Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Seems like we're being overwhelmed by a tidal wave of crap lately but that's to be expected around this time of year. Companies shovel out the garbage before Christmas in an effort to capture a piece of retail's hot game-on-game action. It's also the nature of the beast. The DS is the most popular system in history and its library of games seems to expand at the same rate as the universe so you're bound to get a lot of stuff that ain't worth playing. Don't despair though because the DS is still home to hundreds of remarkable titles for you to enjoy. When browsing Gamestop's shelves you might get lucky or you might not so instead leave the luck to us so you know which is which.

Soon enough the good stuff is going to start right back up. Not soon enough you say? Here's a title that isn't absolutely terrible and, in fact, is pretty darn good: WordJong.

What if Scrabble and Mahjong hugged real close and made a little baby? That baby might very well be christened WordJong.

If you haven't played Mahjong (and unless you're a wrinkled old bat you probably haven't) the idea is you match up tiles in an attempt to clear them all. Tiles that are covering other tiles can be matched but not ones that are covered. WordJong gets rid of the obscure Chinese pictograms and instead uses good old American lettered tiles. A matching set won't help you here; you'll need to come up with a word instead and the longer the better.

My biggest surprise with this game was how complete the dictionary seemed to be. One of my problems with playing computer Scrabble for example is the limits of each dictionary: SOWPODS, TWL, OSPD. So far WordJong hasn't rejected a word that I've played and knew to be valid which impressed me. Good stuff.

Best part of the whole deal is you can try it free right now from the WordJong website. Now that might be a deal breaker for some who don't see the need to pay for something they can have for free but I'd say this cart packs enough value to justify its $19.99 pricepoint. Shoot, the ability to play anytime anywhere is enough of a deal maker.

The game features a calming soundtrack and some real head-scratching gameplay that should occupy you until the next round of quality releases.

I'm going out on a limb here and rating WordJong a buy.

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