It’s been a while since I checked out a POWGI game, and Lightwood Games has released well over a dozen since they started in 2016. They continue to show a diverse world of word puzzles, making them accessible to gamers on multiple platforms. The newest one, Gaps by POWGI, continues that trend as it brings a new puzzle type to consoles.
Gaps by POWGI tasks players with filling in gaps for multiple words using letters that form their own word. The goal is to find the main word, which can be five to eight letters long. For each letter of the main word, there will be a numbered word with a missing letter. Finding the correct missing letter will help create the main word, and once all correct letters are placed, the puzzle will be solved. There’s 150 puzzles total, giving plenty of head-scratchers along the way.
The game isn’t as easy as it might seem on the surface. While some puzzles can be solved within seconds, some will take minutes to figure out due to the variety of words with gaps. The missing letter often can have multiple options to create a word, but only one letter will be correct. For example, “VI_AL” can be “VITAL” or “VIRAL,” so it takes figuring out the other words and seeing the letters in the context of the main word to know what ends up being correct. Sometimes, the vocabulary can get pretty obscure too, as there were multiple moments where there were words I’d just never seen before.
Even when things get tough, Gaps by POWGI does still offer accessibility. If you’re stuck on a word, or unable to figure out which numbered word is incorrect, you can press the shoulder buttons to fix mistakes. If some of your words are incorrect, this will automatically point them out. This makes it easy to identify the issues, and allows you to focus on the problem areas. Using this tool while figuring out your main word will definitely make it so no puzzle is unsolvable. While there is no penalty for fixing your mistakes, it does still feel more satisfying when you figure out all the gaps yourself.
When you solve a puzzle, you’ll get a nice little pun with the main word, adding some charm to the title. Sometimes they’re little cheesy, but some will even reference pop culture. If you’re playing on PlayStation or Xbox, there’s even an achievement for spelling a certain five letter word. Speaking of achievements, like most POWGI games, the achievements and trophies are pretty easy to obtain. The requirements aren’t very strict, so it’s an easy 1,000 gamer score or Platinum trophy.
Getting to the presentation of Gaps by POWGI, the game is pretty simple. Visuals are the standard POWGI UI, but there are some things to note. Older POWGI games only used one song for all the puzzles, but Gaps provides multiple songs. It’s a nice change of pace to make the game less monotonous. The puns and jokes are also a nice touch. The only complaint I really had was the buttons for fixing mistakes. It never felt responsive when pressing both shoulder buttons, resulting in me pressing them multiple times. It might’ve been better to assign the fix mistakes buttons to something else, or maybe offer a single button option.
While Gaps by POWGI isn’t going to be a mind-blowing experience, it’s still pretty fun. I had moments of both satisfaction and frustration while solving puzzles here. Pricing is pretty standard for the developer, putting it at $8. It might be a little expensive for 150 puzzles, but if you’re a true puzzle connoisseur, it may be worthwhile. As long as you know what you’re getting into, you’ll likely enjoy this.
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