|Pardon the dust!
This page includes some jargon that hasn't been added to the site's glossary yet. I'll be around to fix this later, but sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime.
Review: Bookworm Adventures
At a Glance
|ESRB Rating:||NR - Not Rated|
|My Rating:||Ages 6 and up|
|Genre:||Puzzle / RPG|
|Review Published On:||August 27th, 2016|
The biggest issue found in this game is that many of the enemies Lex encounters are monsters from various mythologies. This includes a trip through the Underworld (ie, Hell).
The story opens with Lex quietly reading in the Grand Library. Suddenly, Codex, the librarian, called him over to see something important. Holding out a book, he showed Lex an alarming sight: the words were vanishing off the pages! Moments later they were replaced by a plea for help, signed by the oracle Cassandra. Using his magic pen, Codex sent Lex into the storybook worlds to save Cassandra, discover what dastardly scheme is afoot, and stop whoever is behind it.
In order to fight the villains of each storybook, the gameplay changed in several ways. True to the RPG style, each battle involves Lex and some enemy trading attacks until one of them runs out of health. After the battle, Lex is completely healed and ready to continue on to the next challenger. There are also a number of buffs and debuffs that both sides can use, and it's vital that you plan to either use them yourself or defend against them.
In the meantime, you're still spelling words using tiles from a grid like you did originally. But unlike the way things worked in the first game, the letters don't need to be next to each other or form a line. Being able to select any tile makes it a lot easier to find the larger words, and this becomes very important because the amount of damage Lex can inflict on an enemy is based on the length and complexity of the word you spelt. By the middle of the first book, you'll have unlocked the ability to use gem tiles. These special tiles have different effects when they are used to spell a word. For example, emerald tiles will heal Lex a little while amethyst tiles will poison an enemy.
Along the way Lex will acquire magical treasures. Equipping these before entering a level allows them to activate and give Lex an edge. Some protect him from debuffs, while others boost the chances of special tiles appearing or the strength of certain key words. You're only allowed to use three of them at a time though, so you'll need to pick wisely.
Lastly, there are several minigames where you can earn extra potions or special powerful tiles. While the potions remain in your inventory until you use them, the tiles will automatically be placed in the letter grid at the start of the next level. This makes them a little less useful, but with some care they could be very effective.
Overall, I feel that Bookworm Adventures improves on the original Bookworm formula in several ways, but unfortunately, it also introduces a few things that aren't really appropriate for the youngest gamers -- things like a level that resembles a drug trip, the revealing costumes worn by several of the female characters and one of the late game characters even uses what some people consider to be a mild swear word.
Of course, the biggest problem with this game is one that currently plagues the entire Bookworm franchise: it's been taken off the market. Last I heard, this was due to an intellectual property dispute, so it's possible that it will return in the future. Similar games have appeared in the Steam store, though it's anybody's guess when I'll get to reviewing those.
Points of Interest
The story itself takes several unexpected turns and there are a few plot twists that you might not be expecting. Just about everyone has their own agenda in this tale, and while Lex is book-smart, he's also very street stupid. Thus, he's remarkably easy to trick, and often innocently blunders into trouble that could've been avoided.