on 16 August 2009
I've always thought I had a pretty good vocabulary, but this game certainily brings in words, and alternative word meanings, that I had not heard of before, so from that point of view the game is interesting and educational, and sometimes frustrating when a relatively every day word is used in a different context!
My main critiscism is with the graphics. Although the colours may look pretty, red on black - or black on red - are not practical when it comes to clarity, especially in daylight hours. Many of the other colours used don't work well either. In the wordsearch, 'whiting' out the word once found is ok but it makes it very difficult to see the letters that may be needed for another of the words. Do the compilers and producers ever try the games themselves?
on 27 June 2009
This game only came in the post this morning and is already highly addictive! At first I though "not another word puzzle game" but I have been pleasantly suprised. Much better than the Puzzler Collection as there is much more choice in the type of games to play. The are traditional games like crosswords, wordsearches and even hangman. There are other games that use synonyms, antonyms, quotes and phrases and themed games to unlock as well. There is plenty of opportunity to save your game and view your progress to date. There are also warm up games before each game which are useful as it gets you used playing. These can be annoying after a while but are easily switched off in your profile settings. Very educational but not sure it would be a game for a 3 year old though! So glad I bought it.
on 12 October 2009
I purchased this for my mother who loves word games e.g. scrabble, crosswords, wordsearches e.g. Unfortunately she found it hard to get started, all she wanted to do is select the game and play. You have a warm up and she could not find a way around this. At nearly 70 she loves her DS and is quite DS capable, really looking forward to this game but this is not one she wants to play.
on 20 March 2010
I am in my 50s, addicted to my Nintendo DS and this game was a Xmas present from my stepson. I love games with words and numbers, particularly the style of "Mumble Jumble" in the Vintage Games section. However, the words it suggests are ludicrous and I am almost certain are of no use to the average person. It suggested the word "yzveenee" which I have tried to find on the internet using various dictionaries and to no avail. I am now going to make a list of the words it suggests so that I can contact the manufacturer to discover which dictionary was used in the production of this game! I would be interested to know if anyone else feels the same.
on 5 October 2009
I don't generally like to write negative reviews, but occasionally I'll make an exception, if something greatly disappoints me. This game is one of those cases. It should have been good, but poor organisation has brought it over the line from educational to frustrating and boring.
The idea of the game is that we have a passive vocabulary (large and disorganised) and an active vocabulary (smaller but well-organised), and the objective of the game is to move words from your passive to your active vocabulary, so you can use them in everyday speech. You play the minigames for stars, being awarded stars for correct answers and extra ones for fast responses, and once you've collected a certain amount (I think it's 100), you move onto the next level, unlocking new games and (supposedly) adding words to your active vocabulary.
The biggest bug-a-boo I have with the game is that there's no real way to monitor your progress. Although there is a progress file that shows your previous scores from the games, and tells you how many new active words you have, there isn't any way of finding out what those words are - or at least, if there is, I haven't found it, even after much searching. Nor is there any real indication of what level you're on; the only idea you have is the little cartoon that says things like "hanging ten with the surfers", which doesn't really you give much of a clue.
With any learning program, no matter what the subject is, it is absolutely imperative to be able to look back and find out exactly what you've learned, otherwise the learning means very little. I find this poor organisation particularly irritating, because it could so easily have been solved by the makers of the game if they'd been paying attention. There is a glossary that you can check, but even there there's no indication of which words have been learned, or "transferred". It would have been so easy for them to set it up so that any words in the glossary are highlighted once they've been transferred into your active vocabulary, which would have been much more helpful than the progress illustrations they give you.
Some of the games are highly irritating. It's been mentioned that the crosswords are cryptic only, which makes them useless to the majority of people - I did one, then gave up. The "I Quote" game can be fun (it involves filling in the missing words from quotations), but isn't really educational - I fail to see how you learn new words by memorising quotations, especially when the words that you have to fill in are often words that everyone already knows, like "grass" and "mosquito" and "mushroom". The Links game is interesting, but some of their ideas of synonyms and antonyms are pretty crazy, and several times caused me to yell, "No, that's not what it means!" at the DS.
There are some good things about this game. The first game is probably the best. I can't remember what it's called offhand, but in it you're given a list of three words that mean similar things, and then three others to choose from, and you have to pick the choice that's most like the original three. This game is simple and works well.
One of the best brain-stretchers in the game is the Mumble Jumbles, in the "Classic Games" section. You're given a number of letters (starting with one, and working up to seven or eight) and you have to make words out of them. It's similar to the TV program Countdown, but you can use other letters as well, as long as you include the ones you're given. I found this particular minigame to be very addictive, and I could really feel my brain getting active from it. Shame that the Classic Games don't count towards your progress.
The Theme Games were my favourite part of the game, purely for the amusement factor. They contain some of the same games that you get in the first section, but the answers to the games all follow a certain theme. One theme is called Retro, and gives you assortments of phrases to learn from various decades of the 20th Century. Another theme focuses mainly on "comp-speak", and teaches all sorts of computer lingo (things like "w00t!" and "Kthxbai" which are extremely funny, as well as somewhat-educational (at least for people who use a computer a lot, although anyone older than about 30 will be scratching their head and thinking, what the heck? when they play this section).
All in all, there are some good points to this game, but not enough to really make it worth the cost. The poor organisation and the glitches to the games - some words you'll "learn" after only seeing them once, and then others will appear a dozen or more times - make it a lot less than what it should have been. If you do decide to play it, you'll likely play occasionally for amusement rather than for serious learning. And while there's nothing wrong with playing for fun, it's not really what the game is intended for. As far as the objective - to expand your vocabulary - goes, it doesn't really deliver.
on 21 September 2009
I bought classic word games because I, well, wanted to play classic word games. Unfortunately, you can't really with this game. What it really is, is lots of 'vocabulary building' exercises, which are not classic, or games, or very interesting, or fun. And you have to play them before you can unlock any games. All the crosswords have ONLY cryptic clues, so thats one game that's no use to me. Hangman is only amusing for about 3 seconds. All in all, this was a complete waste of money.