The husband and wife team at Lightwood Games continue to bring their portfolio of unique puzzle games over to Xbox – unique in the sense that by subtly changing one aspect of an existing and popular puzzle trope, they attempt to create something new. Their previous game – Word Sudoku by POWGI – did this by giving you a nine-letter word and a traditional sudoku and told you to complete the puzzle. Gone were the numbers, replaced by letters to be inputted.
This time around, we have a wordsearch, but the trick here is that each wordsearch has only one word to find. Sounds easy at first, but consider all letters surrounding this word are the letters included in the word itself, and you’ve got a needle in a haystack for sure.
These aren’t just random words either; One Word features 150 quotes from famous – and infamous – people from throughout history, and each wordsearch corresponds to a word from that quote. Most quotes have five or six words to find; some are shorter, but some are also a few words longer. All-in-all though, there are around 700 wordsearches in total.
The size of each wordsearch is dependent on the size of the word itself too. Longer words are hidden in bigger grids, but even smaller words can be tucked away still in smaller grids. It sounds deceptively easy. However, upon jumping in the first wordsearch I was expecting the word to just pop right out of the screen, but that wasn’t the case. Words that feature the same letter twice also add another layer of difficulty.
Even on the smaller searches though, don’t expect to see multiple versions of the same word. Each word only appears once; the puzzles have been cleverly designed to not throw duplicates or errors your way.
If certain words are proving particularly tricky, there is a hint system to help you out. It doesn’t show you where the word itself is, but it will tell you the word you are supposed to be looking for. As a hint system, it works well, guiding you towards the solution without spoon-feeding you the answer. Spending a while looking for a well-hidden word still offers the sense of achievement when finding it.
The quotes that need completing come from people from all walks of life: politicians, actors, athletes, inventors, philosophers, singers, authors; even perhaps less desirable folk, or completely fictional characters. Household names such as Charles Darwin, Bill Gates, Einstein, Stephen King, Yoda and even Hitler all show off their quotable side.
One Word by POWGI features much of the same background music that was featured in Word Sudoku, so thankfully, again, it can be muted. It isn’t the best, but one plus side is that these puzzles generally take less time to figure out, so you don’t hear it for as long.
It is once again a game that is chock full of puns. Not necessarily in the famous quotes themselves, but by just completing each puzzle – or even just ‘paws’ the game – you’ll be treated to more dog-based puns than you will ever likely need.
Puns are also the name of the game when it comes to the achievements. There are 32 in total, related to completing specific quotes. If you wanted a quick completion you could simply aim for these 32 quotes and have the full 1000G wrapped up in less than two hours.
The achievements themselves though have humorous titles, whether that be related to the person associated with the quote – for example, A Bone Apart is awarded for revealing the quote by Napoleon Bonaparte – or yet more dog-based puns eg. An Inconvenient Woof for revealing Al Gore’s quote.
Once again, the main screen just cycles through the various puzzles using the left and right bumpers, but it does highlight that there are no other modes included. An endless mode where it just throws random wordsearches at you for as long as you could take, or a time trial mode to complete in the fastest time possible – something to add a bit of something extra or different – would have been a good addition.
The main menu this time though does do a better job highlighting which puzzles have been completed by marking them with a tick, as opposed to in Word Sudoku where it would highlight them in a barely different shade of colour than your cursor.
One Word by POWGI on Xbox is another clever take on a classic puzzle idea, and improves on Word Sudoku by giving the words you are looking for a bit more meaning as you try to complete the famous quotes. Once again, if you are looking for a word puzzle with a bit of something extra, plenty of good puns or just easy Gamerscore, One Word by POWGI easily fits all three criteria.