Popcap's original PC version of Bookworm is great. Most of us are already familiar with it – you string together adjacent letters on a grid to make the longest words you can. Tiles disappear when you make a word, and new letters drop down from the top. It gets even more exciting when burning tiles show up, and you have to get rid of them before they reach the bottom or your library will burn to the ground. Like many of Popcap's other offerings (Bejeweled, Peggle, Plants vs Zombies) it's simple yet highly addicting. Best of all, you can play it for FREE on Popcap's website.
So, when a $20 DS version of a popular free PC game comes out, we expect it to offer more than the original free game to warrant a purchase. If it's an awesome enough game – so good that there's value in being able to play it portably – it needs to be a competent port at the very least. Bookworm DS isn't atrociously terrible, but it's definitely a downgrade from the version that's available for free, which makes it difficult to justify on any level.
For one, the stylus controls feel somewhat unresponsive, so that it's difficult to select letters in rapid succession, which is particularly unfortunately because it makes playing the two new modes, action mode and multiplayer mode, especially frustrating. These modes are supposed to be fast-paced, but we found that unless we selected each letter slowly and carefully, the touch detection would skip letters and mess up our words.
Worst of all, Bookworm DS is played entirely in the book-oriented position (like Brain Age), but THERE'S NO LEFTY FLIP. Rage! Yet another slap in the face to the left-handed minority by the right man who wants nothing more than to keep us down through aggregate stress via a vast, conspiratorial agenda. Well, the righties can keep this one – it's not that great anyway.
Apr 7, 2010