It's like Scrabble and mahjong at the same time!
WordJong, as its names implies, is a spelling-based twist on the popular Chinese puzzle game Mahjong. It has been a popular online game for some time and can still be played at its official website, WordJong.com. The DS game features several new game modes that are not available in the online version.
WordJong is very simple to play. Several scrabble-like letters are stacked in different designs on the screen. The player must spell dictionary words using only pieces that are currently open. Open pieces are those that aren't covered by any other pieces. Therefore you have to work the stacks down, revealing more playable letters as you go. The ultimate goal is to clear every piece off the board while maximizing your score with long words. This basic concept is spread over three different single player modes.
- Daily Puzzle - This mode presents a new puzzle to the player every calendar day. These puzzles have two goals. First, players will try to just complete the puzzle successfully. Secondly, a score challenge will be tied to each puzzle to add another layer.
- Temple Challenge - This mode is most similar to that found in the online version of the game. Players work to clear one board after another. Moves can be undone whenever needed. Wild Cards are earned for longer words. Games in this mode can go on for significant amounts of time and can be saved at any point.
- Battle - This mode is a single-player simulation of the multiplayer battle mode. Players can choose animal characters to play against. Each character's AI is slightly different and explained in a brief paragraph before the battle. Battles are simply carried out by alternating spelling of words and going for a high score. Clearing the board is no longer a goal, as no bonus points are awarded for doing so. It is all about creating the longest words possible using the toughest letters.
The multiplayer modes are all variations of the battle mode. The game supports single-card and multi-card download play. There are only slight differences between the two. In multi-card mode, players' current ratings are shown and game options can be adjusted. Single-card mode just pits two players against each other with standard settings. WordJong also supports the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, allowing players to take their battles online against others. The online mode features two types of games: against anyone and against friends. When battling friends, game settings can be changed, like in multi-card local play. Battles against anyone use the default settings, like single-card local play.
WordJong is scheduled to ship in North America in early November at a suggested retail price of $19.99.