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Game Review of:
Hoyle Word Games


Joe is past APCO treasurer and has spent much of his recent retirement time playing with the grandkids and working (slowly) on the “honey-do” list. He plans on accompanying his wife on a cruise to Greece and Turkey next year.

From the June, 2003 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

I have found another “time-killer” game suitable for kids as well as adults. The game is ideal to load on a laptop if you travel a fair amount of time and sure beats the games that come with the typical Windows installation.

Sierra, the company that produces many excellent game packages, has maintained their high standards with this package of games that will stretch your brain and fill in the time waiting for the flight. The CD comes with 8 word games and three bonus board games (demo mode but playable).

The kids won’t have much trouble with some of the games yet they can be difficult for the older kids and the adults if you want to avoid the typical card game or “shoot-em-up” so often found on the store shelves.

Sierra has packaged the entire set in an attractive box and included a real, honest-to-goodness manual to help you understand the games. In addition, the back of the manual has several dozen games requiring the use of the #2 pencil, model I. Just to make it nicer, the answers are also there. This gives you the chance to occupy your time when the battery has died and also will give you a feel for the difficult level on the games.

There are eight word games and most are familiar to all of us:

  • Anagrams consists of a jumbled word or letters on the screen. You build words from the letters. Example: ELVIS is an anagram for LIVES, LIE, LIVE. Longer words score more points.
  • Crosswords consists of about 300 different puzzles and is the normal game.
  • DoubleCross is a game that gives you six letters and you place them on a board like Scrabble. There are some surprises on the board so you can increase your score of lose points in an instant.
  • Enigma requires you to decode a message based on the replacement of letters. The history buff will recognize that the name “enigma” comes from the code word for the German cryptographic machine in World War II (and U-571, the movie, featured that machine as well). This is a hard one for all concerned.
  • Hangman has several settings and the kids can enjoy this one.
  • Speedy Racer requires you to type letters and words as they appear on the screen so you can save the pigs from the big bad wolf or sink a pirate ship before they sink yours. This is a great program to improve typing skills and tends to be a bit hard to see because of the background color versus the letters.
  • Word Search is a common game that kids will enjoy although some of the words tend to be rather large. They are based on a theme so you have a clue to help. Good vision/monitor help!
  • Word Yacht is a takeoff of Yachtze — and you roll dice and form words from the dice. Kids will do well with this as well.
  • Zen Bones is a bonus game and works like mahjongg. Only one tile set is available and the sound effects are “interesting”. Good playing when bored.
  • Backgammon (bonus) is the typical game and is enjoyable. No problems if you know the game and help is available if you need it.
  • Placer Racer (bonus) is a bit strange and can be frustrating. It requires you to “shoot” (like a pinball game) a colored ball toward others of many colors. When you get three of the same color together, they disappear. The object is to remove all balls as quickly as possible. As the game progresses it becomes faster (sort of like tetrix) and requires playing angles and thinking ahead.
Excellent program for the retail cost of $29.95 — truly a quality product for murdering time and keeping your sanity while waiting — and a pretty good game for home use as well. Strongly suggest you put this on your buy list.

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