AbraWordAbra tries to take word games and do something new. Does it succeed?
Word games are a dime a dozen on iOS. Words with Friends took the app store by storm, and now everyone wants a piece of the word game action. Of course, most of these games are generic, and do not really bring anything new to the table, but AbraWordAbra tries to implement some new mechanics and a thin story in an attempt to pump some life in the genre.
Plugging in some new mechanics does not necessarily make for a fun game. They have four modes available in the game, and frankly, none of them is much fun. There is Mizz Spell, U Genius, Float On and Fill the Gap.
All of the modes with the exception of Float On are variations of the same mechanic. The characters with letters walk across the top of the screen and you have to swipe the floor to break open a space for them to pass through. You are trying to get the letters to the book at the bottom of the screen, and once they get there you are using them to complete your objective.
Whether you are trying to make complete words from the letters in U Genius, fixing a misspelled word in Mizz Spell or filling in the blank in Fill the Gap, it is all pretty much the same, and sadly none of it is very much fun.
The float on mode involves using the tilt feature of your device to guide balloons towards the book. As you progress, there will be more obstacles preventing you from safely getting your balloons to their goal. This mode feels incredibly out of place because it has nothing to do with making words or spelling. It works just fine, but I do not understand why it is in the game at all.
AbraWordAbra was clearly not optimized to work on Retina devices, as it looks incredibly blurry on my iPhone 4S. It is too bad, because the art is well done, and the characters look nice, but the blurriness really takes down the enjoyment of the art style.
In the end, this game is not terrible. The controls work well, the mechanics put a new spin on word games, and it has a decent art style. However, it just isn’t much fun. It is a shame, because a new take on word games could make for a good time. As I said, mechanically, there is nothing wrong with this game, and you might love it; for me, it was just boring and monotonous.
AbraWordAbra is abailable now for $.99 on the iPhone. Get it on the App Store.