App O’ The Mornin’: BookWorm Review

PopCap smashed together Boggle and Bejeweled to create this obscenely addictive games about 7 years ago. Since then, it has been reinvented as BookWorm Adventures, and remains a popular fixture on mobile device, computers, and even the Nintendo DS.

The version PopCap brought to the App Store is the original BookWorm, rather than BookWorm Adventures. That’s a little disappointing, since Adventures added some great twists to the gameplay, and I hope it find its way to Apple devices soon.

That said, BookWorm for iPhone isn’t one you’re likely to pass up for a buck. This is one of the best casual word games of the past 10 years. Letter tiles are laid out on a grid, with each letter touching at least touching at least 3, and as many as 6, other letters. The board is cleared by linking letters to form words. When a letter is used, it disappears and all the tiles drop down to fill the space.

Naturally, longer words earn more points, while words that are too short generate burning tiles. These tiles must be eliminated before they reaching the bottom of the frame, or the game is over.

There are other scoring opportunities, such as special tiles and bonus words. Various “books” include particular word lists, such as colors or insects, and bonus points are awarding for spelling these words and completing entire books.

Gameplay breaks down into the classic game, which progresses through levels, and a timed games, which requires some speed spelling.

BookWorm is one of the classic casual games, and the App versions does a fine job of making it portable.