Review: Word Searcher Deluxe (WiiWare)

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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