War of Words Review

War of Words enters the indie scene and mimics the well-known style of Puzzle Quest. Should you make the investment and save the world of Lexica, or abstain from the purchase? Read on and you’ll learn about what the game has to offer.

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War of Words offers us a full campaign, as well as local split-screen multiplayer, and an instant battle mode if you just want a quick match against the AI. Unfortunately, Xbox Live multiplayer is not a feature in the game, and while it really would have been great, the game succeeds without it. The campaign mode offers a solid fantasy-themed plot, with an income system and the ability to purchase items, weapons, and armor at stores and taverns. Besides the standard battles, each area has at least 1 treasure chest, and to open it, you have to solve a riddle, and enter the correct password. Some of these riddles are quite easy, while others are surely challenging and will have you looking for help.

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Although sporting a very basic design, the menus and puzzle boards look great. The world map is fair, though it’s nothing awe-inspiring by any means. Menu’s are extremely easy to navigate, and stats on all weapons and armor are well-defined. Players will not be prone to any confusion when determining the stats of different items when comparing them to one another.  Frankly, War of Words has a simple and clean design, and it’s looks great for what it is. At present time, there is unfortunately no colorblind option though, and because some status effects use red and green letter highlights, this could affect the outcome of tougher battles for those players.

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The game play remains simple enough, even if you’re not a master at these games, and while battles can get quite challenging once you hit around level 15, you will learn to adapt and discover a few tricks. As your character increases in level, he learns new spells to use in battle, ranging from clearing an entire column of letters,  to poisoning various letters on your opponents board. Magic replenishes slowly, or you can use items to do the job a little quicker. The longer the word, the better combo you set up, and the more damage you’ll do. Whenever you want, you can speed up new rows of letters, but be aware of your foul line, if you hit that you’ll take massive damage.

Music in the game has a pleasant sound of fantasy games, very similar to titles such as Trine, and it’s quite fitting for the theme of the game.  Sound effects are included when using spells, guarding against enemy attacks, and during a variety of other small instances.  Your ears certainly will not be bleeding, and you’ll have a soothing feeling drift over you as you battle in War of Words.

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In the end, while lacking Xbox Live features, War of Words still stands as a successful title, worthy of its 400 :MSPoints: price tag, more so for puzzle quest fans. You’ll get at least 8-10 hours of play, and much more if you’re as terrible at it as I am. The solid campaign allows you to progress to level 50, plus you’ve got a few [optional] challenges to complete, and many riddles to solve. I highly suggest you head over to the Marketplace and grab the demo for this one, I doubt you’ll be disappointed.


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