Overall Score 49%
Word Collide is a tile swapping word game. Swap two letters from a pile on the screen by clicking on them with the mouse (they need not be adjoining) and make a word diagonally or orthogonally. At that point the letters vanish. New rows of letters appear every so often. The game gets progressively harder because the new letters are mostly vowels, there were many times where I had just one consonant versus twenty or more vowels. The download is very small so this is a casual game in every sense.
The graphics are not special, simple 2D graphics that get the job done but that is all. Many of the objects have very jaggy edges and even dithering. There are some graphical effects like the way the letters vanish and the way that the selected letters grow. Completed words glow red and pop out of existence. The letters are big and clear enough to read easily.
The music is a sort of cheery midi sounding brass that is close to the most annoying music I've heard in a game. It's not ugly or abrasive but after about thirty seconds it sounds very repetitive. Fortunately the customary volume controls are there. The sound effects present are of the very basic variety, usually just event notification sounds that show no creativity. With moving menus and click noises, the presentation just claws itself up to average but doesn't come close to the gold-star glory of Aquawords for example. Word Collide looks and sounds like something from at least a decade ago.
The gameplay is very basic. You can score more than one word in one click for more points, but nothing exciting really happens. The word detector annoyingly favours small words so make "feed" and "fee" will be picked by the program. In fact I found it quite easy to score by randomly clicking letters as fast as possible. You can swap from anywhere to anywhere so you quickly realise that there are no tactics. Just think of any word at all made up from the letters you can see and make it by moving the letters to a chosen area, it's like Scrabble with less restrictions and no other players.
Score enough words and you advance to the next level, which adds some bonus items like special letters that give more points or destroy selected groups of letters. The extra items add something more to the game but I don't think they particularly make the core game of making words more fun. Score, and not the desire to see later levels, is the greater motivation.
The dictionary selects some weird three letter words (anyone heard of 'ulu' or 'soh'?). The occasional 'Memory Access Violation' interrupting the game, the lack of a ReadMe or installer all detract from its already limited appeal. The radial loading screen is the only innovation that caught my attention in an otherwise stunningly average game with below average graphics.
Word Collide is a very minimalistic interpretation of a word game. The game play is better than the graphics, sound or presentation and that isn't very good. There is nothing about this game that makes it stand out of the crowd.
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