Last week we found ourselves in the middle of the NEC checking out some of this and next year’s biggest games. One of those games was Wordhunters, a PlayLink party video game which challenges players to several little world games all from the comfort of their mobile.
I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t slightly put-off by Sony’s attempt to muscle in on the mobile-as-a-controller party game territory as I’m a huge fan of what Jackbox Games have been doing over the past couple of years. So knowing I was about to get hands-on with a PlayLink title, I just couldn’t shake the obvious comparisons between this and the way Jackbox do things, that was until Wordhunters creator, Simon Smith asked whether I could see eight-year-olds playing games like Quiplash or Fibbage.
The man had a point. Each time we’ve played through those games they’ve all deteriorated into very tongue-in-cheek bordering on horrifically offensive games. I wouldn’t let a youngster play those game, and then I realized, PlayLink titles are largely targeting that family-friendly, “for everyone”, market. I understand it’s a very obvious realization, but it allowed me to escape past that “Uhhh well it’s just Sony trying to cash-in on the popularity of Jackbox Games!”.
I know, I’m an idiot.
Speaking of being an idiot, Wordhunters is a fantastic game to bring that feeling to the forefront of your mind as you frantically try to solve anagrams, find simple words within a Wordsearch, or putting together jumbles of letters to make real, actual, words.
In Wordhunters, players are given a secret four-letter word which they’re tasked with completing by using letters from cities across the world. In order to pick a letter from the city, they must win the puzzle within it. As I’ve already explained, this comes in a number of forms. Another puzzle has you guessing whether a word is a real or fake word, another has you attempting to create the longest word from a jumble of letters.
If you’re good at word games, then Wordhunters is for you.
What makes this game probably the most entertaining is that all of the gameplay is done through the PlayLink app which means anyone can easily jump into the game at any point with no prior understanding of the logistics of a joypad. In fact, during our time with the game at EGX two other players hopped into the game halfway through and actually stole the win.
The overall presentation of the game was fantastic too, Smith excitedly explained that the game’s brightness, the colors, and overall design was like Sony had made a word game. And he’s not wrong, Wordhunters just fits so well on the PlayStation 4 and felt very native to the console.
While our game lasted just short of 20 minutes, Wordhunters became one of my highlights from EGX. As someone who enjoys the accessibility of Jackbox Games, Wordhunters and many of the other PlayLink titles offers that accessibility which makes party games so much more fun to play plus it’s way more family friendly, so even your younger siblings or relatives can get involved.
Wordhunters is expected to land on PlayStation 4 on November 14.