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Have You Played... Word Rescue?

What an angry bookworm

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Look at this creepy snek dude. This game used to scare the heebie jeebies out of me, but I did have an above average reading and spelling age in Lower School so I guess I ought to give it a special shout out for that reason alone. In Word Rescue you had to… rescue words. It’s still on Steam if you want to up your spelling and reading game.

It was released in 1992 and I have so many memories of the horrible music that played when the Gruzzles appeared. “Who are the Gruzzles?” I hear you cry. Well, they’re the horrible little monsters who can’t read, and don’t want anyone else to read, so have stolen a bunch of words. Playing as a girl or a boy you are taken on a side-scrolling rollercoaster of a game that contains over 300 words, apparently. There are some super creepy maps like dungeons and haunted houses, and your usual towns and factories to explore.

That snake dude is actually a bookworm called Benny. He’s the one who has enlisted you to take down the Gruzzles by pouring… goo… on them…? Not much of this game makes sense anymore but it does hold a place in my heart and would probably still be a pretty good tool for teaching English to young children. I don’t quite remember the upbeat music you can hear in the Let’s Plays but I do remember the horrible sound effect of a Gruzzle appearing. It keeps me up at night sometimes. It may be worse than the crying of the Witch from Left 4 Dead.

Being born in 1993 (a year after this game came out) this is probably one of the first games I ever played. Maybe you played it too, remember it lovingly, or forgot about it completely. Word Rescue was a wonder back in the day. I wonder how it holds up now.

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Alice Liguori

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