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Sixty Words by POWGI Review

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Thanks to their relative simplicity, you could argue that wordsearches are the gateway drug into word logic puzzles. Easy to solve, they’re also easy to manually create; simply add some words into a grid and then add a bunch of random letters to surround them.

Sixty Words by POWGI does away with the random letters however, and instead gives you sixty words to find in what appears at first to be an explosion of letters on screen. It’s a case of every letter must go; it can be used just the once or appear multiple times. The rest of the normal wordsearch rules apply; words can appear up, down, across, diagonally, forwards and backwards.

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When you find a word, you can highlight it in a colour. What that colour is, is entirely down to you. In the options menu is the ability to create a variety of colours using red, green and blue sliders. There are a number of default colours in use already, but you can create your own. You can even go down to just the one colour, the choice is yours. And there is a reason behind this.

Sixty Words by POWGI is different to many of the other POWGI games that have come before it. Previously, they have simply been a case of complete a puzzle and move on. But here the colours and the lines form to create unique “works of art”. They are abstract as hell, but there is a unique charm to them being built, as you observe the finished product.

Certain puzzles related to individual colours will default to various shades of the particular colour in question. You can still change these to your choosing should you fancy something different.

Complete the puzzle and you can view the finished article afterwards in all its glory. There it will stay, even after you return to the main menu and click back on it. You can leave it there or restart it if you so choose.

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All the other hallmarks of POWGI games are still here, however. The same music, UI, main menu and of course, the puns. Each level is themed and the pun sits along the same lines too.

This time around, the words include themes such as US and European Cities, breakfast foods, insects and poker terms. Some wordsearches are even shaped, like the one involving boating terms. Then, you have some rather strange topics. There are searches involving dentistry words and onomatopoeic terms. I would struggle to think of sixty words related to dentistry, but somehow there are.

Of course, those familiar to POWGI games will be curious about another feature they tend to have. At this point you’ll no doubt be quietly asking whether Sixty Words deals in easy achievements. Well, sort of. Traditionally, many of the achievements are for simply completing specific puzzles. In Sixty Words by POWGI, there are only five this time. Instead, the majority of the achievements are for finding specific individual words numerous times over. For example, one of the achievements is for finding the word ‘Athens’ three times. Now, hunting that down in European Cities is a given, but it can also be found a bit more obscurely in the Little But Fierce and Hot Stuff puzzles. Other words can be a bit of a stretch, but there is also a sense of accomplishment for these achievements, which is something that achievement gathering in general appears to have lost. But that’s another conversation for another time.

There are however only sixty puzzles this time around. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. They take substantially longer than other puzzles in other games such as Just a Phrase by POWGI and One Word by POWGI. They also offer much more replayability thanks to the ability to use other colours and create vastly different designs within the same wordsearch.

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If there is one criticism you could label at the POWGI series in general, that is if you have played one then you know what to expect. There is a case that Sixty Words by POWGI is the same, but it also offers up something a bit extra. We’re not talking masterpieces here, but there is a certain charm to viewing a completed wordsearch adorned with colour. And you have the ability to colour them how you would like: change the colours, or reduce the number if you want a more patterned feel to the design.

Sixty Words by POWGI is still a quintessential POWGI game. That is, taking an existing puzzle trope and adding a unique spin to it. But the additional paint-by-words mechanic may just be enough for those that haven’t played a POWGI game to give this one a try – if only to see what all the fuss is about.

Find words and make art in Sixty Words by POWGI on Xbox

Richard Dobson
Richard Dobson
Avid gamer since the days of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Grew up with the PS1 and PS2 but changed allegiances in 2007 with the release of Halo 3.
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