28 Nov 2011

S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G F-U-N: Wordsmith

Here’s one for the creative spirits amongst you. Wordsmith by Cheers Games gives you an opportunity to let your imagination run wild as you traverse the land conjuring food, weaponry, vehicles and more to aid your cause, which typically involves bothering things until they die (your ultimate goal being to slay that dragon up in the castle to the east). But Skyrim, this ain’t. What it does offer is a chance to create a large number of items from nouns spelled with Scrabble-type letters collected whilst playing. These can come from almost anywhere: Bash a reed to bits and you’ll be rewarded with R-E-E-D, knock a crab out you’ll get C-R-A-B, boff a skeleton and, well, you get the picture.

From then on you’re spelling your way to victory. Press the space bar, type something in and you’ll be rewarded with the chosen object - yours to place anywhere you wish or to equip if it’s equipable. Not surprisingly, this ability creates a phenomenal level of brain-freeze. When ten or so different letters have been collected it should be easy to think of at least one useful noun, but the capacity to make this happen consistently alluded me. Alluded me, that is, until I discovered I could make a space rocket and flew off to eliminate a bothersome bird that had been taunting me from the air. So then I had B-I-R-D and my options to progress had expanded.

This is something that Wordsmith does particularly well; puzzles are created on the fly. That previously unreachable goal - to fish for a fish, or to chop a tree - is one step closer to being realised with every new item you make and it’s great fun to mess about with. I haven’t come anywhere close to completing the available demo, but it’s been a blast to experiment with, constantly testing the game to discover what it will allow you to make. And, Laurie Cheers - sole developer on the project - is adding in new content all the time, filling in the gaps between what’s available in the game and what people are requesting.

The game is currently available for pre-order for $5 but will retail for $10 once released. A beta is in production, details of which are here, but if you like the sound of it (and why wouldn’t you?) check out the demo, here.

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