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Ultimate Word Search 2: Letter Boxed

Score: 85%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Ensenasoft
Developer: Ensenasoft
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle

Graphics & Sound:

I have always been a huge fan of word search games, so Iím eager to try new ones. The real problem with playing them on my phone is that itís quite hard to have any decent sized puzzle and still be able to read the letters on the small screen. Ultimate Word Search 2 has solved that problem with a bit of a twist on the normal word search games.

When you start up Ultimate Word Search 2, youíll notice that it has a Sherlock Holmes feeling to it. From the red wood colors to the items on your desk, you know youíre dealing with a detective, which makes sense as you are searching for words. Each of the four places that you can choose to play in has a different background theme. There is an office, a street, a park, and a gallery. Some boards are harder than others to read the words that you are looking for. The one with the woods in the background that I call the park forced me to turn the perspective just so I could read the words that I was looking for on some directions. Since youíre continually turning, it isnít that much of a problem, but it did irk me every now and then. Otherwise I love the backgrounds. They are pretty and the cube with your letters to search through is always easily visible.

There is nice, soothing background music if you want to listen to it, but you donít have to. You will also get sound effects when you find a word, but itís not as if you need either. I found that I just listened to my own music and the game didnít lose any of its playability.


Gameplay:

The concept of Ultimate Word Search 2 is quite simple. Instead of just looking for words on a single page, you have a cube with letters on all sides. The words youíre looking for can stretch across two or even three sides, making it more and less difficult in different ways. You are simply looking for the words. The game will cross them off of the word lists for you, so you donít have to worry about that. While you are in any puzzle, you can pause it. The game really needs to blank the screen when you pause. It just gets rid of the words youíre looking for, but that doesnít stop you from pausing and just unpausing when you find something or need to switch sides just to up your score. Personally, I wouldnít recommend boosting your score that way because youíre really only playing against yourself trying to beat your own scores, so what would be the point of cheating against yourself?

From the Main Menu, there are four different boards that you can choose to work from. You can click on either the Sherlock Holmes hat, the magnifying glass, the pipe, or the smoking gun. Each one has 21 different levels on it for you to play. Each time you play a level, it will have the same theme, but the words you are looking for will be different. This means that you have 84 levels that will be different any time you play them, giving you infinite replayability.


Difficulty:

I havenít really noticed that Ultimate Word Search 2 gets harder the higher you get in difficulty, but then how can you really make a word search any harder than it is normally? As you are playing, you will see a timer counting down in the upper right corner. This is a bonus timer that will give you more points the quicker that you find a word. The timer will reset every time you find a word. So far, I am finding that I am scoring relatively the same on every level. You can get up to three stars for each level, so the higher your score is, the more stars you will receive.

On normal word search games, I find that it is easier to find the longer words. They tend to jump out at you much easier than short ones because of the length. In Ultimate Word Search 2 however, I find that the shorter words can be easier to find if they donít cross to another side of the cube. When a word is all on one side rather than spanning more than one, it seems easier for me to find.


Game Mechanics:

There are two major things that you need to know about how to play Ultimate Word Search 2. You will need to tap the letter on one end of a word and then tap the letter on the other end to find the word. It doesnít matter if you tap the first and then the last or the last and then the first. Words can be found horizontally or vertically. There are no diagonal words in Ultimate Word Search 2 as there would be no way to handle corners. Words can share a letter with another word. The second thing you need to know is how to rotate the cube. To rotate, touch the screen in one place and drag. Rotating takes a bit of work to get the hang of. Iíd rather a two point turning rotation so that you have better control, but not all phones could support that. As it is, the cube rotates in a circle like motion. You can turn it left and right easily if you drag from the center, but when you drag from a corner, you will have to get used to the circle motion.

As far as word search puzzles go, I have been pleased with Ultimate Word Search 2. There are a few things I would personally change, but on the whole, they have solved the problem of getting more words to look for on a small screen quite well. If youíre looking for a challenge and like searches, check out Ultimate Word Search 2. You can try the free version to see if you like it. It is the exact same game but only provides 7 levels per location. The full version is more than worth the small price though!


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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