From the PopCap Vault: Bookworm Adventures 2!

Once again, we’d like to take a moment to celebrate a PopCap classic. This time, we’re highlighting the third installment in the beloved Bookworm series: Bookworm Adventures 2!

(Why 2? Why not the original Bookworm Adventures, or for that matter, the original Bookworm? Good questions, the answer to which can be summed up as, because I felt like it.)

In the original Bookworm, the player is restricted to forming words using only adjacent tiles, and those tiles must be in the exact order to form valid words. That’s a challenge and a half, and for me, it is a little too frustrating. I have spoken with PopCap players over the years who are so good at Bookworm that they’ve been playing the same round for months at a time without ever losing! There’s some kind of skill there I do not possess, and I am in awe.

But not envious awe, because I have Bookworm Adventures! In these delightful combat-based sequels, you are free to use any letters in any order, with no regard for their place on the grid. It frees you up to play any words you can find, which is hugely satisfying. Also, the game gives you incentives to look for certain types of words along the way by increasing their worth. It even lets you choose which incentives best suit your style of wordsmithing! For example, if you are carrying Mac’s Almanac with you into battle, you get bonuses for spelling adjectives!

I was on my way to making BRAWL when Mac's Almanac informed me BRAW was a word! I then looked it up, because if I used it without learning anything, I'd feel like a cheater. Turns out BRAW is like splendid, in the context of how someone has appointed themselves. I love new words!

Fittingly, Bookworm Adventures also gave our buddy Lex a story line and a series of enemies to battle.

How does Lex battle? By spelling awesome words, of course!

In the first installment, he fought creatures of ancient myth. In volume 2, he took on the even scarier denizens of fairy tales! (You think I’m reversing the fear factor there? At least mythological beasts lived in our world and were largely subject to the same physical laws! Fairy tale creatures abide by no laws of nature or man.)

The fairy tale theme allows for all kinds of fun! This game is full of detail that really adds to the replayability. It’s easy to get in the zone and just keep spelling words and defeating foes, but along the way, you notice there’s all sorts of text under the monsters. And once you start reading it, you know you have to go back and play from the beginning again sometime, just to read it all!

Check out the nursery rhyme under the cow, and you'll see what I mean.

The fairy tales and nursery rhymes theme does have its downside…you’re battling some pretty adorable creatures at times, and it can be a little bit upsetting to see them beaten. The sheep turns into a plate of mutton, for instance, and there’s that weird part of you that isn’t even a vegetarian but still thinks, Oh no!

And then you reach the Old MacDonald Boss Battle, and seeing him with his cleaver makes you think it was a bit of mercy to merely spell the sheep into submission. This game has some harsh themes!

Bookworm Adventures 2 also adds a super-smart new tile: the Rainbow tile. What makes it so smart? It’s a wild that auto-selects the proper letter! When you use it, there’s no need to tell it what letter you need; it reads the other letters you’ve chosen around it and determines what word you’re trying to form! It’s like magic, and it turns into a little meta-game within the game.

If you’ve got a PC and a love of words (or a desire to learn more words, because word games are a great tool for that!), you can find Bookworm Adventures 2 on Origin. Or go back to the start of the story with Bookworm Adventures!

Not cowed by the adjacent tile restriction? You’re braver than I! Check out Bookworm on PC, Mac, Nintendo DS, or iOS.

And don’t forget the word-walloping joy of Bookworm Heroes on iOS!

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