Hangman fans, rejoice! Developed by Puzzle On Word Games, Inc. (or more commonly, POWGI), Just a Phrase brings the familiar game to consoles, but with a twist. The twist is that all of the spelling is correct, but there’s a word within the phrase that’s a homophone. This alters the appearance in its correctness and leads to pun-oriented wordplay that POWGI is known for. For example, “mined your own business” as opposed to “mind your own business”. But do puns merit a purchase and the use of your time?
The music in the game is fun and bright. It’s non-stop, marimba action that is very reminiscent of the early Super Mario Bros. days. The phrases are funny puns that will likely make ewe chuckle. Well, maybe knot. Sorry, eye couldn’t help myself, know more of that! Just a Phrase is great for PlayStation trophy hunters because it only takes an hour or two to obtain the Platinum trophy. That’s actually two Platinum trophies if you have a PlayStation 4 and a Vita.
The visual layout is very simple and it never changes. With just two different screens that are static (level select and the in-level screen), what you see right away is what you get. There is no punishment for wrong guesses and no real reward for correct guesses. This means Nintendo Switch owners are left with little motivation with no achievement system.
If you take Just a Phrase for what it is, an easy, budget twist on Hangman, it won’t disappoint you. If you’re looking for a game with depth that’s full with features and variety, it’ll be pretty underwhelming. In the end, it’s a matter of what you’re looking fore.