Befuddled HD

App review by
Liz Panarelli, Common Sense Media
Befuddled HD App Poster Image
Set of addictive word games that use strategy, not speed.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Players can choose the size of the board for different skill levels, and difficulty gradually progresses as the player solves each level. The special actions can be slightly confusing at first, but can be learned through trial and error. The tutorial clearly explains play for newcomers, and there is a help button for further instruction in the options menu.  Up to 9 games can be saved at once mid-play, and game stats and high scores are saved easily. In the kid-friendly version in the add-on pack (which costs an extra $.99), letters do not need to be adjacent, so early learners can just pick out letters to spell words. (However, they may grow impatient trying to get to the next level, since so many points are needed.)  Additionally, the tutorial and instructions are all text-based.

Violence

A bomb occasionally destroys letters.

Sex
Language

Swear words that have other meanings such as "damn," "ass," and "bitch" can be played.  Words such as "s--t" and "f--k" cannot be played.

Consumerism

There is an ad for another Inert Soap game from the main screen. An add-on package that includes several other game boards, including the smaller kid-friendly board, costs $.99. Users who connect to the OpenFeint network can also see links to other games.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Befuddled HD is a strategic word game with many options for play. The game is similar to Boggle, but letters are replaced after being used. In order to move to the next level, the player must reach a certain score before running out of letters. This makes the game more strategic, especially with various limitations (different tiles made out of different materials) and special actions (the ability to destroy some letters or buy more). There is no time restriction, so you can take the time you need to think things out. The board ranges from 8 x 8 letters to 12 x 12 letters. The $.99 add-on pack includes other modes of play, including larger grids (up to 16 x 16) and a 6 x 6 kid-friendly game. A few swear words can be played, but most are not accepted. Kids can connect to the OpenFeint network, an optional social network. A similar app, Befuddled, is available for the same price for the iPhones and iPod Touch, but it does not include the add-on pack with the kid-friendly board.

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Is it any good?

BEFUDDLED HD is a creative twist on several popular games -- the best of Boggle and Scrabble combined!  The wide variety of options for play means there is something for everyone, and the multiple tile materials (you can only make words out of similar tile materials) and special actions add engaging complexity. Kids and adults will both love this game, and the HD version saves up to 9 games at once, so everyone can have a turn playing their board of choice. The interface is very user-friendly.  Both the game and the add-on pack will provide hours of absorption for anyone who enjoys word puzzles. 

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Price: $1.99
  • Release date: June 7, 2010
  • Category: Word Games
  • Publisher: Inert Soap
  • Version: 1.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.2 or later

For kids who love playing with words and other educational games

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