Bookworm Adventures 2 Released, EG Review

By John Walker on July 30th, 2009 at 2:57 pm.

Astonishing indeed.

Bookworm Adventures 2 is now officially released. This is: Good News. Only announced a month ago, there was barely time to get excited about it. We will have the world’s most important opinion about the game early next week, but in the meantime you can read the world’s second most important opinion about it over on Eurogamer. It begins, helpfully, like this:

“The magic of spelling is a lost art in the European isles. Technology is now so advanced that if you say a word incorrectly it appears with wobbly red lines in the speech bubble above your head. Young people tweeting pods from their mobile Xboxstations care not a jot for the inclusion of vowels. Local Spelling Stations are closing down all around the continent. Spelling is going the way of the apostrophe.”

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39 Comments »

  1. SuperNashwan says:

    It took mere seconds before the comments on EG started making me depressed. I’m not sure there’s a good way to explain how awesome beating enemies with spelling is to some people though, either you get it or you don’t.

  2. Mike says:

    Oh man. This is amazing. Cannot wait.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Schaulustiger says:

    Anyone played this as a non-native speaker? I fell quite a bit in love with PopCap recently and would love to try that one. But as I’m German I don’t have any idea how difficult or impossible it will become if my English has, well, room for improvement :P

  4. subedii says:

    Schaulustiger : Well your vocabulary and spelling seem to be up to scratch already, so I think you’ll be fine. I mean if you hadn’t said you were a non-native speaker of English, I wouldn’t have guessed it from your post, and that already puts you way ahead of 90% of the internet. :)

    Just think of it like scrabble, you’ve got a random assortment of letters and you need to form words out of them for the most points. It’s not really a tough game (or I didn’t find it that way), plus word games are always a good way to practice a language.

    Come to think of it, are there other language version of Bookworm Adventures? That’s a HUGE missed market if there aren’t.

  5. Mike says:

    It’s all about vocabulary, really, so I think you’ll be fine. If anything, it’d be good exercise for it!

    Wonder if BWA could be used as a teaching tool…

  6. Lars Westergren says:

    Yeah, this is great. Only thing I think could have been better with the first game would be if they displayed what each word means when you find it (like in classical BookWorm). I get awfully curious sometimes but when you are in the middle of the game you don’t have time to look it up.

    Hmm, should I get this from PopCap directly or Steam? I like supporting developers directly, but on the other hand Steam is very convenient…on the third hand, Steam say they have released it today, but the price and the “buy” button never shows up, so I’ll guess it’s off to PopCap directly.
    :)

  7. phil says:

    The review nicely matched the tone of the game.

    I honestly can’t see the point of the sequal through. It sounds like the same mechcanics and structure as the first game around which they’ve hung a new plot, which I’m sure is lovely, but would it have killed them to include a time attack mode, or combos for related words, or different characters (high defense/low attack, that sort of thing) or something similar?

    Yes, I’m essentially requesting scrabble fighter 4, but still.

  8. LewieP says:

    Want this. Played the demo of the first, and loved it, but never got the full game.

  9. subedii says:

    Lewie, that is a situation most direly in need of rectifying. Come on, I bet your mum would love it too. :D

  10. Premium User Badge

    Schaulustiger says:

    Damn, I don’t even know what “snogging” means… And I played scrabble once against some fellow Englishmen and completely sucked. It was a good lesson, though.

    I think I’m going to buy it out of curiosity. I’ll report later on how I got crushingly defeated. Just waiting for Steam to put a price tag on it.

  11. Ian says:

    Would trying the demo of the original be a good way to see if I’ll like this one?

  12. Premium User Badge

    Schaulustiger says:

    Oh, I second the idea of a translated BWA. I’m kind of a spelling nazi in my own language so I find the concept of a spell fighting game intriguing. It can’t be too hard to just swap the language files, though I don’t remember any PopCap game with a full translation to, let’s say, the German language.

  13. Ian says:

    Or indeed the first, I suppose really I might as well start at the beginning. :-P

  14. Optimaximal says:

    Seriously John, it’s Boggle… TO THE MAX!!!

  15. subedii says:

    I thought “snogging” was a slang British word to be honest, I wasn’t aware it had officially entered the dictionary. A quick check at the online Oxford dictionary lists it as “British Informal”, so I wouldn’t expect anyone outside the UK to know it.

    “snog

    Brit. informal

    • verb (snogged, snogging) kiss and caress amorously.

    • noun an act or spell of kissing and caressing.

    — ORIGIN of unknown origin.”

  16. Andresito says:

    Want it NAO!

  17. Chiablo says:

    I never did get very far into the first one… However, I did spell two words that got a chuckle from me: diarrhea, and pedophile.

  18. cullnean says:

    puzzle games hurt me, i think my insides are all wrong

  19. Heliocentric says:

    I certainly desire this game. Loved the first, but found it too hard, because i’m a tard at spellig.

  20. Vinraith says:

    @John Walker

    You mention that it never quite gets hard enough, but that the difficulty curve is steeper than the original game’s. How does the ultimate difficulty of the game (say, in the last book) compare to the ultimate difficulty in the first game? I thought the original worked up a fairly nice challenge by the end, but it’s possible I suck. :)

  21. John Walker says:

    It gets tougher earlier, but I don’t think it ever gets more difficult than the original.

  22. Markoff Chaney says:

    I loved the original, even though it was quite easy, to me, even though I’m rubbish at Scrabble because I don’t plan points well enough. I did read the dictionary for fun once, though – I think there might be something wrong with me. I’m looking forward to this one. I might even try to sneak it in on the God Sons to work with their spelling a bit. The old “It’s a game” and they learn stuff when they don’t think they do trick.

  23. Lugribossk says:

    It needs to recognize more gaming-related words for us foreigners who learned our English vocabulary from computer games and fantasy novels. Maybe Popcap could buy the word database from Scribblenauts for the next version? :-)

  24. DrChi says:

    Do you think this will be added to the Steam “PopCap Complete Collection” like PvZ was? Or am I going to have to buy it separate?

  25. Recomposer says:

    Hmm, John’s review mentions that this is from America, so does it use US or UK English (or indeed both)? I want to spell colour and paediatrics not color and pediatrics (an extra letter in each of course = more points).

  26. pilouuuu says:

    @ Schaulustiger

    I just checked in Pop Cap site and Plant Vs. Zombies is in deutsch, as well as spanish and other languages.

    This BW Adventures seems like a good game to expand your vocabulary, but for me the king will always be The Secret of Monkey Island. I learned much more from that game than from many English teachers!

  27. Vinraith says:

    @Recomposer

    In the original, at least, I believe it took both spellings. In general it uses a pretty generous dictionary.

  28. Flappybat says:

    Confusingly this has appeared and disappeared from the Steam new releases list and has changed from releasing in five hours to in eleven hours.

  29. Vinraith says:

    @Flappybat

    Yeah, release got bounced to midnight PST tonight and the release date was changed to the 31st. Weird.

  30. Flappybat says:

    I love buying my games around midnight, I’m glad they cater to this market.

    Is it me or is that bear in the image wearing a nappy?

  31. Stony says:

    I nearly, so nearly, spelled “assassination” in one round on the first game, which would have absolutely slaughtered the small goat I was facing. I was one “s” short, and accidentally finished it off with a feeble three letter word instead. That’s one of the few annoying things about the game actually, that you can’t just save up letters forever to build monstrously long words.

  32. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    @Chiablo Those careless Americans, dropping letters all over the shop. Diarrhoea has an “O”!

  33. Stu says:

    Hey, if anyone’s got an iPhone/iPod Touch then the original Bookworm is only 59p until 5th August.

    http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=307176281&mt=8

  34. Jambe says:

    What Lars Westergren said.

  35. Skalpadda says:

    I really liked the first one as well, the feedback you get from long streaks of doing well is pretty amazing. It may be silly but it makes you feel good.

    For those whose native tongue isn’t English, I wouldn’t worry too much. If you’re OK with reading and writing in English on the internet you’ll probably be able to make it through since the game doesn’t require you to use specific words you may not know. I actually had fun misspelling words and then looking them up to see where I went wrong as well, but maybe I’m just weird. ;)

  36. Recomposer says:

    @Vinraith

    “In the original, at least, I believe it took both spellings. In general it uses a pretty generous dictionary.”

    Thats good to know, could be worth buying it then. Thanks.

  37. Vasara says:

    I can confirm that it does indeed support both the British and American spellings. I tried it just now with the word ‘armo(u)rer’, and both spellings were considered valid by the game.

    I think the game is great whether you’re a native anglophone or not. My native language isn’t English and I’m really enjoying the game (and expanding my vocabulary at the same time). It helps if you know some longer words, but you can cope with fairly basic vocabulary if you manage your gems, items and potions well. I reckon the game scales pretty well in that respect – if you get killed a lot you get a chance to win more potions and gems to help you onwards, while those more proficient at English can get by using nothing but their expansive vocabulary.

  38. Taillefer says:

    “That’s one of the few annoying things about the game actually, that you can’t just save up letters forever to build monstrously long words.”

    Well, you can, sort of. Just spell a smaller word out of the letters not in your bigger word, and hope they’re replaced with what you need. I usually save my gems up that way and slaughter the boss with them all.

  39. Stony says:

    @Taillefer

    Yeah, but then you end up chipping their health bar down a few deci-hearts at a time, and can accidentally defeat them before you’ve finished your wordbeast. I did get unlucky that time though, and ended up going through 6 or 7 small words without getting the final letter I needed. Plus, I was facing an unarmed goat.