Worbble is a casual puzzle game for iOS and Android
If you’ve been a gamer for a few years and live in India, the words “Milestone Interactive” are sure to mean something to you. The Mumbai-based game distributor and operator of a chain of retail stores in the country have now ventured into previously uncharted waters: the world of downloadable casual games. Worbble is their first effort — a puzzle game for iOS and Android that mixes vocabulary, trivia and the immense fun that can only be had by popping bubbles underwater. What’s not to like?
At first glance, Worbble looks like a bundle of fun. It’s got a pleasing aquatic-themed art style, littered with colourful underwater plants, a healthy number of bubbles and nice-looking menu. Hit the “play” button and the game’s two modes are revealed to you. “Word mode,” as the name suggests, is pretty basic. Create words between 4 and 7 letters and you rack up points. This is done by tapping on randomly generated letters that float around your screen to form words of your choosing, and then on the formed word on the bottom-right corner of your screen within each level’s time limit — this serves as the basis of Worbble’s gameplay. A “delete” key is conveniently included as well, allowing you to make any changes to your word.
The game becomes more of a challenge as you progress through the different difficulty levels, viz. easy, medium and hard. Worbble also features power-ups such as special letters which grant score bonuses, hourglass bubbles that stop and add precious time, and a “freeze ray of doom” bubble that stops all the unruly bubbles from floating about entirely for a brief duration. The power-ups aid you immensely during your odyssey of bubble-popping, so tap on them religiously.
The “Quiz mode”, again, as indicated by the name, is exactly that. Worbble asks you trivia questions ranging from easy to obscurely vague, while throwing the odd riddle into the mix. In this mode, you will also be able to tap on hints that reveal a few letters in the answer — you get quite a number of them to start with and you can purchase hints for real money (in-app purchases). The hint packages are priced between $0.99 and $9.99. You can get additional hints by answering successive questions correctly. I found myself enjoying this mode significantly more than the “Word mode”.
In addition to Game Center integration, there are Social media sharing options as well — you can tweet or update Facebook with your scores. The appeal of Worbble’s game modes is universal, and it would seem that Worbble has the potential to be a great time-sink. However, a combination of bugs (the game isn’t particularly stable, crashing quite often), gameplay annoyances (lack of a backspace key in “Quiz mode”, singular/plural answers are not accepted, tutorial every time you quit the app and run it again) and general lack of polish (even the “HD” version looks a tad shabby on the iPad) adversely affect the user experience. Worbble also insisted to me that “vindicate” was not a word (in its defence, it does not recognise words that are over 7 letters). The game is (strangely) priced at Rs.110 on the App Store and Rs.54.22 on Google Play, but you might want to check out the free “Lite” version before purchasing the paid app.