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Gaming to Go: WordJong

I like words. I even go so far to fancy myself as one of those indomitable writer types, wielding a pen for all things mighty and righteous and incredibly nerdy. It is with great reluctance that I write this particular column, however, for one simple fact: I suck at WordJong.

It's a simple game: clean interface, smooth gameplay, and a surprisingly entertaining mixture of classics Mahjong and Scrabble. The unholy union of these two titles brought about a gem of a game largely ignored by the DS-playing populace, though its relative obscurity might prove to be an advantage. It makes WordJong easier for all of you to track down, for one, but it also provides fewer people to compare my pathetic scores with. And that, my friends, is sweet.

Interested? Grab your handy dictionary and come along with this week's edition of Gaming to Go, wherein this columnist's crippling shame manifests itself in an overabundance of big words.

Gallery: WordJong

Continue reading Gaming to Go: WordJong

Buy two games, save ten bucks at Toys R Us

We'll take almost any encouragement to buy a bunch of games, and there's little better incentive than a package deal, through which we "save" money by buying more stuff. Retailer Toys R Us knows this, and has dangled the carrot of reduced-price DS games at us with a "buy one, get $10 off" sale. The ad says "all DS games," but the sale is actually restricted to a selection of TRU's offerings.

That's fine, though, because there's enough here for just about anyone to be driven into an impulse purchase! Standouts include Flash Focus, Professor Layton, WordJong, Cooking Mama 2, and even some pre-release stuff like Rondo of Swords! Or you could finally pick up the whole Imagine collection.

Best Buy does 2 for $30 deal

Best Buy is having a sale on all of their video games priced at $19.99, allowing those looking to stock up on titles to snag two games for the sum of $30. And, looking over the list of titles that qualify, there's quite a bit of fun to be had.

Notable games in the sale include Nintendo's training titles Brain Age, Brain Age 2 and Flash Focus. There are also other games like WordJong, SimCity DS, Spectrobes and Orcs & Elves up for grabs too.

[Via QJ]

Reminder: End of the Year Blowout (day six)

Each day, between now and the 26th, we're going to look at a different piece of the DS Fanswag End of the Year giveaway as a reminder of exactly why you need to hightail it over there and enter -- but it's not fair that the Grand Prize should get all the love. Today, we're looking at another part of the second prize: WordJong. We found the PC port to be quite palatable, and it can be yours with minimal effort. Remember, you can enter once per day. And if you're having any trouble with the comments, check here for a handy walkthrough.

DS Fanboy Review: WordJong

Destineer's WordJong is not a revolutionary game, and it won't be on any Game of the Year lists. Due to its origin as a PC downloadable and its simple concept, the game is destined to end up as a relatively low-profile release. And, while Destineer may not agree with this, that's probably fine. Not every game needs to be a big deal and the subject of endless discussion in magazines and on websites. WordJong deserves to be as mellow in marketing as it is in play. But WordJong does at least deserve not to be buried under all of the more hyped releases in November. WordJong is the very definition of a solid game: it is easy to understand, easy to play, well-designed, and leaves the player with a pleasant feeling. It also provides a unique option for online DS gaming. In its simplicity, WordJong is the embodiment of the addictive puzzle game.

Continue reading DS Fanboy Review: WordJong

DS Daily: Call me now

Yesterday, we showed you Let's Tarot, a tarot trainer/simulator, and mentioned its Rare-developed NES counterpart Taboo: the Sixth Sense. WordJong dispenses fortunes, which can either tell you your future or describe character traits about you in the wonderful mystically-generic fortune cookie style.

We figure that, for reasons we won't even bother making up, the DS has enough otherworldly power to support some other methods of divination. In real life, they're all consulted in earnest by some, treated with mocking amusement by others, but there's no doubt that any kind of paranormal phenomenon reproduced on the DS is For Entertainment Purposes Only.

What kind of virtual oracle would you like to see on the DS? Magic 8-Ball? Automatic writing? Or do you agree with Morrissey's suggestion, provided in the video above? What are ya waitin' fi'?

Preview: WordJong brings good fortune(s)

WordJong fills a noticeable void in the DS's puzzle game lineup: word games. That makes it interesting by default. Luckily, it's also pretty interesting in and of itself.

WordJong is basically Scrabble and mah-jongg mashed up together into a pile of tiles. Each tile has a letter on it, and you arrange those tiles into words, gaining access to more letter tiles as you clear the top and sides of the pile. Bigger words and less common letters give you more points as in Scrabble. It interestingly provides two separate modes of advancement, one based on the traditional video game level structure, and the other on Brain Age-style daily gaming.

Continue reading Preview: WordJong brings good fortune(s)

WordJong has an intimidating strategy guide

A preview copy of WordJong just arrived at the expansive DS Fanboy office complex, and the item that Destineer included with the game was fairly daunting. We weren't sure if we even wanted to try the game out, if it came with this 400+ page strategy guide. After all, we haven't spent our lives avoiding PC strategy games just to start having to read giant manuals now. We thought we were getting a nice little puzzle game.

We finally summoned up the courage to crack the tome open. Check after the break for an example page!

Continue reading WordJong has an intimidating strategy guide

WordJong: our new favorite Jong

Destineer sent over some lovely screens and video of their word-puzzle game WordJong, and they look quite nice. The video in particular, with its soothing chime noises, highlights the kind of mellowness of a puzzle game without time limits. That's not to say it isn't challenging, just that you can take the time to figure stuff out.

That turns out to be an interesting change of pace (literally) versus other puzzle games, and changes the experience completely. There's no piling-up of pieces, no countdown, no frantic rush to get through the puzzle. The challenge comes entirely from scouring your brain for words. Words like "waggle," which was the highest-point-value-word used in the demo video, and which we personally enjoy.

We've put the video on YouTube; we'd ask that you click the aspect-ratio icon on the YouTube video to display in the correct proportion; it makes for a much more pleasant experience for everyone when you can see what the game really looks like, and not some squatty stretched-out version.

Gallery: WordJong

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