Don’t ask why but most modern puzzle games seem to revolve around either moving objects, lightning reactions or have a borderline obsession with coloured blocks of one form or another. Gone are the days when a puzzle game could be picked up and played by anyone with little or no need for instructions with just basic skills to be able to play… Word Blocked is one of those.
At a first glance, the game looks incredibly complex and makes you think that you’re looking at some modern and diabolical twist on the old Rubik’s Cube, but nothing could be further from the truth. You’re presented with a cube on screen, split into nine squares on each side with what appears to be a random letter in each square but once you actually play the game, you find that you’re initial belief at what the game might be is put at ease when Word Blocked reveals itself to be something far more straightforward…
The aim of the game is to spell as many words as possible using the available letters on screen. You do this by using the touch screen to press each letter in turn to spell the word and once you’ve completed the word, just press the submit button and the value of it is added to your score. You’re only able to use each word once so as you can imagine, with such a jumbled mish-mash of letters spelling words could become troublesome – and this is where the twist comes in… literally. Using the touch screen you can rotate the cube through 360 degrees or even rotate individual rows or columns or blocks of letters on the cube, exactly in the same way you would if you were using a Rubik’s Cube, giving you an almost limitless number of combination of letters to try to spell as many words as you can.
The strategy lies in finding possible words and then getting letters just where you want them by rotating parts of the cube to get them there… and it’s a lot easier said than done! Controlling the cube itself is a breeze and it’s very responsive. Selecting letters is straightforward enough and you seldom choose the wrong letters and even if you do it’s simple enough to un-select them. Rotating the cube or parts of it is just a matter of swiping your finger across the screen and it works a treat.
There are two game modes on offer – Relaxed and Time Limit. In the Relaxed mode, you can just take your time and just keep spelling as many words as you like no doubt until there are no possible words left on the cube… and with the sheer number of combinations possible I couldn’t say how long that would take you so it’s really down to how long you actually want to play for. The Time Limit mode is for those who want a fast paced challenge and you have just two minutes to spell as many words as you can so your back is really up against the wall on this one!
If you do get stuck and need to keep moving quickly, there are a few boosts at your disposal. The first, a bomb, will change all of the letters randomly on the top side of the cube. The second, a missile, will do the same but for all the letters on the whole cube. You have two of each and if you are struggling these could prove to be a real life-saver. Now if only Tetris had given the player something like this, it might have been a touch easier on the latter levels…
Considering the simplistic nature of the game, it does look surprisingly good. The cube has a neon “glow” to it and been well animated and the backgrounds and well designed without detracting from the game itself. The rest of the on-screen display is functional but well designed and the text is easy enough to read. Probably the highlight for me is the music by Anthony Putson which fits the game perfectly.
Word Blocked is a fun game and while it’s not the sort of game that will have you playing for lengthy periods because of the short duration of the Time Limit mode and goalless Relaxed mode, it is something that you’ll dip into now and then and at just £1.59 you could do far worse than this.
At A Glance
- Title: Word Blocked
- Publisher: Quirkat
- System: PlayStation Mobile
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: No
- Cross Play: No
- Online Multiplayer: No
- Memory Card Space Needed: 25Mb