Word Forward review for Nintendo Switch, PC

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: Thalamus Digital
Developer: Thalamus Digital
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Word Forward is hard.

As someone who has been addicted to word games pretty much my entire life, that?s not a statement I make lightly, nor is it one that I?m eager to make ? after all, what good is a lifetime of Scrabble and other word games if you admit a game bests you? But the more I play Word Forward, the more that becomes my unavoidable conclusion.

Of course, a big part of why I find it so hard is because Word Forward isn?t really a word game, so much as it?s a strategy game that just happens to feature letters and words.

I?m not just splitting hairs here, either. Typically word games reward big vocabularies and chaining together as many letters as possible to rack up points. If you do that in Word Forward, you?ll fail miserably.

Rather, the goal here is to clear 5×5 grids, connecting letters that touch each other. While that may sound sort of like Boggle, you quickly discover that creating long words really just hurts you ? you may clear out a huge chunk of letters, but then you?re left with some random letter sitting all by its lonesome. There are a few extra tools in each puzzle ? a letter swapper here, a bomb there ? that help you out a little, but the other think you quickly discover are that those are precious, and running through them too quickly doesn?t necessarily help you.

In other words (pun not intended), Word Forward is kind of lousy if you?re in the mood for a straight-up word game, but probably amazing if it?s a challenging puzzle game you?re after. It?s built around a concept that?s really easy to grasp but ridiculously hard to master, and if you want something you can sink dozens of hours into (or even just a couple of minutes at a time, many, many times), this is what you?re looking for.

Thalamus Digital provided us with a Word Forward Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B