Bookworm isn’t the most inviting of titles. Arguably, it could be one of the least appetising of game names ever released. However first impressions can be deceiving and word games do have a tendency to be fun and competitive. It’ll be interesting to find out whether Lex the bookworm can keep all of us engaged for longer than the usual word search in your local paper.
In Bookworm to pass each level you link adjoining letters to build words which are in the dictionary, this in turn conveniently feeds Lex the text talking bookworm. Spelling words in Bookworm is a fairly simple process. Using the stylus you click on the first letter of the word and then the next adjoining letter to build your word. You have to turn the Nintendo DS on its side to play, imagine as though you are reading an interactive book. There are also ‘Reward’ tiles (you see each letter is represented on a tile in the same vein as Scrabble) whilst there are also bonus words that when submitted score extra points! Be aware though of the flaming tiles because if they reach the bottom of your library the whole place will go up and bear in mind that worms may have learnt to read but they haven’t discovered fire fighting yet!
There is a ‘Classic’ mode which gives you the chance to relax and show off your vocabulary to get big points or attempt to unlock bonuses. In ‘Action’ you have to spell out words and deal with the aforementioned flaming tiles. There are also green, gold, sapphire and diamond tiles that appear when you spell longer words or similar sized words in a row. When you first play Bookworm each library room you begin with is empty. As you fill each bookshelf a new feature appears within your library. The rewards you receive are nothing to get excited about but at least you feel like your achieving something as you fill the last book on your shelf with an eight lettered wonder word i.e. Customer, in case you needed an example! There is a bog standard multiplayer mode which is a simple case of reaching a target first. There isn’t a great deal to do in Bookworm, so a few more target specific modes would have added to the experience, for example trying to spell a certain word or two within a time limit.
For the would be perfectionists there are 20 themed Bonus Books in every library each containing 12 words. These words vary in difficulty, under the ‘Pets’ Bonus Book the easier words to find include dog and cat whilst the harder examples are ferret and turtle. They may be minor features but at least the Bonus Books add some much needed longevity to Bookworm. Another inclusion is Bookworms ability to track your statistics like your longest word etc, a clever little feature to show friends when you want to show off.
Graphically Bookworm wouldn’t even reach the last 32 of a Blue Peter competition but it works fine within the scenario that’s presented. The soundtrack helps things tick along at a reasonable pace whilst Lex the local Bookworm is fairly charismatic for a worm who likes books. There were no issues with the control mechanism, it’ a fairly straightforward process to find and submit a word.
Bookworm is an interesting title which has the ability to take up your time due to its simplistic nature. The record keeping is a positive inclusion however if you don’t love word games Bookworm is probably not the best edition to your collection. Bookworm is the ideal game to play when on a flight or in a waiting room but not one to invest too much time in. Just like possessing a dictionary, Bookworm serves a purpose but it won’t be in your list of favourite things to do.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo DS code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.