It seems you can’t have enough word games and Beejumbled, from 2K and Cat Daddy Games, is hoping to become your new favourite. The game is a free download for Android and iOS devices. We’ve been spending some time with the iOS version to see if it’s any good.
Upon loading up the game the first thing you notice is the gorgeous presentation which is far nicer than most other word games. You’re also treated to some catchy music that’s going to stay in your head after you’ve finished playing. Your first job is to pick your starter bee from a choice of Buzzy (male) and Beetrice (female). The bees are very cartoon-like with big bright eyes and smiling faces.
Your current bee of choice hovers around the main menu with an infectious smile putting you in a good mood before you play the game. Before hitting play we noticed hints at dreaded microtransactions with a shopping cart and plus sign that both take you to the in-game store. Here you can buy beehives which you can turn into honey and one hive gives you 100 honey. These start at £1.49 for 20 hives up to £34.99 for 650 hives.
The actual game presents you with a grid of hexagonal tiles. Like in Scrabble each tile features a letter and a corresponding points value for using it. Your aim is to find words within the grid and then drag your finger over the letters to spell out the word. After spelling a word correctly the points of the letters used are added to your score. Words can made in any direction as long as you use adjacent tiles and only spell a word once.
When you start a game there are three different modes to choose from which are solo, tournament and multiplayer. Choosing solo presents you with a choice of time trial or challenge modes. In time trial your aim is to score as many points as possible before your time runs out. Challenge mode is a points race against one of the bee characters where you take it in turns to score.
Tournament mode pits you against a selection of opponents in a ranked match. How you do can affect your player rating. The multiplayer is one against one and you can play random people or a Facebook or GameCenter friend. The multiplayer is asynchronous so you must take turns to see who wins. You can be waiting quite a while for someone to complete their go so there isn’t any kind of instant satisfaction to be had.
In what seems an unusual move honey is needed buy helpers which are a requirement to start a game. The game starts you with 300 honey and more is added for free each day or awarded through play. If you don’t have enough honey to buy a helper then you must buy more honey or wait for it to refill as without buying at least one helper you can’t play.
Helpers start at 25 honey for the most basic and go up to 125 honey for the most useful. These include helpers that increase your time and boost your score. You must choose at least one helper per game up to a maximum of three. The top three helpers would set you back 275 honey so it’s possible to spend all of your 300 in just two games.
As well as choosing a helper you also need to pick a bee from those you have unlocked or spend beehives or honey to unlock them faster. As you progress in the game there are over 25 more bees to unlock each with their own special abilities to boost your points during play. These include Muscles a strongman bee who gives you +1 for words ending in S, Homer the baseball bee who gives +25 points for baseball related words and Lazer Beez who adds +25 points to sci-fi words.
After a round you get to see your final score and some stats. The stats show you how many points you scored out of the maximum available and also how many words you found. It’s quite amazing how many are hidden in a single grid and we would often only manage around 15%. You are also shown all the words that were available and which you found. This is particularly useful for spotting smaller words that you’ve never heard of for future attempts.
Beejumbled is a well implemented word game that should really shine with its great presentation. Sadly the honey mechanic just seems to really spoil the fun. We’d happy spend a few quid on a version without the honey but aren’t prepared to constantly spend cash on the game. We think this will be the case for the majority of players too which sadly may hurt the game.
Beejumbled is available to download now for free from the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon AppStore. For more information, please visit the 2K Games Facebook page.