Perhaps you know too many words and nobody wants to play Scrabble with you. You went online to play, but found the competitive world of Online Scrabble too intimidating with all its smack-talk and its reliance on knowing obscure "q" without "u" words from the Middle East. Eager to assemble random letters into meaningful patterns, you find Text Tiles for the Philips CD-i. After playing it for only a few minutes, you find yourself lonelier than you were before.
The best thing going for this word-spelling game is the delightful pun in its name. Its stark layout and lack of music, however, are anything but delightful. The player is given one letter at a time to be placed on a 12 by 12 block grid and this task quickly grows tedious. A preview of the next letter is given in the upper left hand corner of the screen, but this sneak peak is hardly enough to build a strategy around. To make things slightly more interesting, a player can increase the difficulty, but this just means adding blocks to the grid that cannot be destroyed until a word is spelt.
Understandably, Text Tiles does not allow you to use profane words, but even common words that Scrabble players live by are unavailable. No "zit," "ziti," nor "emu." (Strangely enough the spellchecker on the word processor I am currently using also did not recognize the word "emu" and has so indicated with a little red line underneath it to make me feel like an uneducated boob.) The absence of a few words may not seem like a big deal, but when desperate to make room on a tightly crammed playing board, the emu has a chance to emerge as hero.
The poor emu, slighted not only in text-recognition software, but overshadowed by the Australia's more emblematic animals -- the kangaroo and koala -- even though the flight less bird is just as endemic to the continent. The chthonic connection between Australia and the emu was first recognized by aboriginals who put the bird in a place-of-pride by making it an instrumental figure in their mythic formation of the universe. The ratite bird is also remarkable for its incredible speed and size, a mass which not prevents flight, but also makes for profitable hamburger stock. In recent years as concerns about bovine disease have risen, so too has the marketability of the emu burger. Additionally, its low fat and cholesterol content has also helped turn emu farming into a multi-million dollar industry. The emu, whether as a progenitor of earth or as a lunch meat, deserves to be recognized.
Why devote a whole paragraph in a game review to a bird? Well, honestly, there's just not a lot to be said about this uninspired game.
If you are looking for a word-creating game that involves more strategies and adjustable variables, then purchase the Super Nintendo's Wordtris, a Tetris-styled dropdown spelling game. Though Wordtris is not amazing by any scale, it at least has movement and music. Text Tiles is just plain stale.