I never thought I would ever again see another original take on word games for the iDevices. Almost every word game on the App Store is just a rehash of the same anagram formula. Even though Wuggle has its flaws, it does manage to bring something new to the genre.
In Wuggle, like most word games, the goal is to form longer words of rarer letters to rack up points. Each letter is assigned a point value, and when you form a word, these values are added together to give you a word score.
There are also combo chains with multipliers for forming consecutive words of four letters or more. Unlike in other word games, at the start of each game, the tiles are floating around in a small space. You form words by dragging tiles together, and this adds the dimension of space management.
When you form words, those tiles disappear and are replaced by new tiles. You are also given a certain amount of “bombs” that you can use to swap out a tile of your choosing. There are two modes of play in Wuggle, survival, which has easy, medium, and hard difficulties, and Tile GP, which has games with 50, 100, or 250 tiles.
Tile GP plays out more traditionally, as you are given either 50, 100, or 250 tiles and your challenge is to rack up the best score with your limited arsenal of tiles. This means that the game is basically based on making the best words from your tiles, meaning Wuggle’s main twist, the floating tiles, doesn’t really play a factor.
The survival mode, however, is where the game really shines. You are given a certain amount of time to get the best score possible, and forming longer words adds to your time. With the floating tiles, I found myself flinging tiles with several fingers at a time in order to form as many words possible. Disappointingly, however, there are no online, leader boards, with only a local iteration.
The controls, unfortunately, are where the game needs work. Arranging tiles by dragging works well enough, multi-touch is utilized well, and the “bomb” mechanic-double tapping the letter you want to replace then tapping a bomb icon-is easy to use, but submitting words is problematic.
To submit words, when you have your tiles together, you swipe your finger over all of them. While this sounds like it would work fine, there are two major problems with it. First, when part of your word is also a word, the shorter word frequentlygets submitted by accident if you aren’t fast enough with your swipe. The second problem is that when you swipe the word, all of the tiles get knocked around, frequently crashing into other tiles before the word can be submitted, thus forming invalid words.
The graphics in the game are nice, but not spectacular. Obviously with word games graphics are secondary, but the bright backgrounds coupled with the peppy background music add to the upbeat and lighthearted feel of the game. The tiles are also illustrated pretty well, and the sound effects with the tiles clacking together and the sparkling sound that plays upon words being submitted are nice.
Overall, if you are a fan of word games, check out Wuggle, as it brings something new to the genre. However, if you have never been very interested in word games, Wuggle is probably not going to make you a believer, as it is still anagram based. With the word submission process, the game is occasionally frustrating, but it is overall a fun addition to the genre.
Brings something new to the word games genre
Fun and hectic survivor mode
Bright and upbeat music and graphics
Word submission needs work
No online leader boards
Dull Tile GP mode