Windows Phone Game Review: Word Sleuth

Word Sleuth is a Find-a-Word type puzzle game for your Windows Phone that dares you to find the 25,000+ words that are spread across 35 word categories. Word Sleuth adds a decent amount of customizations to give a very simple word puzzle a little pop.

You'll find Scoreloop integration for your leaderboards, customizable backgrounds, three difficulty levels, and four game modes to keep things interesting. If you like find-a-word type word puzzles, Word Sleuth is worth a try.

Word Sleuth's main menu has options to play the game, access the game's settings, view the How-to Play screens, view the Scoreloop leaderboards, and rate/review the game. Gaming options cover sound and music levels, input sensitivity, vibration and gameplay customizations.

Gameplay customization covers choosing your background image and puzzle layout (colors and opacity levels of various elements). You have seven themed backgrounds (city, cows, snow, forest, etc.)and a handful of solid color options.

With Word Sleuth you have four game modes, Classic, Deadline, Detective, and Super Sleuth.

  • Classic Mode is your typical hidden word puzzle where you are given a list of hidden words to find.
  • The Deadline Mode gives you a deadline to find a set number of words. For example you have to find seven words from the Bird Category in 2:50.
  • Detective Mode bumps up the challenge meter just a tad by giving you a list of partial words that you have to a) figure out what letters are missing and b) find them hidden in the puzzle. For example, your list could look like this... T?ck, E?g?r, Ra?ch?t, etc.
  • Super Sleuth Mode combines Deadline and Detective Modes. You have a deadline to find a set number of words from the list but the words on the list are incomplete.

Each game mode has a number of variables that you can set that include Difficulty (not available for Classic Mode), Random or Set Categories, Puzzle Size and Word Count.

Game play with Word Sleuth was really the only shortcoming I could find with the game and takes a little time to get used to. The game board has a circle that you move around by sliding your finger on the screen. When you get it over the first letter of the word you are identifying, you tap the screen. From there you slide the circle to expand the oval that will surround your word. Once you get the complete word within the oval, you tap the screen to capture the word.

It's not too difficult but I couldn't help but think just tapping the first letter and then dragging your finger along the remaining letters would have been easier.

While the game controls may take a little time to get the hang of, Word Sleuth is a challenging, fun, time waster of a game. With 35 word categories with more than 25,000 words and the four game modes Word Sleuth won't get stale too quickly. I found Word Sleuth to be a nice addition to your word puzzle gaming library.

Word Sleuth is a free, ad supported game that you can find here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.