Expanding their POWGI line of wordplay-based videogames, Lightwood has released Fifty Words for the Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Playstation Vita. The latter two come as a combo package through a cross-buy. We played it on a Vita for this review.
If you’ve played some of Lightwood’s previous POWGI titles, or regularly read our reviews, you more or less know what to expect from Fifty Words. Familiar visuals, a recognizable menu structure and plenty of content for a budget price. Our favorite canine returns as well, delivering witty and clever puns after every complete puzzle. There appears to be new music in this one though, so that was a pleasant surprise. It’s still the kind of casual background music that you’d expect, but since quite a few Lightwood titles share soundtracks this was a pleasant surprise.
The basic concept behind Fifty Words is incredibly simple – find fifty words hidden among a spread of letters, the shape of which differs per level. It’s very much like a standard word search puzzle, with a few differences. You don’t get all the words you need to find (though words you’ve already found are listed alphabetically for you), and you also need to make sure to use up all the letters on the ‘board’.
Greying out letters that have already been used helps you in this regard, and words you’ve identified are also marked with color. If you want you can change up the color palette as well, so if you feel artsy you can make the end result look quite creative. I didn’t find out about this until I checked the list of achievements though, so this is where a tutorial or at least hint screen could have helped.
Each puzzle will take about five to ten minutes to complete, and it’ll take up to ten hours to complete all the puzzles the game has to offer – not too bad for a game that’s only eight Dollars/Euros. It is, however, a fairly standard word search concept – if you don’t enjoy those then you don’t be happy with this either. We prefer some of Lightwood’s other games that also incorporate logic into the mix (such as the recent Wordsweeper), but if you enjoy word searches this is a solid entry. And the puns are, once again, worth it!