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Rate: 85% /100 Price: $699   Buy Merriam Webster's Spell-Jam for Windows   Download demo Merriam Webster's Spell-Jam

Reviewed by Yuri Storchak

Genre and what to do:
   Word game. Do you remember a televised National Spelling Bee for middle-school children?Merriam Webster's Spell-Jam offers you to take part in popular TV show in comfort of your home! You begin with selecting a character from a roster of various boys and girls, and then choosing what mode to participate in. You can simply test your vocabulary in Practice mode, compete against friends for bragging rights in Competition mode, or lay it all on the line for virtual cash in sudden-death Game Show mode. Although all the modes are fun in their own way, Game Show is the meat and potatoes of Spell-Jam. The goal here is to earn money by spelling words as quickly as you can. You'll earn power-ups such as Pass (skip to the next work), Consonants and Vowels (show all the consonants or vowels in a word, respectively), and Word Choice (show four possible spellings of the word, three of which are incorrect). Competition Mode lets up to six players go head-to-head. You could challenge five friends or family members, or even take on five computer-controlled opponents if that's your thing. Practice mode, as the name implies, is a basic quick-fix mode where you spell a series of words. You can get words wrong without penalty in Practice mode, so it's a nice low-stress environment.

Style and atmosphere inside the game:
   Merriam Webster's Spell-Jam is an exciting game with great educational value. It features colorful detailed graphics, diverse sound effects and cheerful electronic music. Your character stands at a podium, while the male and female announcers take turns reading out the next word to spell. After a word is spoken, you can enter your guess by either using the mouse to click on the appropriate letters or simply by typing the word with your computer keyboard - as you do, your character will recite the letters one at a time just like in real life. If you're not confident about typing the word right away, you can get some clarification by asking the announcer to repeat the word, use the word in a sentence, give the definition of the word, or give the word's origin. Although there are three difficulty levels in each mode, even the easiest one assumes players have more than a basic grasp of spelling already. In other words, Spell-Jam is suitable for teenagers and up, but younger children will likely find it too difficult. On the other hand, the game is based on an American dictionary, so Brits, Canadians and others might sometimes find themselves getting tripped up by alternate spellings. The voices of announcers are clear and well done that helps to learn the correct pronunciation for those, who study English. All in all, Merriam Webster's Spell-Jam is the exciting game that brings tons of fun and helps to increase vocabulary and improve spelling skills.

Offline gameplay: 1-6 players
Multiplayer: No
Publisher: TikGames
ESRB Ratio: Everyone

Extras and features:
Colorful Detailed Graphics
Three Game Modes: Practice, Competition and Game Show
Numerous Unique Power-ups
Improve Spelling Skills Merrily!
It is difficult to understand announcers sometimes

Requirements: OS: Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Me, Windows Vista Memory: 128 MB DirectX: 8.1 or later Sound: Sound Card Required CPU: P3 800

Alternative names: Meriam Webster's Spell-Jam, MerriamWebster'sSpell-Jam, Merriam Webster's SpellJam, Merriam Webster's Spel Jam

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