Sqwords is an interesting choice of name for the newest word puzzle game by Toy Studio. It evolves from “Word Squares” but also sounds a lot like squirt, and, I don’t know about you, but I don’t really eagerly jump at the chance to play any kind of game involving the word “squirt,” because all it makes me think of is two-cheeking it after eating a batch of bad Thai food. If you can quit being childish for one minute (points finger at self), we will find out whether Sqwords will squirt you with awesomeness or if it’s a big pile of jumbled word doo-doo.
Sqwords’ gameplay is a cross between sudoku and crossword puzzles. You are presented with a grid filled with letters, and you, dear player, plug more letters into the missing spots on the grid to create words both going across and vertical. You can’t just have “poop” going across the top, but each letter in that word must also create a word going down like “poop,” “omen,” “ores,” and “poop.” There is a point to the repeated poops here — despite all the words in the English language to choose from, the more advanced puzzles in the game will often use a word twice. Why is this? No, really, why? On the one hand it makes the puzzles easier for those who might be having a hard time; but, on the other, it takes away some of the challenge, and it’s not like the game is that challenging to begin with.
There are a whopping 240+ puzzles featured here, with varying degrees of difficulty. The five degrees range from easy 3×3 letter grids to extreme 5×5 letter grids. The puzzles are colorful and the music is light and fun. Together, this provides a pleasant exercise for the brain, but never strays into headache territory.
Sqwords’ puzzles are a solid concept for a game as well as being fun to play, but as with most games, there are a few problems. The player doesn’t have the freedom to create any words they can make fit in the puzzle. Nope, it has to be the specific words, in a specific order, all deemed “correct” by Sqwords itself. You could have the right words on the board, but if they aren’t in the right place it won’t recognize it. For instance, you could have “class” going across the top and “crass” going down, but it says it’s not right because “crass” isn’t going across the top and “class” going down. This is only an issue some of the time, not enough to be a deal breaker.
Also, Sqwords boasts about the replayability of the game focusing on improving your time, but where’s the fun in that? You already know where the letters go, of course you’re going to improve your time so it’s kind of pointless. There might be some replayability there, but it’s of a low quality, keep-you-busy kind of replayability.
A free version of Sqwords is available, but right now the full game is on sale for a dollar rather than two, so if you’re a fan of word puzzles you may want to check it out. It’s a fun way to pass the time and will help your brain grow stronger, and while it has a few problems, they’re not significant and don’t overshadow the fun, wordiness of the game.