If you’ve ever scoured the gaming stores for some alternatives to the norm, attempting to ditch the shooters, the racers, the metroidvania or the Souls, all in hope of finding something a little more relaxed, then there’s a good chance you’ll have happened across the ‘… By POWGI’ games from Lightwood Games.
Wordplay is their forte and over the course of the last few years it’s that small team who have managed to bring across a ton of wordy puzzlers to the scene; Wordbreaker, Alphaset, Ladders, Crypto, Word Sudoku and more. It just so happens that they infuse some good old groans too, with dad jokes aplenty. If the puzzles don’t get ya, the jokes will.
Even when you think Lightwood have seemingly covered everything and should be beginning to run out of ideas, they continue to provide the word-filled puzzles many are after. With the release of Word Wheel by POWGI, they could well have released one of the finest options yet.
The premise of Word Wheel by POWGI is simple. Lightwood give you no less than 120 circles of power, each of which works as its own separate puzzle. Filled with nine letters, it’s up to you to hunt down as many words as possible. The catch is that you must include the middle hub letter in whatever you come up with, working with the rest of the letters from the spokes.
Correct solutions range from four to nine letters in length, with puzzles tasking you with finding up to nearly 200 different keywords in any such wheel; the big nine-letter solutions the ultimate goal. Tick off the longest word or words you can find and Lightwood will – as per the norm – provide a witty little joke in relation to that word. Honestly, we’ve played a host of what Lightwood have released but these jokes never get old.
With a blank page hinting at the number of words available for each of the lengths, populating itself alphabetically as you unveil each word, it’s a joy to move through the puzzles at will, picking off bits of one and more from others as you deem fit. Thanks to every single puzzle being open from the get-go, and a well worked menu system happily navigating you through each wheel, this is a game that can be played for mere seconds at a time, or hour-long sittings as evenings fly by.
Full tracking of what you have and haven’t completed is front and centre of the main menu screen, detailing each and every wheel that you’ve fully completed, along with how many keywords you’ve discovered, bonus words that you’ve tried (basically the more adult words your immature brain cannot ignore) and precisely what is needed for full Word Wheel by POWGI completion.
Filling in the Word Wheel is easy too, as long as you make the most of the D-Pad. See, our only real complaint about Word Wheel is that trying to use the left thumbstick to move through wheels, highlighting letters is a frustration, fixed by the move of your thumb to the D-Pad. It’s still not utterly perfect either then, but we’re unsure what else Lightwood could have done to make the system easier to handle. They’ve certainly done their best in making this an easy to pick up and play title.
Throw in fun little backing tunes for each wheel which help to break up the silence (at least for a few hours before you’ll want to mute it and fire up your own sounds) and we’re fully of the opinion that Word Wheel by POWGI is right up there as an one of the best ‘… By POWGI ‘ titles available on the market. Granted, Word Wheel by POWGI is still just a fancy way of working through some wordplay, and that will either appeal or not, but for us this Word Wheel rolls along very nicely indeed.
Word Wheel by POWGI is available from the Xbox Store