Posted by staff | Posted in DS Games | Posted on 23-10-2010


  • Boost scores and advance faster with Bonus Words and Reward Tiles and save your high scores and track your progress with the Lex-Ray.
  • Form words from 20 themed book collections and unlock 18 rooms to build your customized libraries.
  • Flex your lexicon in three game modes ? classic, action and wireless multiplayer.
  • Pick up and play — it’s easy to start working wordy wonders in seconds.
  • Unlimited levels to keep you rising up the ranks in the Hall of Fame.

Product Description
Have an appetite for words? Then join Lex the Bookworm in the hit word puzzle game created by PopCap for your Nintendo DS! Link letter tiles left, right, up and down to spell words and keep your bookworm smiling. Spell words to fill your bookshelves, unlock 20 themed folios, and build out 18 unique library rooms. Boost your score using Word of the Day then track your progress with the all-new Lex-Ray to see how big your Bookworm brain can be! Work wordy wonders … More >>


Comments posted (5)

I love Bookworm online, as well as the deluxe version for PC and Mac, so I was very excited to try it on my DS, since I can take it anywhere. I am thrilled with it! Everything you love about Bookworm is here, along with a few extra fun things.

Create words from the adjacent tiles to clear them from the board and earn points and books to put on shelves in your library. As you earn books and fill the shelves, you fill up and complete rooms in your library. Each room has a different theme and you get a little bonus when each is finished. As you complete more rooms, your library expands. You can visit the rooms on your map and see what you have accomplished!

My favorite new and challenging feature is collecting books and words. There are twenty books, each containing twelve words. When you create a word in one of the books, the book is unlocked and you can see the rest of the words needed to complete the book. For example, I unlocked the book “Insects” by making the word “ant”. To complete the book I need to create “bee, wasp, roach, ladybug”, etc. This is not as easy as it seems!! There are many fun collections to complete, and while I haven’t finished a book yet, I imagine there will be a fun bonus when I do! Books are easily accessible from the main screen so you can check to see which books still needs words, and what words are needed.

My only teeny tiny complaint with this game is barely a blip on the radar, however I’m just a slight bit annoyed that when clearing tiles an extra tap is required after the word is finished. On the computer version, holding the mouse button while making words, and then just releasing it will clear the word. While holding the stylus to make the word on the DS, it has to be lifted and then tapped at the end of the word. Very picky, but it is what it is.

There is not a left-handed option on this game that I can find. That seems an obvious necessity, but for some reason was not included in this version.

Overall this game is fantastic, I am completely addicted!!
Rating: 5 / 5

From PopCap Games, makers of the fun and addictive Zuma and Plants vs Zombies, comes Bookworm, another challenging puzzle game for casual players. It’s a good way to work your brain as well as make the time go faster on commutes, while waiting at the doctor’s office, or exercising on the treadmill.

The idea is simple. The goal is to string together tiles to form words of 3 letters or more. The longer the word, the bigger the score. A free Flash version is available on PopCap’s website, but the DS version has many more features, like an Arcade Mode, Library, and 2 Players Mode. You only need 1 copy of the game to play against a friend. In the Library, you can keep track of your stats like how many words you created, secret word books, and room backgrounds you’ve unlocked. All together, there are 20 secret books to unlock, with 12 words each. It’s very hard to get all the words, and there’s no reward of any kind for completing each book, besides bonus points. You don’t get any special animation, fun pictures, or unlockable secret options. Zilch.

One thing I don’t like is that you have to hold the DS sideways, like a book. Very few games do this (most notably, Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword and Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day!) and there’s really no reason for it. The gameboard could simply have been arranged horizontally to allow ambidextrous play. I find it less comfortable to hold the DS upright, and it also prevents lefties from playing.

Another big design flaw is the harsh penalty system. Burning tiles will start falling with increasing frequency if you make 3 letter words. The chance of being penalized rises with each level, and by 10+, I’m getting penalized almost with 100% probability. If you don’t clear them right away, they’ll start burning down your column of tiles. When they reach the bottom, it’s game over. It is not explained in the manual that the game penalizes you for short words. At lower levels, this is infrequent, but at higher levels (9+), this becomes a huge turn-off, as almost every 3-letter word causes a fire tile to appear, making this game unfit for younger kids with limited vocabularies. Sometimes 4-5 letter words cause fire tiles. Then it degenerates into a frustrating game of clearing the penalty letters first instead of leisurely clearing letters to make words at your own pace.

To make things worse, the letters are not weighted, so you’re just as likely to get a tough letter like J, V, Qu, X, Y, or Z as you are to get a commonly used and easier to combine letter like R, S, T, L, N, E. For example, I got 3 burning V’s in a row in one game. When you clear a column of letters, if you are going to be penalized, the red tile will always appear at the bottom of the new stack of falling letters. If you are stuck, you can scramble the board an unlimited number of times, but this penalizes you by also dropping burning tiles. By level 10, I’m getting 4 burning tiles with each scramble. At higher levels, I got 6 or 7 burning tiles. If you need to scramble the board, that means you are stuck with bad letters that you can’t combine. But scrambling causes you to be put in an even worse situation. A scramble is seldom ever helpful. It doesn’t simply rearrange all the existing letters on the board. It shuffles all the tiles randomly into new letters. Secondly, it is counted as a turn, so any burning letters already on the board will burn down 1 block after the scramble. I find this sadistic and not fun at all. Players should not be punished for playing. A better system would have been to give you a finite number of scrambles (like 3), which you can use at any time without penalty, then let you earn more as you hit score milestones (say, every 20,000 points).

Unlike the online version, there’s no way to tell how much the letters are worth. The web version has dots under the letters to indicate their worth (1 to 3 dots). The DS version only shows you the points after you create a word.

Lastly is the strange dictionary where words like “Luo (an African tribe), haka (traditional Maori dance), loa (Haitian voodoo spirits), lek and som (unit of money in Albania and Kyrgyzstan, respectively) are accepted, but words like “India”, “Rome”, “dork”, and “dong” (Vietnamese currency unit) and not. “Moo” (cow sound) is accepted, but “poof” and “Saturn” are not. With certain words, a definition pops up, but I am at a loss to explain how these words were chosen. Usually, these are very obscure 3-4 letter words, like “qua”, international monetary units, or little-known animals, and names of esoteric native peoples. “Vat” is defined as a tax (value added tax) instead of the more common meaning of “container” (like “a vat of chocolate”). No definition is given for longer words.

Verdict: it’s fun for a little while, but gameplay gets very repetitive. The overly-punishing penalty system really drags down my rating, and makes this game too difficult for younger players. At higher levels, it’s no longer very much fun due to the frequency of the fire tiles and lack of a rich reward system. The music is also monotonous and somewhat irritating. It’s very low-fi sounding and one of the percussion instruments just sounds like static. Overall, it’s fun for maybe 30 minutes at a time only.
Rating: 3 / 5

..and come out an hour later. How do I know when I really like a game? I sit down to play for 5-10 minutes and 60-90 minutes pass before I realize how long I’ve been at it. Bookworm is one of those games!

I wasn’t familiar with the online version of this game, but I do like word games so it was an easy choice to get this one. I started playing it the day it arrived and it’s a great game. So far I’ve stuck to playing the “Classic” version. It consists of a board filled with letters that you make words out of by connecting the tiles. Each time you make a word the letters disappear and you begin to fill up your bookshelves. As you advance to different levels, “fire” and “bonus” tiles will appear. The goal is not to let any of the “fire” tiles reach the bottom and burn your library up. (Which results in game over) Currently I’m at 30% finished and I’ve probably played 4-5 hours now, but there are still several other levels/versions to play so I’m not at all concerned that it’s too easy of a game to finish.

I have had my Nintendo DS Lite for just about 9 months now and out of the 30 games I have this one ranks up there with my favorites: The Quest Trio and Touchmaster. Both are puzzle/strategy games that don’t require much more than basic game skills to enjoy. It seems that this game is probably going to be popular with an “older” crowd and yes at 33 years old I’ll happily put myself into that group.
Rating: 5 / 5

I love the original Bookworm game for the PC. I have the Gameboy version of this game and it is great. I bought this version for the DS expecting it to be the same. I don’t know why, but they changed the orientation of this version so it has to be played with the DS in a vertical (portrait) layout. I am left handed, and it is not comfortable to play it in this way. I wish they would have included a way to change the orientation.
Rating: 2 / 5

This is the typical Bookworm game that only brings a few more things to the table. If you like Bookworm in other forms, you will certainly like this game. My only, and greatest complaint, is that there is no option for the left handed. I am very disappointed as I find it very uncomfortable to play this game using my left hand and using my right just isn’t an option. How hard could it have been to put in this option? This was VERY short-sighted of PopCap games.
Rating: 2 / 5

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