Overall Gameplay (3 out of 5)
Word Whirl is a fun game, unfortunately it falls short on the “graphical interface” front. While the game board is setup with large enough icons to make it finger friendly the actual graphics just seem rudimentary at best. The choice of colors makes the game board feel washed out and the font choices are also not on par with most standardized WebOS applications developed to date.
Outside of the “Whirl, Use, Clear and End” keys I simply didn’t like the choice of graphics.
Once I got past the color choices and design I actually really enjoyed Word Whirl. The premise is simple, you can choose to play a puzzle game where you must fill in all of the pieces or switch over to a timed game where you must score points before time runs up. I was presented with 6 random letters during each game and I had to create three to six letter words. Everytime I created a word it appeared within a second in the above available spots. The more points I scored the higher the score I received and the more levels I could play.
I also liked the “Whirl” option which mixed up the words. Again this is not a new feature as other games of the same type offer a “scramble” option, which in turn can give the user a fresh view of the letters their working with. While the “clear” button was easily accessible on the display and allowed for quick removal of partially completed words.
I also enjoyed the fact that I could choose to enter the available letters using my Palm Pre’s keyboard. I like touchscreen accessibility, but sometimes if you know a lot of words you can use it’s simply easier to type them in one after another, rather than typing on the screen each time. Just enter in your words and press the return key to post your words.
The word dictionary also isn’t too bad for the game, although some words were unfortunately missing. The developer however has promised that when the game moves from a homebrew application to a catalog app it will have a much larger supported word DB to play from. As it stands most of the words I chose were allowed, although several fairly common words were missing.
Word Whirl doesn’t offer the best graphical interface, in fact there are other word games of the same type already available for the Palm Pre that offer the same type of strategy based gaming with better graphics. However I did find that the icons were spaced well enough and were large enough to make gameplay simple and the supported word dictionary was sufficient for most standard words.
Word Whirl is currently a homebrew application available from PreCentral, however you may soon be able to spy it in the official WebOS catalog.
While not the best game graphically I still recommend the download because it’s both fun and addicting.