Boggle Download (1997 Strategy Game)

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If you have a board game sitting in your closet, Hasbro Interactive is eventually going to translate it for your computer. It may not be tomorrow. It may not be next week, but it will happen. Okay, maybe not every game in your closet, just some of the more popular ones. At any rate, Boggle is the perfect choice for gamers who love word games but hate the time it takes to play a full game of Scrabble.

For those who have never played Boggle, it's a word search game where you try to form as many words as you can within three minutes. The original board game uses a 4 x 4 grid of cubed letters that you "shake" inside a plastic tray. You spell out words horizontally, vertically, or diagonally and write them down on a pad. A second player is doing exactly the same thing and when time is up (measured by sand in an hourglass), you both compare words. A player gets one point for every different word formed, with bonus points depending on length (an eight letter word earns you a whopping eleven points).

Boggle for the computer follows this exact format, complete with a 3D tray, cubed letters, and an hourglass in the background. Selecting letters is as simple as clicking a mouse button; once you've chosen a word, simply move to the right side of the screen and click on the pad. The word will then appear in handwriting as though you were playing at home. Those who are more adept at using the keyboard can elect to type words and press "Enter." The computer also allows you to play a Master version of the classic game, where the grid is expanded to 5 x 5 and words must be at least four letters in length.

Three of the four additional game modes are basically variants of classic Boggle's main theme -- quickly search for words before the timer runs out. Space Boggle is slightly different in that you don't have to worry about linking the letters in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line. The cubes come straight toward the screen and you must come up with at least five words to progress to the next level. The catch is that you only have one minute to do so. This mode is very addictive and complements an already solid package for Boggle fans. Like other games in Hasbro Interactive's line, Boggle CD-ROM won't appeal to everyone, but if you're looking for a simple-to-play game that uses the ol' noggin, you won't be disappointed.

Graphics: Realistic-looking cubes and scribbled handwriting recreate the "playing at home" experience, and Boggle CD-ROM supports English, Spanish, French, German, and Dutch.

Sound: Offers a variety of orchestral music tracks, but no voices.

Enjoyment: The game doesn't push the computer's presentation limits, but the overall package is fun to play, and with games lasting three minutes, you'll want to play again to best previous scores.

Replay Value: With a strong computer opponent and the ability to play over a LAN or the Internet, the game has infinite replay value.


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