WordWeaver by Mini Monster Media offers a fun new twist on traditional finger-dragging, word finding games. It boasts two different game modes (classic and career) played on either a 4×4 or 5×5 square, manipulatable woven lattice board. You move your finger to form words by connecting adjacent letters (either horizontally, vertically, diagonally, or any combination of these directions). A variety of bonus items will appear, use the letters containing these items to score additional points and unlock achievements.
Mini Monster Media’s unique approach to this popular genre, arguably makes WordWeaver a bit more challenging than its counterparts. In many of the other word finding games, new letters automatically replace the ones used, but in WordWeaver you generally have the same set of letters throughout the entire level, although positions can be shifted by manipulating the woven lattice board. This is done either by tapping on the end of a row/column to shift the letters one space (revealing the hidden letters below the lattice weave), or you can shake the device, and all rows/columns will be shifted. Traditionally (letters permitting) you are allowed to keep spelling the same words over and over again, but this is not the case in WordWeaver. Instead, players are forced to get a bit more creative with their wordsmithing, as any given word scores points ONLY the first time it is played during a level, so you’ll need to expand that vocabulary if you want to level up.
In classic mode, it is a race against the clock to spell as many words as you can, racking up the highest possible score before time expires. In career mode you continue to progress through game levels as long as you get a minimum amount of points before the time runs out on the current level. With the option to continue where you left off, either mode is perfect for a quick game, but we definitely preferred the longer challenge of career mode.
The game has a beautiful Aztec theme to it which feels a little organic and well integrated into both the graphics and sound. The game’s woven lattice board is crisp and clean and the letters are well spaced and easy to read (even on the 5×5 board). The play area doesn’t feel crammed and your fingers don’t have to be the size of a stylus pen to avoid selecting incorrect letters while playing (an issue that we have often had with rival title Bookworm). We found the tribal drumbeats of the music track really helped to keep our minds focused on the task at hand, but if that’s not your thing then you are free to turn off the in-game music and/or sound effects and rock out to whatever music currently populates your idevice.
Facebook, Twitter, and OpenFeint integration offer ample opportunities to brag about your superior vocabulary skills and when coupled with the WordWeaver’s 23 achievements, there is plenty of content to keep you coming back for more. Post your achievements to either Facebook or Twitter and see how you stack up against others with local and global leaderboards. We should note that we did have some issues getting the Twitter integration to work, but we spoke to the developer and they are aware of the issue, and are actively working on a fix that should be available in the game’s next release.
Since there is no penalty for incorrect word guessing (other than eating up valuable time), odds are you will be putting together a lot of random letter combinations, resulting in the spelling of words which you may have no clue of the meaning. This leads us to one really nice feature of WordWeaver, the inclusion of an online dictionary. After a level (or game) is done, you are presented with the list of words that you spelled, and you have the opportunity to select any or all of them to look up in the dictionary to see what they actually mean. So not only can you have fun playing this game, you may also learn quite a bit at the same time!
With a $1.99 price tag, price-wise, WordWeaver falls right in the middle of the competition. Previously our favorite game in this genre was 99 Games’ WordsWorth, but the more we play WordWeaver, the more we love it, the career mode is quite addictive, and WordWaeaver is quickly becoming our go-to word finding game. We highly recommend this game to any fan of this genre. The clock is ticking, pick your three-letter word and either B-U-Y the full version or T-R-Y the lite version and experience WordWeaver for yourself.