While there are plenty of games that get it wrong, I thought I might review a couple of games that get it right. Word Vine is one such game. It’s premise is simple: link words to create inter-connected compound words on branching relationship. An easy level uses tree, sauce, apple, trunk. I’m stuck on a hard level with time, tower, prime, bell, cow, cash, machine, gun, minister, ivory, tower, zone. So what do I like about this game this morning (and last night, for a really long time)?
- Simple task– It is well within my skill set to make compound words and to click and drag small icons onto a hotspot.
- “Educational”– I’m not shooting stuff. I wouldn’t be anyway, but I like figuring out this little verbal puzzle.
- Visual– Solving the harder puzzles requires tapping into some region of the brain that handles visual relationships; it’s difficult to solve the harder puzzle (at least for me) without physically (virtually) dragging the word shapes onto some of the twining branches.
- Aesthetics– It’s pretty. I like the soft greens.
I’m always trying to figure out how to combine content and gameplay. I can envision a social studies content game which links concepts, dates, and historical figures. How about a branching vine of German philosophers or early 20th Century artists?