Puzzle On Word Games, Inc, or POWGI to their friends, and Lightwood Games have been on a tear lately, porting a whole host of their mobile puzzle games to the PlayStation 4. First it was Word Search, then Word Sudoku and now it’s One Word – their latest game that’s been available on mobile devices for years but is finding a new home on PS4 and Vita.
These puzzle games have been finding some success on PlayStation platforms for 2 reasons – 1). Despite the fact that these games are available on a number of platforms you probably own already and for a much lower cost, they’re quite unique for the PS4/Vita. There’s very little competition in terms of word based puzzle games. And 2). They’re a hit with the trophy hunting community because you can unlock the Platinum trophy for them in under an hour. One Word by POWGI is no different. By focusing on the puzzles that unlocked trophies, I was able to Plink! the platinum in just under 50 minutes. If you’re here to discover that fact and have no interest in playing the game without a guide, you can close this review right now safe in the knowledge that with a PowerPyx guide and a few quid, you’ll be the owner of another Platinum very quickly. No judgement here.
Still with me? Okay then. One Word by POWGI is a virtual collection of 120 “One Word” Word search puzzles. These are much like standard word search puzzles but on each grid there is only one instance of the required word, despite the grid being filled with letters that only appear in said word. For example, if you’re looking for the word “Wish”, there will be 1 instance of the letters W, I, S and H in a direct horizontal, vertical or diagonal path in a grid containing a jumble of only the letters W, I, S and H. This makes for quite a brain teasing puzzle as some tried and tested Word Search strategies don’t work here. Looking for double letters? Great idea – except there’s tonnes of them.
Each puzzle is comprised of famous quotes from real and fictional people. The quotes are presented to you with words missing like “My one ______ in ___ is that I am not ______ ____” (that famous Woody Allen line), each blank representing another One Word search grid for you to complete. Once you’ve found the word you’re looking for, you can highlight it by holding down X and dragging a box over the word. This is repeated until you’ve found all the blank words and completed the quote.
Some puzzles need you to find 3 words. Some require you to find up to 9. There’s no real difficulty change here despite some puzzles getting longer. The only real change is the grid size, which increases in size when looking for longer words to accommodate their size. There’s a hint system which means nothing is ever too frustrating but the real fun is trying to complete the puzzles without any help.
Starting each quiz triggers the start of a song. The quality of these tunes varies greatly from “toe tapping song you’d likely hear while on hold to the bank” to “throw your sound system into a fish tank because it’s so damn awful”. The tracks are randomised but thankfully, there’s an option to turn them off. Spotify will be your friend here, to fill the silence presented otherwise.
Elsewhere, I really have to question some of the quotes that have been chosen as puzzles. Star Wars’ Yoda is one character that has been given a quote puzzle, and despite the little green Jedi having some of the most iconic lines in the film series, POWGI went for “Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is”. That’s easily one of the most forgettable things Yoda ever said and yet it was deigned memorable enough to be a puzzle here. That’s true of a number of the 120 quotes taken and used here.
In other puzzles, you’ve given virtually nothing to work with. The Charlotte Bronte puzzle, for example, is “A _______ ____ _____ a ________ ______”. Now, Bronte said and wrote a lot of memorable stuff. How exactly you’re supposed to identify which quote that is based on just that line of blanks? Instead you’re tasked with using the letters presented to you (D, U, F, L, E & R for the first blank, for example) to anagram your way to an answer (RUFFLED, by the way). It seems needlessly obtuse and makes the game a little less fun.
What’s a tad egregious about One Word by POWGI is the price. I won’t pretend to know how you, the reader, find the value of this game but for me, at a release price of £6.49, it’s expensive for what it is. Especially when you consider the mobile app for the same game costs a sixth of that (and is free on certain devices). What’s more, because the grids are static (the words will be in the same places each time you open a puzzle), this means there’s limited value in replaying any puzzles.
As a port of a mobile game, Lightwood Games have done a good job of bringing their One Word by POWGI game to PS4. It works flawlessly on consoles. For those desperate to play word puzzles on their PS4, this (and POWGI’s other titles) are the only real options. The “written for a lift” music, forgettable nature of some of the quotes and unnecessarily obtuse nature in how they’re often presented however means there’s plenty of other, better, cheaper competition out there – just not on the PS4. Still, an easy Platinum trophy will make the hunters’ dreams come true.
One Word by POWGI is available now on PS4 (review version), PSVita, Android & iOS devices and as part of the Word Puzzles by POWGI on the Nintendo Switch.
Developer: Lightwood Games
Publisher: Lightwood Games
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we purchased a copy of the game. Please see our review policy for more information.