Words of Wonder instantly feels familiar, as it's designed similarly to games like King.com's Candy Crush Saga, only instead of making matches of symbols in each stage, you're asked to form words using randomized letter tiles. In this way, the game mixes the experience of playing a game like Boggle with the easy pick-up-and-play design of other popular Facebook puzzle games, and it's just as fun to play.
Each level comes with a different goal, from making words with a certain number of tiles to earning as many points as you can within a set time limit. There are even levels where tiles have been covered in "ink" that must be removed by making a match on top of them. Finally, the last main game type sees you dropping quills from the top of the screen to the bottom, all by forming words with the tiles that rest below them. The level design here offers everything we've come to know and love from Candy Crush Saga, but amps up the challenge by giving us letter tiles rather than general symbols.
Words must contain at least three letters, and the more complex the word, the more points it's worth. Once you create a word with four or more tiles, you'll receive power-ups that activate all sorts of bonuses. One may see a small group of surrounding letter tiles destroyed, while another sends a bolt through the entire column, row, or both, knocking out any letter tiles in its path. Even with these power-ups, it's definitely possible to fail levels, even if you're confident in your word-creation abilities.
The game becomes especially challenging when vowels never fall into large groups of consonants, or when an ink tile is resting in a row that's jutting out from the main game board. Instant power-ups are available for purchase, and many of these can solve your problems. One may allow you to destroy a single letter tile that's in the way, while another may shuffle all of the tiles on the board. You'll be given plenty of these for free, but once they're gone, you'll need to shell out real money to continue using them.
Thankfully, you'll have six lives at your disposal at the beginning of each play session. Each time you fail a level, you'll lose a life (actually represented by 10 energy points), but successfully completing stage after stage will allow you to plow through whole sections of the map until you run into some other kind of barrier. For instance, after you've passed Level 15, the next 15 levels are locked until you've earned the help of four friends. Since the game is so new, it's unlikely that a single player even has four friends that have tried the game, so it's easy to get stuck for quite some time if you're unwilling to pay real money to continue on.
Even though this issue slows down early progress within the game, Words of Wonder is still an incredibly entertaining Facebook game that balances its challenge with tons of power-ups, lovely graphics, and multiple gameplay modes that stop the experience from feeling too repetitive. While the game is likely to have more of a niche following than the more general Candy Crush Saga or Bubble Witch Saga (as examples), word game fans should definitely give this one a shot.
Play Words of Wonder on Facebook >
Have you tried Words of Wonder? What do you think of Disney's latest Facebook game so far? Let us know in the comments!