Spelling Challenges and More!

Another educational game fails to make the grade.

Posted on December 26, 2007 at 9:24 pm by Tim Higdon

Spelling Challenges is a game for the DS in much the same vein as Brain Age -- just not nearly as memorable or famous. The game is meant to educate kids about spelling and identifying different parts of speech to progress through the game's 100 levels.

The game delivers exactly what it promises. The premise of the game is that you're a contestant in some sort of game show, and the player must successfully identify how to spell words, identify parts of speech, do an odd man out for a selection of words, check for spelling mistakes and determine the correct spelling of a word. The game features a decent amount of variety. Some challenges involve selecting one or more words that are spelled incorrectly or not the same part of speech (for example, the title could be about "Nouns", and you must identify which words listed aren't nouns or which ones are).

The biggest problem with the game is that it's extremely uninteresting to play. Almost every time you play the game, it's the same challenges over and over with a couple new games that are almost identical to previous ones with a few elements changed around. After playing for a while, there's virtually no point to going on. The games provide no incentives to keep playing or really anything to look forward to. A gamer who wants to experience a bit of variety and action will be extremely disappointed with the game. The whole point is to get the highest score, no more.

Another problem with the game is that for many of the guessing levels, where you must spell out a word with a definition provided, extremely vague clues are provided. For example, the hint for the word "World" is "A planet". There are many other instances of this happening, and many times you'll run out of time guessing letters because the definition provided is extremely hard to decipher.

For hardcore gamers, whatever you may define them as, or many casual gamers, this game is virtually worthless. Other than a mediocre time-waster, there's virtually no reason to pick up the game and play. Casual gameplay is the name of the game here, and nothing in the game keeps it interesting or exciting in the least to play.

Final Verdict - 2/10

The DS is full of very casual games, but some games are definitely more memorable than others. Spelling Challenges is a completely unremarkable game, and contains nothing to distinguish itself from many other "quickie" titles for the DS. No matter what kind of gamer you call yourself, there's virtually no reason to buy or even play this game.