Tucked away in a little nook on an Upper West Side cross street is a tiny bakery that offers the most incredible cookies ever made. With no room to sit down, doe-eyed lovers wait for an hour hand in hand just to walk away and share that handmade delectable treat which costs as much as 3 boxes of grocery store cookies. Such is the potential of the humble cookie. Alternatively, while stopping for gas and a coffee, a hungry snack lover could also grab a prepackaged megacorp cookie six-pack, which ultimately tastes like regret, but fills you up with some empty calories.
With word games as ubiquitous as cookies, it makes sense that their quality would fall along a similar spectrum of experience. And while some people are willing to invest in a lovingly crafted treat, others are perfectly happy with their saccharine filler. It’s the latter that has catapulted the spelling game Word Cookies into the top charts, as it has been enjoying some prominence there since it debuted last month.
In each puzzle, Word Cookies offers up a plate of letters, presumably like alphabet cookies, and the goal is to spell predetermined words with those letters. There are target words to spell represented by empty tiles, and you simply use the letters from the cookie pan to form those words. This is the simple premise behind one of the most cynical games I’ve encountered in a long time.
The art style is as basic as possible and utterly forgettable. A pop-up ad appears before even completing the first puzzle — and this alone reveals so much about the intent of the game; it’s like the creators know the game is so unremarkable that they can’t even wait for you to complete your first interaction before monetizing your attention.
The first 35 puzzles are made of 3- and 4-cookie pans, which makes these levels mind-numbingly easy. It’s almost insulting how simple these puzzles are. When you complete all of the words in a level, you’ll receive a nominal reward of a few points, but points don’t have any discernable value and can’t be used for anything.
There are words that reward gold coins which can be used for hints if you get stuck, but you won’t need those for a while. There are no bonuses for speed or great words, and in fact, several basic words were not accepted, such as “his” and “tad.” (And if you’re curious about “tad,” it’s an accepted word in Scrabble, Words With Friends, Hanging With Friends, Letterpress, and Lexulous, along with having a dictionary definition in all of the most notable reference books.)
Once you’ve slogged through these first elementary level words, you’ll reach the aptly named “Vanilla” level which introduces 5-letter pans. This brings some slight difficulty and a little more than superficial thought. An element of surprise could theoretically improve the experience here, but alas, each cookie pan you will use shows up on the main level menu! So aside from how absurdly easy it all is, you know everything you’ll be working with in advance.
Plenty of people seem to be enjoying this game, and it boasts a relatively high review average on app stores. But after experiencing the best of the best spelling games here at Gamezebo, Word Cookies is about as satisfying as a gas station vanilla wafer. If you’re looking for a truly rewarding spelling experience, we’d recommend Alphabear, Highrise Heroes, Spellspire, Alphabetty Saga, or Moldicide long before something like Word Cookies.