Bookworm Adventures

Bookworm Adventures

Infobox VG
title= Bookworm Adventures

caption= Battling a foe in Bookworm Adventures
developer= PopCap Games
publisher= PopCap Games
distributor= Various
designer= Jason Kapalka
series= Bookworm
engine= PopCap Games Framework
version= 1.0 (November 28, 2006)
released= 1.0 (November 28, 2006); Via Steam (January 2, 2007)
genre= Puzzle
modes= Single Player
ratings= ESRB: Everyone 10+ (E10+)
platforms= Windows
media= CD, Online Download
requirements= OS: Win 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista. Memory: 256 MB RAM. DirectX: 7.0. Processor: Pentium II, 700 MHz or faster.
input= Keyboard, Mouse

"Bookworm Adventures" is a follow-up to the word-forming computer puzzle game "Bookworm" from PopCap Games. Released in November 2006, "Bookworm Adventures" combines the "create words from sets of letters" aspect of "Bookworm" with several elements of a computer role-playing game. In the 2007 Interactive Achievement Awards, "Bookworm Adventures" won the "Downloadable Game of the Year". [cite web | title=10th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards | | url= | format=PDF |accessdate=2007-02-09|date = 2007-02-09] The game also won three Zeeby awards for Best Word & Trivia Game of 2006, Best Game Design of 2006 and Best Story/Narrative of 2006. [cite web | title=Zeebys - First Annual Casual Game Awards| publisher =| | url= | accessdate=2007-09-20|date = 2007-02-08]


In contrast to the lower production budgets typical of most "casual games", PopCap Games spent over two and a half years and US$700,000 developing "Bookworm Adventures".cite web | url= | title=No longer a blip on the screen | publisher=The Philadelphia Inquirer| accessdate=2006-12-04] Although the direct sales model used by the company avoids various distribution and retail fees, this still represents one of the most expensive investments in the genre to-date. John Vechey, PopCap's director, indicated that this did seem to be a departure from the previous model, noting that "A couple years ago, the prevailing wisdom was that it took three guys six months and $100,000 to make a casual game. They used to be considered a low art form."


Players guide Lex the worm through a number of stages, battling creatures along the way. Each battle consists of Lex squaring off against a given foe. Both Lex and his adversary have health meters (represented by a number of hearts), which, when depleted, signal defeat. However, unlike more traditional role-playing games where players might injure their opponents with arms or magic, enemies in "Bookworm Adventures" are damaged by forming words.

As in the original, words are formed from a grid of available letters. Unlike the original, the letters used to form the words need not be adjacent to one another. The longer the word which is formed, the more damage is done to opponents. Similarly, words generated using letters which are less common do more damage than those using only common letters. Each turn, players can form a single word, while enemies use one of their available attacks to injure Lex, heal themselves, or otherwise make the battle more difficult. If victorious, Lex automatically recovers all of his health between battles.

After a certain number of battles are won, a "boss" of increased difficulty is encountered. If players defeat the boss, they complete the stage and are rewarded with a treasure item. Items provide special abilities to Lex, such as a reduction in damage inflicted to him, or more damage generated from words containing certain letters. In some cases, rather than receiving a new item, an existing item is upgraded. After the player has accumulated more than three items, he or she must then choose which three items to bring along on later stages / levels.

Game modes and others

There are 3 game modes of the game. The different modes are ADVENTURE, MINI-GAMES, and ARENA. Adventure mode is in a Library icon, there the player solves the mystery of the Great Library. Mini-game mode is in a hut or tent icon, players you can play all mini-games of the game. The player can play this after you defeat Book 2 of the Adventure mode. And last is the Arena mode, there you will battle all of the bosses that Lex encountered (except for the Hydra heads, the Sphinx and the final boss). You can play this after the player defeats Book 3 of the Adventure mode. This is a constant battle. There is a time limit of this mode above the grid, when it is up, the enemy will attack. Tome of knowledge is where the player can find all the monsters and its abilities, and the secrets you unleashed. The player can open this after you defeat Book 1 of the Adventure mode. Clips and Giggles is where you can find the comic clips and themes of Bookworm Adventures. Players can unlock this by defeating the Arena mode.

Tile types

Letter tiles usually appear in the grid as unremarkable, standard tiles containing one or two letters. However, tiles of different types, with either positive or negative attributes, can appear during play. These attributes then impact the game when the tile is used to form a word. Such attributes include:

* Gems - Tiles can turn into colored gems when the player spells longer words. The longer the individual word used, the more powerful the gem tile granted. These gems have various positive effects, such as increasing the damage done by the word, healing Lex, or adding elements to an attack such as poison or flame. The seven available gems are, in order of increasing rarity:
** Amethyst (purple) - Poisons enemy for two turns, adds 15% damage to the word.
** Emerald (green) - Heals Lex for two hearts, adds 20% damage to the word.
** Sapphire (blue) - Freezes enemy for 1 turn, adds 25% damage to the word.
** Garnet (orange) - Weakens the enemy's attack for two turns, adds 30% damage to the word.
** Ruby (red) - Sets enemy on fire for three turns, adds 35% damage to the word.
** Crystal (bright pink) - Purifies Lex and the grid, shields Lex from damage for 1 turn, adds 50% damage to word.
** Diamond (white) - Fully heals Lex, gives one of each potion type, adds 100% damage to word.

* Locked - Locked tiles cannot be used at all to form words for a certain number of turns. These tiles result from the attacks of certain foes.

* Plague - Similar to smashed tiles (see below), plague tiles can be used to form words without adding damage to the word, but additionally have the ability to spread their condition to other tiles if not quickly used. These tiles result from the attacks of certain more powerful enemies.

* Smashed - Smashed tiles can be used to form words, but do not add to the damage of the word. As a result, using these tiles produces less damage than would normally be generated. As with the previous negative tiles, these tiles also result from the attacks of certain foes.


The "scramble" feature from the original title returns in "Bookworm Adventures", allowing players to replace their current grid of letters with an entirely new set. The cost of doing this is forfeiting a turn, so that the enemy gets a "free" attack.


In addition to equipped items, players can also earn consumable potions, which can be used (once each) for an immediate benefit. Using these does not cost the player his or her turn, and hence the enemy does not get a free attack. The potion varieties consist of healing potions, potions which power up the next attack, and potions which cure any negative status conditions and/or negative tiles.

While potions can be acquired gradually by defeating foes, potions can also be awarded for playing separate word-based mini-games between stages. In such mini-games, the player must try and guess a secret word (using a Mastermind-like system), or must try and form as many words as possible from a set of letters. The more skillfully the player plays these mini-games, the greater the reward.


There are about 18 treasures in this game. 6 treasures in each book. The treasures aid Lex in his journey. These treasures have abilities that help Lex in his battles such as using certain letters for additional damage, give gems more damage, spelling certain words for more damage, and makes some resistance such as burn, poison, power down, petrify, stun, smashing and locking of tiles. Some treasures may upgrade for best effects and improved abilities.

Enemy Attacks and Abilities

In the game, you can determine what attacks and abilities the enemy will use, located at the right-bottom portion of the screen. Some attacks can be in twos or threes. Here are some attacks and abilities:

* Common attacks
** Damage- Causes damage to Lex
** Burning- Burns Lex in each turn
** Bleed- Cuts Lex in each turn
** Poison- Poisons lex in each turn
** Power down- Weakens Lex
* "Missing turns" attacks
** Stun- Stuns Lex for 1 turn
** Freeze- Freezes Lex for 1 turn
** Petrify- Petrifies Lex for 2 turns
* Tile attacks
** Smash Tile- Smashes tiles
** Lock Tile- Locks a tile
** Plague Tile- Infects a tile and letting it spread to other tiles
** Gem Steal- Steals any available gem in the grid
** Altering of Tiles- Changes current letters in some tiles or alters tiles
* Helping attacks of enemy
** Heal/Life leech- Occasionally regains enemy's health/steals Lex's health to heal enemy
** Purify- Purifies enemy
** Power up- Boosts enemies next attack
* Abilities
** Bonus Categories- Spelling words in a certain category makes a boosted damage to the enemy
** Immunity- It may be immune to certain elements such as poison or certain words with that number of letters
** Armored- Monster is very resistant to damage


Like most other titles from PopCap Games, "Bookworm Adventures" features an online scaled down version of the full game.

The players may also directly download the "deluxe" game and play it in trial mode. The trial allows users to play up to a certain point in the first storybook. The full (non-trial) version can be purchased for a fee, and enables access to three storybooks as well as various additional mini-game modes.


External links

* [ "Bookworm Adventures"] at PopCap Games
* [ Lex's Big Adventure: How the bookworm busted out] at Gamezebo
* [ Eurogamer review]
* [ Blast Magazine review]
* [ One-Hour Review: "Bookworm Adventures"]

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