EA is notoriously good at creating digital remakes of classic board games for the iPhone. Some of our favorites include Scrabble, Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition, and Clue. Up until this point, each brought new life to the franchise. This is not the case with this uninspired Boggle remake.
You have likely played one of the many Boggle clones that have been available on the App Store since its early days. You are given a set amount of time to create as many words as possible by linking together consecutive letters. It’s the formula for practically every generic word game out there. Boggle is no exception, although it did help form the genre. This remake just doesn’t do enough to make it feel fresh again.
Can you use that in a sentence?
There are three gameplay modes: classic, advanced, and self-score. The first gives you three minutes to find as many words as possible. Advanced builds on this with options for time (one to ten minutes) and two gameplay twists: portal cubes, which swap the first and last letters of every word you make, and a panic flip that reshuffles the cubes for the last 20 seconds of the round. Self-score mode didn’t seem to work very well, as it didn’t process any of our controls.
Uninspired graphics do little to help the rather bland gameplay. The low-resolution cubes are very rough on the eyes, and the overhead view of the gameboard’s simple UI looks like it could have been from any game.
There are some touches that make Boggle feel authentic, though. Shaking your device to shuffle the letters is a lot of fun. The word selection mechanic of dragging your finger over the blocks works fluidly.
Boggle was originally a multiplayer game, which makes this omission in this digital iteration a major oversight. Other than email challenges, there is no way to compete against your friends, even through local WiFi or Bluetooth. We would have also liked a way to show our achievements online, but alas, there is nothing.
Seek and find.
One thing this game really has going for it is its robust dictionary. Gone are the days of fighting with your friends over which words are real or not (although we don’t know who you’d be fighting with, since it’s all single-player anyways). We couldn’t find any words missing in our time with the game, which we understand is very important for word game enthusiasts.
While it’s not a bad game, Boggle is too simple to differentiate itself from the competition of superior clones. The lack of multiplayer is detrimental to the game, and we recommend waiting until it’s added to pick this game up.