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Hasbro Family Game Night: Boggle Review

Developer: Electronic Arts Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: May 27, 2009 Available On: Xbox 360

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Hasbro Family Game Night, which has already provided the Xbox Live Arcade community five digital counterparts to our favorite board games can now include a sixth. That’s right, the frantic word search game Boggle is now available for download for 800 MS points. If you are already excited upon hearing that Boggle is available, then you are probably going to buy this game no matter what this review says. If you are unsure of whether or not this game deserves your hard earned money, well, read on and find out.

The XBLA version of Boggle comes with the standard game as you may expect, but also adds some alternate modes of play in case you ever bore of the classic game. Traditional mode is the one for purists; this is the way the classic game is originally played. Players have 3 minutes to find as many words as possible from the 4×4 grid of letters, scoring more points for larger words and canceling out words from each others’ lists that match. It’s a test of speed and skill to see how many words you can rack up. Even though Traditional mode is the way the game is originally played, I have noticed Original mode sees the most activity online. The only difference between the two is that in Original mode, it is first-come first-serve as whoever gets a word first scores the points. It’s a bit more fast paced as you constantly try to spell the words before your opponents do. Rounding out the Boggle package is Advanced mode, which adds a few unique twists. These twists are Portal Cubes, which switch the position of the first and last letter of the word you just spelled, and Panic Flip, which flips the board over at the 30 second mark giving trailing players a chance to catch up before the round is over.

The presentation is the same as with all the other Hasbro Family Game Night games. You are relegated to a small selection of backgrounds and its accompanying music. Meet certain requirements to unlock different objects to decorate your room with. That’s about it. The Boggle board itself is what you’d expect. You get to shake the cubes before each match, and the letters are big enough to make out words with ease. My only gripe is just the method of inputting words. You use your left thumbstick to move a cursor around the grid and select letters with the A button. There is nothing wrong with it technically, the controls are fine, but it’s definitely not as quick as actually writing the words, which is not such a good thing as you are constantly racing against the clock and your opponents.

Boggle for XBLA is a fun competitive word game that can give you hours of entertainment playing with multiple people, but can also be just as much fun playing solo. If you get tired of the traditional game, you have the option of playing one of the other game modes included. And if you get tired of those, create your own custom game. Play seven 1 minute rounds of word hunt or one 5 minute round of traditional Boggle with a panic flip. The game customization and online play are the real reasons to consider this game, but if spelling makes you allergic, you will do best to take your business elsewhere.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 7.4
Written by Matthew Cales Write a User Review