Sometimes, a game's title tells you very little about its content. What do titles like "Bayonetta" scream to you when read? Meanwhile, a game with a title such as Word Search by POWGI pretty much tells you everything you need to know about this download. Within each of the 300+ levels you're given a grid filled with letters; then, you are also given a list of words to find by dragging your stylus across them. Find all the words, move onto the next level, repeat ad nauseum.
You've all done word searches, so you know exactly what to expect from the standard single player mode, where the puzzles are sorted into various categories, reflecting a different theme (animals, famous scientists, etc.). The interface is as simple as highlighting the found word with the stylus - pretty basic stuff by all accounts.
In an attempt to add something a little different, at any time it is possible for other players to join in using Wii Remotes to highlight words, with five players being the maximum. It plays exactly the same as the single player game, only individual scores are kept - it's merely up to the players to decide whether or not they are playing together or against each other. Adding multiplayer to a game like this has the potential to be a great idea, but like the rest of this title there just isn't enough to it to make for an engaging experience.
Can we fault this game for being an accurate rendition of the classic pen and paper time-waster? Of course not. But we can fault it for the sparse presentation, with static grey visuals and the same loop of music being played over and over again. It can also be criticised for the lack of variety and added features - even some sort of leaderboard or timer would make this a more interesting proposition. We're not saying that it needed to be a groundbreaking AAA game, but surely the developers could have stretched the budget to make the game more interesting visually and aurally?
Therein lies the rub: translating a game usually played on pen & paper only works if something is added in the translation to justify its existence. If you or someone you know likes word searches and can withstand the no-frills presentation, you may well garner some sort of entertainment from this eShop entry. But it's hard to recommend a game that does so little to differentiate itself from its pen and paper roots.