Flipwords 2

Filed under: cheapo games — Will @ 7:00 am April 7, 2010

One of my weaknesses is that if I’m strolling through a store and I find a game priced below $10 I’m pretty well obligated to buy it. Usually to see how bad it is (sometimes games are so bad that they’re awesome), but sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised. But what all that means is that I’ve got lots of those cheapo games and a forum to tell you all about them. But first, a couple of qualifications: The game has to be new (no used or gifted games), and it can’t be part of a sale package (like buy one get one half price).

And with that out of the way, here we go

Game: Flipwords 2
Purchased from: Target
Price paid: $4.98
Platform: PC

I was not fortunate enough to actually play the first Flipwords game, so I got into this one not really knowing what to expect. It’s kind of hard to describe what the game’s about without showing, so let’s start with a screenshot.

At first glance, there’s a lot going on here, but it’s actually slightly less complicated than it looks. At the top of the board you have the Secret Phrase, and it’s your ultimate goal to guess the phrase, Wheel of Fortune style. But you can’t just choose letters willy-nilly, that’d be way too boring. Instead, you have to use the grid of letters in the middle of the screen to form words, Bookworm style. Words must use contiguous selections of letters, but can go in any direction once you’ve started. Find a word, get some points, and if the first letter of the word you found is in the Secret Phrase, that’s revealed.

Adding an extra layer of complexity is the limited amount of turns you have to work with. Every time you find a word, whether it reveals anything in the Secret Phrase or not, it goes down by 1. Once you’re out of turns, you get one last chance to guess the Secret Phrase. Blow that, and it’s game over for you.

You might notice that down in the corner it says ‘Classic Mode’. There’s also a ‘Strategy Mode’ that has differences so minor that I’m not going to bother going into them here, and ‘Party Mode’ where you get to play with up to 3 more people. Yeah, I didn’t do that.

But even better than three (yes, three!) game modes is the ability to create new Secret Phrases and to download new ones from the Internet. And even though I wasn’t downloading great gobs of new phrases every time I tried, I did get about 4 dozen new phrases each time I updated, which isn’t too shabby for a game that came out in 2008.

Even more surprising is that this game has leaderboards. And even though the top couple of spots look like they’ve been taken by cheaters, positions 4-20 are totally up for grabs. (J Train, I’m coming for you!).

So what does all that mean? It means that I got more enjoyment out of this game than I would have if I would have flushed my $5 down the toilet, and I probably won’t immediately uninstall it as soon as I post this, if that means anything to you. And I sure hope it does, because it didn’t mean much to me.