October 4, 2010 in Games (E)
[prMac.com] Shaverma Games today is pleased to introduce Words Magic 1.0, their challenging, new word-building game for iOS. Deceptively simple in its premise, the player must connect a starting word and an ending word. This is done using linking words which are only a single letter different from the previous word. For example, the player must select from the following to connect "bend" and "bank": end, band, blend, bead, bed, and bond. The answer, "band", is obvious, but higher levels of gameplay are quite difficult, involving two, three or more linking words.
Words Magic launches in portrait mode to display the game's master of ceremonies, a standing bear with a sorcerer's hat and magic wand. Two-thirds of the way down the screen is a large blue cloud containing small, white clouds. Using the previous example, the first white cloud contains the starting word "bend", the second gray cloud contains a question mark, and the third white cloud contains the ending word "bank". The six choices for correct linking word each appear in small white clouds in the night sky, above and below the large blue cloud that serves as the puzzle space. In the event that a player selects an incorrect linking word, the last two clouds turn gray, and the message appears, "Two gray clouds don't connect! Touch the white one to step back and find another way!"
Eschewing music, sound effects, tutorials and other typical ornamentation, Words Magic relies instead on the pure logic of its gameplay to draw the player in, while the only discernible movement is the eyes of the magical bear, occasionally blinking, inscrutably. There are no points or time limits, though there are progressively more difficult levels of play. At launch, the player may choose to pick up where they left off, or start at Level 1, Task 1.
A further example may serve to illustrate the subtleties of the game. The starting word is "clay" and the ending word is "box". Clearly, there is no single linking word that can achieve this transformation. Indeed, there are three gray clouds, each with a "?" inside, connecting the starting and ending words. The following are the available choices for the first cloud: play, clan, claw, and clam. Only after making a selection (the correct answer is "play"), do the possible choices for the second cloud appear. They are: plan, pay, clay, and ploy; with "pay" being correct. Finally, the player may choose from the following for the third cloud: day, way, pot, hay, pop, say, joy, pad, paw, par, pan, boy, play, and ray. "Boy" gets the player a single letter away from "box", the goal. Since all the choices for linking word are always legal according to the rules of the game, there is no simple selection method, and players will often be forced to re-trace their steps when unable to successfully reach the ending word.
* Deceptively simple premise - extremely challenging at higher levels
* Logical game of letter substitution to transform words
* Many levels of play with tasks at each level
* Many hours of gameplay for all ages
* Extremely easy to learn
* Challenges the player to think several steps ahead
Truly a game for the post-modern, iOS world, Words Magic is reminiscent of the theories of the Swiss linguist, Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913). A seminal influence on semiotics and structuralism, Saussure noted that language has both syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations. Words are signs that create meaning through difference. The words "cat", "mat", and "pat" can be seen differentiated on a vertical axis of meaning, paradigmatically. However, in the sentence "I would like to pat the cat on the mat", the words are differentiated on a horizontal axis of meaning, syntagmatically. In the first instance substitution is the determining factor, in the second it is position. Words Magic does not involve meaning at all. But it does offer a challenging and entertaining word game based on substitution.
"Have you ever noticed how easy it is to turn a 'cat' into a 'hat', a 'word' into a 'sword' or a 'night' into a 'light'?", asked owner Sergey Plekhov. "Now you can test your ingenuity in turning words into other words over several steps with Words Magic."
* iPhone, iPad or iPod touch
* iOS 3.0 or later (iOS 4 tested)
* 0.7 MB
Pricing and Availability:
Words Magic 1.0 is only $0.99 (USD) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category. Review copies are available upon request.
Shaverma Games is a privately held company founded by Sergey Plekhov. The company specializes in innovative games for iOS. Copyright (C) 2010 Shaverma Games. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPad and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.