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GoNintendo 'End of day' thoughts - Wordjong is my drug

by rawmeatcowboy
11 January 2008
GN 1.0 / 2.0

gonintendo endofday border

Busy morning today, but I wanted to keep the streak of ‘EoD’ thoughts going. The work day is up and running, so I’ll catch you guys in a little over an hour! It’s Friday people…get excited for the weekend!

I love word games…always have and always will. I also love Mahjong, which I now play all the time while using Windows Vista. That’s why I was really looking forward to Wordjong for the DS. Unfortunately, every time I went out looking for the game, it was nowhere to be found. Whenever I asked for it at retailers, I was told that they only received a small shipment, and they had no idea when more would come in. I kept searching for a few weeks, but then decided to take a break. These things always pop up when you aren’t looking for them, right? Well, on my evening off this week, I took a trip out to GameStop to buy Harvey Birdman. I always snoop around the other game sections while I am at the store. I wandered over to the DS section, and to my surprise, Wordjong was right there. It was the second of two copies…the first one selling just the day before. I ran back to the shelf, grabbed the display box, and left the story a very happy man. I guess more people are looking for this game than I thought! The game deserves the attention though. It has been infiltrating every second of spare time that I have.

Wordjong is very easy to get into. First off, you don’t have to know a thing about Mahjong to play. Whlie the gameplay mechanics relate directly to Mahjong, the actual details of Mahjong needn’t be worried about. All you’ll be doing in the game is building words through Mahjong tiles. No need to match designs or anything, these tiles only display letters. The tiles you can choose to build words are highlighted. All you do is touch letters to build a word. As you choose titles, more tiles become available to use. It is just like a real game of Mahjong. You can only use titles that aren’t being touched on the sides. While you have to figure that out for yourself in a real game of Mahjong, Wordjong highlights the tiles for you. This makes it much easier to build words as you go along.

So far, I have only played one game mode. There are battles, multiplayer, daily puzzles and more, but I have been spending my time at the battle temple. The battle temple gives you a certain design of tiles to build words off of. The objective is to make words using every single tile on the board. If you are left with tiles that cannot make a word, you will be given a game over. From there you can undo the last word you made, reset the puzzle, or be given a new puzzle altogether. While actually building words, you can always undo every move you do, and that goes as far as taking you back to your very first move. There are so many words you can make based off the tiles available that you should be able to clear each puzzle eventually. Moving tiles to access new ones can actually be burned into your memory. You’ll play through a few times, and then start to build words based on the titles that you know are hidden underneath. This is what makes the game so addictive. One single puzzle can give you a massive amount of words to build, and ways to play.

Certain tiles are green as well, which will give you more points. Points are used in an almost RPG-like manner. You’ll be leveling up your word score as you play through battle temple. Once you fulfill a point level, you’ll be awarded a new level. You’ll go from different levels of bronze, silver and gold, as well as multiple animals for each medal. I have ranked up through a bunch of animals already, but I am still in the bronze ranking. I am hoping that these levels last long…I don’t want the game to end! On top of all this, you can get a bonus title too. If you manage to build a 5 letter word, you’ll be given a blank tile. This tile can be used anytime you want to help build a longer word. If you build a word that is 6 to 9 tiles long, you’ll get extra coins for more points. More points means faster leveling, and faster leveling means new medals.

Wordjong is a quality title, and it’s nice to see Destineer involved with a winner. If only all the games they were involved with were of this quality.