A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this casual game combines word puzzles with combat. While kids don't direct the combat -- it just happens on the top of the screen after they spell words -- it's about as tame as a Saturday morning cartoons. Younger kids might not be able to spell the long or tough words that Lex the Bookworm needs to defeat the enemies and thus we have set the age of this game at around 10.
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What's it about?
In case you haven't played the original Bookworm Adventures, this clever word game challenges players to create words by clicking on a 4x4 grid of randomly-placed letters. Not unlike Scrabble, you might scan the available letters and see that you can spell, say, R-A-D-I-O or D-I-A-R-Y. The better the word you create (longer or using more valuable letters, such as V or Z), the more damage our hero Lex can do. You see, PopCap Games' sequel, BOOKWORM ADVENTURES VOLUME 2, also successfully fuses a word game with a combat mechanic that takes place at the top of the screen. Our hapless hero, a little green bookworm named Lex, faces off against enemies in a turn-based fighting game, and depending on the strength of the word you create will knock red hearts from the enemy until it has been defeated. Lex fights against 130 different monsters, animals, and other fictional foes from famous books in the library.
Is it any good?
Bookworm Adventures Volume 2 ships with three 10-chapter books -- "Fractured Fairytales," "The Monkey King," and "Astounding Planet" -- plus additional books can be downloaded from time to time for a small fee. As with its predecessor, special potions, treasures, and other items give Lex temporary offensive or defensive abilities, plus he can "level up" over time to make him stronger (not unlike a role-playing game). The sequel also adds special wild card rainbow tiles, new treasures to find, and enjoyable literary companions who help you along the way (including Mother Goose and a Cheshire Cat) There are also mini-games and side quests to keep things fresh. If you liked the original, you'll love this sequel! Plus, newcomers who enjoy a challenging word game with a combat twist will also fall for this game's charm.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether it was a good idea or not for PopCap to charge for bonus story packs. That is, unlike the first game that was a complete collection of books, this sequel ships with only three books and players will have to pay to download new ones in order to get new content. Great idea or greedy?
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