Get ready for another word game headed your way. 2K and Cat Daddy Games have put together Beejumbled — a free offering that’s hoping to buzz its way onto the home screens of many smartphones. Think Bejeweled meets Scrabble, only with bees. It would seem you can combine bees with just about anything. Just ask Jerry Seinfeld.
After booting up Beejumbled, it’s clear right away that there’s been a lot of attention paid to the presentation of this word game. It wants to be friendly and cartoony and draw you right in with a pair of friendly bees that will definitely not sting you. The first thing you have to do is choose between Buzzy and Beetrice to be your insect word guides.
The actual game play takes place on a grid of honeycomb-like hexagonal tiles. Much like in Scrabble, each tile has a letter and a point value attached. Much like in Bookworm, the goal is to find letters within the honeycomb grid and drag your finger over them to spell out words, which will add to your point total.
I was surprised at the amount of words that are playable in this game. Even though it looks like a teaching tool for little kids, this game isn’t afraid to drop some college-level reading material on your head. If you’re thinking about matching up against the computer, bring a dictionary along with you.
When starting up a new game, you can choose between Solo, Tournament and Multiplayer. If you decide to opt for the single player route, you will be given the choice of either a time trial or challenge mode. Tournament puts you up against a bunch of opponents in a ranked contest and the multiplayer option is designed to incorporate your Facebook network of friends. Multiplayer works like Words With Friends, where you will have to wait for your buddy to respond.
All of that seems well and good, but from this point on things get a little sticky. (I’m talking about honey, of course.) Honey is the in-game currency and you will need it in order to buy helpers. You will need helpers in order to start a game. Wait, an in-game currency for a word title? What is going on here, Beejumbled? And you need buy helpers?
The game starts you out with 300 units of honey and if you wanted to, you could spend all of it pretty quickly. Of course, all of this is designed around an in-app purchasing system that wants you to spend money on more honey. I knew it, Beejumbled. You couldn’t hide your true colors. Instead of talking to Jerry Seinfeld at the beginning of this review, I should have been talking to Nicolas Cage. Not the IAPs! Not the IAPs! Auughh, they’re in my eyes!
Despite the nice presentation, I couldn’t get past the blatant cash grab of how this game is designed. I like the idea of incorporating characters and personalities into the mix of a word game. Having a baseball bee that rewards you for baseball-related words is fun. But little things like that can’t save the flawed structure at the center of the hive.