If you’d allow me to blow my own trumpet for a second, when the first POWGI game released on Xbox – Word Sudoku by POWGI – I was in my element with a type of puzzle I am more than competent at completing. Subsequent releases such as Roundout by POWGI, Crypto by POWGI and Ladders by POWGI have kept my brain ticking over nicely, but without too much straining. Now though, I reach my ultimate word puzzle nemesis; the anagram in Mixups by POWGI.
And Mixups isn’t just content with giving you one anagram at a time, instead jumbling three words together at a time. The result is a mishmash of letters on the right-hand side of the screen for you to decipher.
Thankfully, these words are all related to each other. Each block of six puzzles to solve – containing 18 words to decipher in total – are all based around the same theme. This could be as broad as simply ‘Japan’ or ‘Weather’ but can be a bit more niche as well with such themes as ‘Coffee’ or ‘Astrology’.
Sometimes words do make reappearances; if they can be used in different themes though then fair enough. For example, the word ‘Godzilla’ appears in both Japan and Movies with Sequels themes. Words do also appear in the same theme as well, and this is less appealing. When completing the Coffee puzzles, I had the word ‘Cappuccino’ appear twice. These aren’t randomly generated either, it will appear twice for everyone.
If, like me, you struggle with anagrams, Mixups by POWGI once again has a semi-useful hints system to assist you. Using it will give you the first letter of one of the words you need to find, and you can use it to reveal the first letter of all three words. It is helpful to an extent, but it also doesn’t spoon feed you the answer.
Even with that though, Mixups is still one of the hardest POWGI games out there, even with my ineptitude. Not since the likes of Roundout by POWGI have these games really felt testing.
If you have ever played a POWGI game – such as the likes of Word Sudoku by POWGI or Crypto by POWGI – then you should know what to expect by now. The main menu lists 15 themes at a time, and you scroll through until you find a theme you like the sound of, or you can play them sequentially.
Typically, completing a puzzle will reward you with a cheeky little pun, but this isn’t always the case in Mixups by POWGI. Even after only a few puzzles I started to see anagram-based puns repeating themselves; they were still funny the first time, but these were always worth pausing for a moment to read. Instead I am now just quickly moving onto the next set of anagrams.
From an accessibility point of view, the Dark Mode that was present in many of the previous titles is also missing in Mixups by POWGI.
But there is another reason many people return to POWGI games, and this latest one is no exception. Mixups by POWGI has another 32 achievements for 1000G, all of which are worth 30G except for one that is worth 70G. As with the other titles, the achievement list highlights specific puzzles to solve, and there are some clever puns in this list again.
Perhaps one of the more challenging titles from Lightwood Games, Mixups by POWGI will test players far more than previous titles. It’s a shame then that sometimes there isn’t a unique pun to reward you for completing the puzzle, but after spoiling players with hundreds of them in five previous games, we shouldn’t complain too much. It is still another easy way to grab 1000 of the finest Xbox Gamerscore, but at least Mixups by POWGI makes you work a little harder for it this time.
You can test your brain with Mixups by POWGI for £6.69 for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S from the Xbox Store