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EGX 2018: Hands-On with WORDHUNTERS

We took a tour around the world and discovered that we would kill each other just to spell the perfect word.

PlayLink is certainly something it doesn’t look like Sony are giving up on anytime soon and we’re thankful, as we are certainly enjoying the madcap games which it’s producing. At EGX, PlayLink was in full force and we had a chance to sit down with a couple of the games on display.

First up was WORDHUNTERS, a word game which takes you around the world playing a series of minigames including quick-typing, anagrams and much more in order to find elusive letters you’ll need to complete a secret word. Complete the word and you’ve won the game.

Sean and I played a round of the game with developer Simon Smith and we were surprised by just how much variety the game offers. There is certainly a significant amount of skill that’s needed, but you may find yourself rising to the top in one minigame and a little lower with others. I personally was pretty solid at the quick-typing events whilst Sean rocked the anagrams. It’s all about being quickest off the draw, using lateral thinking and puzzle solving.

As a character in the game you’re travelling the world searching for letters in famous cities around the world – recreated with a rather lovely art style -, you’re given a secret word at the start of the game which you’ll need to complete whilst playing through the random minigames, the letters you need will be found in the names of the cities so at the start of each game you can vote on which city you want to visit. For example, for the longest time I needed a Y, so I would vote that we go to Sydney or Tokyo. If I won that round, I would take the Y to complete the word.

Players can also vote against what city your competitors may want to visit. You can see how your fellow players are getting on and if you can figure out their word, you can ensure they don’t go to a city that doesn’t have those letters within its name. If neither city is helpful to you in terms or your own word or it’s too helpful for someone elses, you have a collection of power ups you can use, including a destination override which can swing the vote in your favour. Safe to say it gets rather dramatic. Far more than we were ever expecting it to.

If you’ve ever sat down and watched Countdown and thought ‘huh, I could smash anyone at this’ then Wordhunters is probably something you’re going to want to pick up. We had a great time racking our brains trying to think of words that we absolutely know are there but just can’t see immediately. Playing the game at home will obviously be a more optimum location rather than an enormous hall, your concentration may just improve in a more relaxed environment, just try not to break your phone. Because you might. And because I won*.

Wordhunters grabbed our attention far more than we expected. Thanks to the enthusiastic Simon Smith and his passion for the game, he made us feel at ease with the mechanics and it was simple enough to get our head around what it’s all about. Having had a blast at all the PlayLink games thus far we think this may just be one of my favourites but that could just be me being a word geek.

Wordhunters is available on November 14th, exclusively on PS4. If you pre-order now you can take advantage of a decent PS Plus discount.

*I did win. I DID. Nobody can take it from me. I bloody won. Damn you, Greg.

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