August 18, 2022

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I believe there are so many, including myself who feel that word games are great because they are puzzling, giving you that brain boost you want any time of the day. Of course, the other reason to play is that it’s always just fun to play! This is especially true for the game Word Forward. It’s a game that brings all the features of a few different word-style games in one! It’s also very tricky and requires full concentration and strategic planning to complete any of the puzzles fully. So don’t expect to get through each level with ease, it will take time, and that is what makes this an excellent puzzle game.

Word Forward brings something more to the table than just a challenging aspect that everyone yearns for in a game. It also pulls the player into the game because of its distinctively unique gameplay. Causing the player to want to spend their time figuring out what they need to do to accomplish the level and even trying to obtain every bonus achievable in each board. It’s actually how I felt when I started playing this game for the first time. I didn’t understand what the entire game was all about. Right there I already had my brain working out! Then, include the levels and how much concentration you need to put into the game, it’s definitely a reason to feel as if you are running a marathon with your brain.

Okay, I might be a bit of an exaggerator when it comes to games, even many other things. However, a game like this one wouldn’t be a puzzle if there isn’t any kind of brain sweat or a feeling that the brain is actually working out in some way. For example, It could just be a need to be quick to build a chain connection with letters like in this game, planning before proceeding; building a strategic plan. That to me is what makes a game, especially a puzzle game that much more worth playing! So thankfully, this game makes me feel all of that and worthy to continue forward.

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As mentioned above, this is one game that may not quite resemble a particular game fully. Even if it may have a slight resemblance to so many others, it’s just different. Especially on how you play, moving tiles; squared style boxes with letters using one’s finger or a controller. Also, many other special features included within this game also make it very unique and original from others. Including, the sound that plays in the background. It was the first thing that really caught my attention as it sets a more interesting beat than a traditional boring tune. I felt it reminded me of the Pacman Championship Edition, providing a techno-style beat playing in the background while you’re building up a strategic plan of attack on each game board. It really sets a brilliant mood, even for a word-style puzzle game.

Now how do you play? Well at first it starts you off with the word START. This is the word that allows you to understand the game and is a tiny practice before the actual first gameboard begins. There is even a helpful detailed mapping of the controller used with the system you are playing on. This all can be found on the right-hand side. There is one other thing before continuing about the game that I’d like to point out. This game has a difference by the variation of Nintendo Switch consoles being used. I have been playing the game on the Nintendo Switch Lite and the directions will appear mainly for the original Nintendo Switch causing some of the buttons mapped out on the controller to be a bit different from the Nintendo Switch Lite. Nevertheless, it will play still pretty well, but the ability to swap letters is the only button mapped on the directional menu, which won’t be possible to use. However, you can still switch tiles with your finger on the touch screen. It will allow you to swap letters whenever you want to.

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That was just one possible option you can adjust in the settings. There are a few others, such as the upbeat dance music playing in the background, which if it becomes too much it can be turned off. That also is the same for the sound effects. There is even a return to the start and to go back to the main menu. It’s very nicely designed to provide you with a simple adjustment no matter which game you play, it’ll always be available. To find this check below on each board; puzzle with the three horizontal lines, one above each other on the bottom part of the gameboard.

Moving on to the very first game and the many more, 499 more puzzles will follow and all be played the same way. So with the real game in front of the player, on the screen, you will have to find many different words and solve each puzzle by clearing the entire, ENTIRE board. Not only as many as you can complete, but every letter must also be used or removed to show an empty screen. That is the only way to win.

At first, I felt that using my finger to select each word was simpler to play, especially on the Nintendo Switch Lite. However, if you have a regular system with a controller, using the mapped-out buttons, it works fine too. Yet, the touchscreen method is so much easier and faster.

Now after going ahead and building a few words. It became very obvious on the directions one can go to decide where to move from the starting letter to the next, to build the word, from a diagonal position, horizontal, vertical, and a mix of each, it’s practically a piece of cake to know how to play each board. Oh wait, that sounds easy and might be like another similar game, very easy to play, but I will introduce you to the tricky part.

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Above, I mentioned there are plenty of puzzles! From the first unlocked puzzle, you move on after completing each board, to unlock others. Also, you can always return and try to beat the last score and get that highest mark; gold stars for fully completing each level perfectly. You may even think that after playing the first games, that there is an order of how hard one puzzle may be, starting with easy to hard. Yet, this isn’t true! I actually felt the first was a bit trickier, while the second puzzle was a piece of cake, and finished it super fast!

Actually, I was astonished, well maybe just surprised how fast I was able to follow through with the puzzle in a short amount of time, like under 2mins while the other took 30. Of course, after a few restarts. So it practically is all on the player, not the game. It can get trickier on whoever plays and how well you know words in general. Plus, for some who want to be a bit of a cheater, you can even use a dictionary on the side to help you speed the word building up. However, that is only a tip if you get really stuck and have no idea what letters may work together to form a word. Plus, there is no time, by the way, ticking and making you rush, thankfully!

Also, you possibly can think of this game as almost like looking at a square board for Boggle. Each letter is mixed up in the puzzle and you need to put it together to create a word, but it can only be used one time. After you finish that one word it disappears. So choose wisely cause without those letters anymore, there is no chance to make another. Oh and that isn’t all, the challenging aspect of this puzzle game continues!

As mentioned, the player; you put together a word and they disappear, leaving the other letters to be figured out into words. Well now you must make sure you can reach and build something or the board will practically not be completed, and have to be restarted if you get stuck. Therefore, if you want to play it safe, don’t start from the center or any way that it would remove and leave a blank, white space from all other letters. For example, if you play a word from the center, it leaves this giant gap that won’t reach one side to the other, making it even harder to connect letters and build words. So planning is a must, which I found out a few times and had to restart over, again and again!

Thankfully, this puzzle does have a few additional features that act as an aid for the player. Right below the puzzle and above the setting menu. This is where the player can choose a few different options to help figure the puzzle out and win, cause without these special additions, it would never be so easy to complete a puzzle, repair a mistake use of certain letters needed for another, or help at least get the rest of the letters to form a word from one side to the other. Even at first, I was a bit boggled by what they did. After testing them all, this all diminished and I felt well aware of what I can do to play the gameboard and beat it, finally!

So what did I discover? I found out that each letter, two normally on the first square boxes; tiles can replace ones in the puzzle, not empty spots but actual letter tiles. The bomb will explode one of the tiles that you don’t want to use at all or can’t figure out how to work with it. So it’s gone; removed completely! The one unique title, which reminds me of Scrabble or Up words, is to the left of the bomb and has the many letters going vertically on the tile. The best part of this one is that you can make it any letter you need it to be!

Allowing you to replace a tile with that one to complete a word. The last one to mention is the center option, the middle choice tile. This one is unique, I didn’t even understand what it was. As the screen shows, it’s a bunch of squiggly arrows pointing to the right. Now, what does this mean? Well after testing it out, they actually change the entire board. I mean anything you have on that board, each leftover letter gets moved off and is changed fully.

Say goodbye to the words you may want to put together, so make sure you put them completely together before selecting this option. It will change everything and leave you with a new board of letters to work with. If possible, this would be the last choice or first if I really have nothing to build on the board right from the start or end.

Another wonderful bonus, one to be thankful that is included in this game is tokens. You as the player have the option to use a few or all the tokens in a game, which allow you to switch one letter tile to another letter from any distance or location on the puzzle board. These tokens can also be earned as you play and make great words. To locate these tokens, check the top of the game board. They look like arrows that go in a circular or like going around in a rotating style. For my time playing, they really are helpful, but beware! If you end up using them up too fast, there won’t be any other to get you out of a difficult uncertain word-building situations. Making it another reason to plan and plan well! Strategy is a big part of this game and very much needed!

Anyhow, you want to play, the game can be played as the player likes, free to use or not use anything that is provided or build words that are acceptable as you want to complete each puzzle. Just one tip, don’t forget to plan as if you’re getting ready for battle. If you love scrabble, try to be as competitive as you’d have to be during this word game. Working the best, largest words you can, while having words 3 letters or more to make out of every letter left on the board. Never go in the game thinking to find one word and it will all work out. Since it doesn’t always pan out just as you were hoping and will end up making it tricky when you get near the end.

Before I finish up on the game. I did want to add that the graphics are quite remarkable! It’s unique to the touch, not a simple diagonal striped color screen. Instead, there is some interaction with the touch of the screen, any corner or side, and not just the tiles. When you touch the screen it causes a ripple effect, like if it’s water. Pretty neat and original! Love it as a fidget relief and just a relaxing addition to the game.

Lastly, this game is quite new to the puzzling style games out there, and I LOVE IT! A puzzle game that is always the same is okay, but now is so much better and makes for a game to be even more exciting to figure out and play in general. If you have a brain waiting to work a bit harder, this is the game you need to play! It’s going to really make your brain sweat and feel so happy and successful when you are able to fully complete a challenging puzzle entirely!