Game Review

Word Searcher Deluxe Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Jacob Crites

Word down

It's hard not to question the practicality of a game like Word Searcher Deluxe. Word search books are almost literally a dime a dozen these days, and even the cheap-o books are becoming a little unnecessary considering the number of free options there are on the Internet and mobile app stores. As if that wasn't enough, Digital Leisure already has a Word Searcher title on WiiWare and DSiWare.

That's not to say the game isn't good at what it does, though. If you're a diehard word-search addict and you don't mind the lack of portability (and assuming you haven't bought the first one), Word Searcher Deluxe offers a pretty good bang for your buck, all things considered.

Word search puzzles, for the uninitiated, are exactly what they sound like. You're presented with a huge, seemingly random grid of letters, and you must use your perceptive powers to find a given number of words hidden within that grid. If you're into that sort of thing, this game has got you more than covered. For starters, there are 100 uniquely-themed word search puzzles to solve right out of the figurative box, and the puzzles remix the word placement each time you go back to replay them to ensure you're never out of a challenge. Furthermore, this Deluxe edition has tons of downloadable content already available, as packs of 10 new puzzles sell for just 100 Wii Points a pop. If you're willing to shell out a little extra cash in addition to the 500 Wii Points up front, you're not likely to run out of puzzles any time soon.

The controls are the only part of the package that end up being a little suspect; your sole option for highlighting the hidden words is the Wii Remote pointer, which wouldn't be a problem if the aiming reticle wasn't so frustratingly fluttery in this title. If you're trying to beat your best time on a particular puzzle this can be a real problem, too, as sometimes the game doesn't properly recognise when you've highlighted a word. All of these issues are holdovers from the previous Word Searcher game, and it frankly just doesn't make sense that they haven't been addressed even slightly.


Word Searcher Deluxe is a very tricky game to recommend, even if you're a big fan of the genre. If you've already purchased the original Word Searcher, you'll want to do even more thinking before dropping down your cash for this so-so sequel, because other than the ability to access DLC, there haven't been any improvements made to the game whatsoever. There's still only one cheesy piece of elevator music that makes up the entire soundtrack, there are still niggling control problems and the whole experience is still limited to one player. Word Searcher Deluxe isn't a bad game, but it's not a particularly practical one either, and as such it comes recommended only to word-search fanatics who are keen on doing their puzzles on the big screen.

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User Comments (7)



y2josh said:

WiiWare developers pulling out all the cards they have up their sleeves in 2011!



Ron_DelVillano said:

Much better suited for the portable players, but still lacking any form of variety to keep it interesting.

Well done, Jacob.



Bass_X0 said:

Not played the game and I don't intend to but a 5/10 score sounds quite over-rated for such a game, especially compared to other 5/10 average games on WiiWare. It may not be a bad game of word searching but its still word searching. A sequel to a word search game already on WiiWare which the review says fixes none of the problems apparent in the original. The scoring policy makes it sound a 4/10 would be more appropriate than a 5/10 - "some redeeming features", "bad control schemes", "inflexible options" and "repetitiveness" best sums up this game.

Whats next? "Paint Drying Watching Deluxe isn't a bad game, but it's not a particularly practical one either, and as such it comes recommended only to paint drying watching fanatics. — 5/10"



akacesfan said:

Wow, this is such a creative game! I don' think I've ever done anything like this before, this game is really something different! Amazing!




DigitalLeisure said:

@Jacob - Regarding the pointer being your 'sole option' you can also hold the Wii Remote horizontally and use the D-Pad and 2 Button to highlight and select words as well. This was added as people did comment that the aiming with Wii Remote can be delicate. With the original release going to the Top 10 for many weeks we're happy to provide this update for the casual Wii user.



Number_6 said:

Most of us aren't the type of "gamer" that may find this game compelling. That said, my daughter loves doing word searches and is a gamer as well, so I bought the non-deluxe original Word Searcher on release day. Now I have less word search books littering my bathrooms, and I don't get hit up as much to buy new $2.99 word search books while checking out at the supermarket. Good that DigitalLeisure provided an alternate control scheme, but too bad the jittery WiiRemote controls weren't improved.

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