Tetris 2. Sometimes simplest really is best.

This is 400 Microsoft Points of nearly limitless replay value, and I recommend it to anyone who’s ever enjoyed a word game.

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