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    jp's WordJong (DS)

    [June 23, 2021 05:04:16 PM]
    I've now played each of the game's three "modes".

    (a) "Campaign" (Temple Challenge)
    Only new thing here is that I realized you could leave to the main menu and that it saves your progress. I forget which bronze animal I levelled all the way up to, but hey...I'm guessing it goes all the way to gold? I don't understand the point of the fortune cookie fortunes - other than flavor - but you get points. Is it just a random choice? Do you always get the same number of points?

    (b) "Daily Challenge"
    I did a few more of these (just to unlock the "did 7" trophy).

    (c) Battle Mode
    Here you compete against cartoon animals to get coins - and unlocking each succesive animal (proxy for difficulty level) requires having a certain number of coins. It's an interesting mode because you have to play differently from the other two. In this mode both players share the same layout but take turns - so, you make a word and then your opponent has to "make do" with whatever is left on the board (including whatever tiles you revealed from the word you played). You can pass - which forces your opponent to trash a tile on the board and then they can play. The other difference from the other modes is that when you pick a tile, you do not see what's beneath it (it just shows a blank tile), so you can't change your mind and make a new word mid-word as it where. When you battle you also just get the plain score (1pt per tile + 1 pt per red mark on a tile, if any) - so, there's a real incentive to use the higher scoring tiles (the ones with 1,2, or 3 bonus pts) to deny your opponent the chance to use them! In the regular mode there's an incentive to play longer words because you can reach bonus points at certain lengths... The Battle mode is played in two rounds (two "mahjong juzzles") and whoever has the most points (combined) wins - however, if you ever have a lead of 30 pts over your opponent you win immediately.

    As I mentioned before, the game also has "trophies" - which got me thinking, wow -I'd forgotten that trophies were just coming on-board (Xbox 360 first implemented them?) so it's not surprising to see them in a DS game (emulating good features from other games), though of course they don't have the META aspect that trophies (IMO) should have in order to be most meaningful for players. It's not that they don't work - as motivators for players to continue playing and such, it's just that they're only contained in the game (though it does have a pretty robust multiplayer mode with lots of different options, at least as far as I can tell from the manual and menus, I couldn't try it out directly because the Nintendo servers are no longer working)

    Anways, really impressed with this game!
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    [June 22, 2021 06:41:33 PM]
    The name explains the game, really. It's MahJong BUT the tiles have letters and to remove them you need to spell words. Longer is better (for more points) and there are special tiles that give you bonus score and stuff like that. It's a twist on a formula that works quite well, IMO. The game is definitely tricky because you need to spell words - and the letters that remain also need to spell words, so there's some strategizing. There's also some surprise because as soon as you select a letter/tile, it may unlock another tile which then becomes available to spell a word. I've been able to "improvise" a word different than the one I originally intended just because of this. As in regular Mahjong you need to clear all the tiles - which is a bit anti-climatic here, because it means you need to make a word (probably a short one) with the last few tiles. I've only been succesful because my strategy has been to leave the special (bomb or wild) for the end JUST to help me make a word from the remainder tiles. If you can't make a word with the remainder tiles, you have to undo your previous word and...hopefully...come up with a different one that leaves a different assortment for the end. Theoretically this can continue recursively undoing all the words back until the first - but fortunately this has not happened to me yet... we'll see!

    There are two modes - one is a daily challenge. I'm super impressed that there are actually puzzles for the current date! I think this game was released in 2007? (I wonder if there are 365 puzzles and they just cycle every year? Hmmm..). Anyways, I've played a few of those and it's been fun.

    Currently I'm playing what might be described as "the campaign" - I clear levels, get points that level me up, in between levels I choose a random fortune cookie (to get a fortune), and so on. I'm not sure when/how this ends since so far I've never "failed". But, the game doesn't really have a fail state in the general sense. So, I'll just keep going until I get bored?
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    jp's WordJong (DS)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Something better came along

    GameLog started on: Monday 21 June, 2021

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 23 June, 2021

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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