Sawbuck Gamer

Writer Rumble

Let’s Get Ready To Jumble

Writer Rumble delivers a Scrabble-style smackdown

By Adam Volk • January 4, 2013

If you’ve ever wanted to see Jane Austen deliver a literary fireball of death to Edgar Allan Poe, look no further than Writer Rumble, a game which blends word-based puzzle solving with Street Fighter-style fisticuffs.

You take control of one of six bookish bad asses: Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Agatha Christie, The Brothers Grimm, Jane Austen, and Homer. You’re then thrown into a brutal literary arena where you must defeat your opponents by creating as many words as possible from an assortment of jumbled letters. The longer the word, the more damage it inflicts, and the authors also possess their own unique attacks, which range from scrambling an opponent’s letters further to increasing a word’s overall damage.

While the vocabulary violence works best when facing human opponents online, a survival mode also allows you to word-smite waves of increasingly difficult monsters. The action is fast, furious, and fun, with the game rewarding players who favor longer and more supercalifragilistic words.

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  • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

    If anyone wants to watch the game in action, there’s a video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w09bMK-EWgE

  • http://twitter.com/Full_Of_Chit Eric L.

    I found this game horribly lacking to be honest. For starters, it’s much more Boggle-like than Scrabble like; you’re finding letters in a grid, not placing them crossword-style to score points. 

    Secondly, the action occurring on the top of the screen (the part of the game that acts as the draw to anyone purchasing it) is rarely seen during play, because, in order to play effectively, your attention has to be focused on the lower part of the board. 

    Even the special powers of the game seem derivative and unoriginal. 

  • HobbesMkii

    It looks like Braid had a child with Street Fighter and then that child became grown and got knocked up by Bookworm, and this is the resulting child.

    • Boonehams

      I was going to say the bastard child of Puzzle Fighter and Boggle, but yours works too.

  • Captain Internet

    They could have been a bit more adventurous with the choice of writers- they all seem a little Internet-friendly. It’d be much better if you could set up a battle between Michel Houellebecq and E.L. James.

    Also, Feel Every Yummy is a terrible name for a company. 

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

      Also, throughout all of human history, apparently all writers have been white folks. At least they deigned to include two (elegant Victorian) ladies in the mix.

      • Captain Internet

        I don’t think either were Victorian, though I’d need to check the dates. Thematically at least, Austen is pre-industrial revolution and Christie is mostly associated with the 1920s.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

          You’re right. Austen was earlier than I recollected, and Christie later. Their degrees of elegance may also be subject to review.

          Still, it wouldn’t have killed him to stick Zora Neale Hurston or something in there.

        • Pandas_please

           I was never a fan of Hurston, Toni Morrison perhaps?

    • His_Space_Holiness

      They probably just picked writers who are easy to caricature. Everyone can summon up a somewhat accurate mental image of Poe or Homer, but who the hell knows what Houellebecq or (to steal Girard’s counterexample) Zora Neale Hurston looks like?

      • Captain Internet

        Michel Houellebecq looks like a French sexual nihilist. If that’s not easy to caricature I don’t know what is.

      • Pandas_please

        My first thought after reading this was “I wonder how they chose the authors they included?” I think you’ve answered that though. I’m only surprised there’s no Mark Twain.

  • Boonehams

    I hear that they’re considering Harper Lee for DLC.  After she wins once, she disappears from the roster and is no longer a selectable character.

  • http://twitter.com/RyanSmithWriter Ryan Smith

    Is there any doubt that Hemingway should WTFpwn everyone?!

    • Jackbert322

      Winning requires long words and lots of them, so Hemingway would get his ass kicked.

    • http://wpham.com/ wpham

      David Foster Wallace as the secret boss.