Steam Game Review: Words for Evil (2014)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Wednesday, February 25, 2015 0 comments

"Words for Evil" is an RPG-esk puzzle game that has you playing as a character of your choosing and going out on an adventure to find treasure and fight monsters over various levels.  Sounds simple enough but what if I told you that this game plays like no other adventure game you have ever played before?  The way you battle in this game is by fighting with words. How does that work you ask?  Well all will be answered after the jump.  (Click "Read More" to read the full review).

This is a game that doesn't have a story but that's not a bad thing as this game doesn't need one due to the action in the game will tell everything you'll need to know about the game and the characters that you play as.  Gameplay is a mixture of action role-playing, arcade, and puzzle.  The RPG elements are from how your characters have stats just like that found in a traditional RPG character and you even have an experience bar that goes up from the monsters you kill.  Arcade element comes from the vibe this game gives as it doesn't have a story and is all about how far you can get in before you get game over.  Puzzle element is from how the bottom half of the screen is covered in letters and you have to make words out of them just like in the classic board game "Boggle (1972)".

The way each level works is that you go from battle to battle until you have reached the end of the stage.  There will be some other events other than battling that happen during the game such as: Stopping at shops and spending gold on new equipment, going to a healer, stopping at magic fountains that will allow you to upgrade the skills of your characters, and meeting up with new characters along the way that will join you on your journey.  I do have some problems with the levels and that is when you start the game you won't get very far in due to how low leveled your character is and so you'll have to grind for a little bit until you can actually make decent progress into the game.  For any other RPG that would be fine but not for a puzzle game as it just doesn't work in this case. My other problem is that the levels drag on and on and on and mixing in those two elements just slow down the game even further to where you'll get bored before finishing a level (it's even worse when you have to play though all the levels for the sake of reviewing them).

Most of the characters in this game are your pretty standard RPG typed characters such as magic users, sword wielders, bow and arrow men but they do throw out some unexpected characters that you will not see coming.  The way you level your characters (if you haven't guessed by now from the paragraph above) is by battling monsters and the way you damage monsters though the word game is that there'll be colored letters and you need to make words using those letters to do damage.  When you get more party members you'll notice that you will see more different colored blocks as each color represent a certain party member.  When your character runs out of health you are given a chance to revive by being given a whole bunch of letters and you'll need to find a word that uses all letters.  If you can make smaller words with the letters you are given you'll have other effects but none as good as using all of the letters.

Other kinds of puzzles you will find along your journey includes a locked chest puzzle where you'll have two rows of letters.  The way you solve this puzzle is by choosing each letter from left to right and making a path until you have found the correct word.  Another puzzle is a trap puzzle to where you are given a bunch of letters and you have to make words out of them and any remaining letters will turn into spikes and deal damage to you.  If you beat this puzzle by using all letters you will be given a huge bonus.  But a warning about some of these puzzles as the word you will need to complete a puzzle can sometimes be a very complicated one you will never think of.  I personally like that but some people might find that tedious.

Controls in this game are incredibly simple as all that it requires is a mouse and a working left click button.  There's actually more than one way to play this game and both ways are simple as you can either click on each joining letter individually to make a word or click on a single letter and slide across any of the other letters you wish to choose.  The controls in this game were defiantly designed for smart phone touch-screens as it doesn't play quite right on the PC despite being so simple.  Using the first method I mentioned to make words is very slow and leaves you getting hit a lot to where you'll be at the revive round before you can do moderate damage to weak creatures (maybe not that bad but still).  Using the second method is better but even so as sliding is very problematic as you'll be constantly be picking the wrong letter as you'll have a hard time picking them due to slipping and sliding all over the place. 

Graphics in this game uses a pixel art style to where everything looks purposely pixelated to give a retro vibe.  I wasn't feeling anything much from it personally as it looked generic but far from looking bad.  The music suffers the same problem as it is a bit generic but it does the job at adding atmosphere.  Backgrounds in this game looked nice but my problem is that even though the backgrounds change it doesn't give off a feeling that I am playing another level but more like I am playing a different section of the same level and adds to the dragging of the gameplay.

Overall this is a game that has a bunch of problems and while I wasn't feeling anything from the game but I wasn't outraged by it either.  The problem with this game as a whole is that it doesn't transcend very well to the PC and thus I'm not going to recommend this version of the game.  Good game for a smart phone, yes.  Good game for a PC, no.

Game: Words for Evil
System: PC
Developer/Publisher: Dylan Loney
Genre: Puzzle, Adventure, RPG
Price: $2.99 (Steam)
Recommended: No


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