Wednesday, August 05, 2009
How PopCap blew a sale of Bookworm Adventures 2
Bookworm Adventures 2 sounded right up my alley. You spell words in order to attack monsters. That's what my dreams are like every night. How could this game fail?
I decided to give the demo a spin. PopCap promised 60 minutes of gameplay, which, coincidentally, is exactly the same model that hooked me on Fairway Solitaire about a year and a half ago. I started playing, and Bookworm Adventures seemed to be delivering. With each lovingly crafted word, my little worm transformed into hammers, wrecking balls, and other instruments of death, as he lay waste to one folkloric foe after another. Even better, the killing blow sometimes came in the form of hilariously inappropriate words, like "taint." Truly, this was a game for me.
Suddenly, and without warning, I was kicked out to the desktop. I'd been enjoying myself, but I didn't think I'd gone the full hour yet. By my estimation, looking at my computer's clock, it was more like 32 minutes. Even according to the game's own count, I was correct. It's right there in the screen capture atop this post: "Trial Version -- 28 minutes Left."
Somehow, right beneath that, it also says "Game trial expired!" That's just not true. I can't imagine why it would give me contradictory information, for one thing, or why it would flat-out lie about the length of time I'd spent with the demo. All I know is that I've tried to launch it again, and it tells me I've got to pay to play.
Bookworm Adventures 2 is only $19.95. This is not a lot to spend in order to bash in the Big Bad Wolf's brains with my taint hammer. I'd estimate that, had the demo run the full 60 minutes, the odds of my purchasing the full game were running around 90%. But because PopCap couldn't even deliver the demo they'd promised, I lost faith in a full-length game justifying any purchase price. The whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth.
So that's why I'm not buying Bookworm Adventures 2, and why PopCap is out my twenty bucks. I'm sure they will be crying themselves to sleep about this, on top of a pile of money.