Wordsweeper by POWGI review (Vita)

The latest title in their “POWGI” series to grace the Playstation Vita, Wordsweeper by POWGI is now available on the Playstation Store as a cross-buy title that also includes the PS4 version. In addition, this title – which previously came out as a mobile game – can now also be bought for the Nintendo Switch platform. Here are our thoughts, based on our experience with the Vita version.

As you may have guessed from the combination of “Lightwood” and “POWGI”, this is another title that relies on wordplay as one of its main gameplay mechanics. There’s another hint in the title though, as Wordsweeper is also based on quite possibly the most famous (or at least most played) casual puzzler of all: Minesweeper.

Wordsweeper by POWGI_20190709170613
Wordsweeper by POWGI_20190709170613

Like most Lightwood games, Wordsweeper plays out on a grid-shaped playing field – as does Minesweeper. But where Minesweepers tells you how many bombs border an individual tile, Wordsweeper’s grid already has all the tiles with letters highlighted for you – forming a miniature version of a crossword puzzle. It’s up to you to fill it…

While crosswords and Minesweeper don’t appear to match, Wordsweeper puts its own twist on the combination by giving you the letters needed rather than the descriptions of the individual words. In the black tiles, the letters used in the adjacent white tiles are mentioned – and greyed out when they’ve already been used. When a black tile only borders a single white one, there’s just a single letter – and using it often helps to determine what goes in the next square.

Wordsweeper by POWGI_20190709170552
Wordsweeper by POWGI_20190709170552

Besides Minesweeper-like logic, knowledge of the English language also helps. Though I believe most (if not all) puzzles can be solved with a sense of logic in Wordsweeper, it definitely helps when you already have a feeling which word you’re going for or which letter order makes more sense. As such, I found myself constantly switching tactics to move ahead, which happens naturally and makes the game better for it.

Wordsweeper by POWGI is definitely a Lightwood/POWGI title though – the menus and visuals are familiar, the music isn’t something you haven’t heard before and even our old trusted dog with his often smart and funny puns returns. In that sense, you know exactly what you’re getting if you grab this new puzzler. I found Wordsweeper to be one of the best POWGI titles so far though, as the core gameplay so organically has you switching between puzzle solving tactics. It’s something that helped the Sudoku craze, and it’s nice to see it in the content of a word-based puzzle game this time.

Score: 7.5/10

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