Surprising us with yet another (cross-buy) release for the Playstation Vita, Lightwood Games has released Mixups by POWGI for the handheld. Here’s our review.
Over the past year or so, we’ve seen Lightwood Games release a number of games for the Playstation Vita, nearly all of them of the puzzle variety. About half are nonogram (or Picross)-inspired, with the other half carrying the “POWGI” name – the WG part standing for “word games” there. We’ve had Word Sudoku and Word Search, and now it’s time for Mixups – which is all about anagrams and word guessing.
Unfortunately, “Mixups” doesn’t refer to a whole bunch of different puzzle types coming together in a compilation of anagram-based challenges. As with other POWGI titles, each level is essentially the same: in this case, you’re presented with a grid of randomly placed letters and the challenge of making three words out of them. To help you, you get a category for the words (like “shapes”) and you see how many letters are in each word. To further help you, you can also enable hints which reveal the first letter to a word.
It’s fairly self-explanatory, though things can get frustrating as answers can sometimes become guesswork as you have many options to start out with and not much to go on. If things don’t click for you after revealing the first letter, then all you have to resort to is some kind of online guide that just gives you all the words you need – hardly a satisfying experience. It does, however, provide an extremely easy way to score a few trophies without much effort – if that’s your thing. There’s even a platinum, and you can double up if you also play the PS4 version afterwards.
While the puzzle type in Mixups is new when compared to previous POWGI titles, a lot is familiar. The dog with his puns is back, the menu structure is pretty much identical, the visual style very recognizable, and the music has been used in other POWGI titles as well.
As such, the only thing that’s new are the anagram-based puzzles, and they could have been implemented better as well. If the hint system provided better clues than the first letter, for instance, or if you could mix up the letter tile placement when you get stuck so you get some new inspiration rather than frustration. This is a game that’s meant for those who are really into anagram puzzles, and most of us aren’t. If you are, then at least you’re getting hundreds of them at once.