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Boggle Plus

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Reviewed by D. Wilbur "Words. Words. Words."--As Hamlet said, so Boggle Plus is. If you like testing out your personal lexicon, Boggle Plus will give you a challenge. Not only does the game include (as the title states) the classic word game Boggle, but it also includes (as the title implies) four more word games: 1) A Big Boggle (spell longer words, feed your ego) 2) Categories (find words related to a specific area, e.g. "Sports") 3) Anagrams (make words out of random letters) 4) Use All (try to get rid of all your letters) Each game is a three-minute timed game, and has its own method of scoring and bonuses.

Graphics 8 out of 10

Graphics, of course, for any word game don't need to be especially fancy. This truth applies to Boggle Plus. The puzzle boards are large enough and clear enough so that little confusion takes place over what you are reading. It would've been nice, however, if the game's makers had included some sort of graphic goodies for the player when a certain high score had been reached, but alas, it was not done. Really, the only rendering of what I'd call a true graphic in the game comes when you can choose from a picture palette of eight people to play Boggle against. These people look like...ordinary people. One must realize that the game's appeal is not in the graphics, but in the gameplay.

Music and Sound 8 out of 10

The music is non-intrusive, playing only at the menu screens that appear before you choose a game. This is a nice thing if you need to concentrate on the words on the screen before you, and not on a random collage of beeps and boops. As the player gets close to the end of one of the timed games, a countdown of boops begins, which is a handy feature if you are trying to squeeze in a few extra short words. Perhaps it would have been a nice touch if the game's makers had made some different playing music options available, but really, in this game silence is more golden.

Game Challenge 10 out of 10

The beauty of Boggle Plus is that it offers players a range of difficulty selections, from easy to hard, on most of its games. This is ideal for any player who's just learning the games as well as for any player who wants replay value out of the game once the learning curve has been overcome.

Game Play-Fun 9 out of 10

Part of this game's simple appeal is that it offers up a certain degree of learning in a fun manner. When playing against one of the computer-players in Boggle, for instance, the game lets you see your opponent's word list, thus helping you gain an edge when it comes to learning about those obscure but oh so delicious words that will put you points up. Each of the game's boards attacks the English language from a slightly different angle, giving the player a chance to test his or her wits repeatedly.

Frustration

Frustrations? Only three, really. The first is that the game's high scores are not saved. This is the more minor frustration, however. The second, and more major frustration, is that the game computer's 35,000 + word dictionary is not big enough or modern enough! The game tries to accommodate for this shortcoming by letting the player temporarily override the dictionary and receive points for words not recognized. What rots about this, however, is that these words cannot be permanently added through any sort of editing process to the dictionary. So the situation I've found myself repeatedly dealing with is wasting precious seconds while the computer double checks me and verifies if the word I'm putting in (and have put in many times before) is really a word I want to use. The third frustration is that the puzzle boards can often get repetitive. Although the letters are randomly generated, if you play this game a lot, you'll begin to notice that the number of randomly generated boards seems limited, and you'll run into boards that you've played and seen before.

Replayability 10 out of 10

If five puzzle selections and three different levels of play doesn't offer a lot of replay value, I don't know what does. What is especially nice about Boggle Plus is that it is a nice change of pace from platform RPG, racing, and other types of games that emphasize the motor skills more heavily than the language skills.

Game Value 9 out of 10

The game retails for $19.95, and used games are undoubtedly available for less. Either way, you will get your money's worth from this undoubtedly fun, fresh, and challenging game.

Overall 9 out of 10

Overall, the game offers variety, a nice change from graphic-heavy games, and infinite replayability. If you like words and their different incarnations, you'll love this game.

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