Word Search Round-Up - February 2022

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In this monthly round-up, I'll be outlining any changes that have happened to the minigame, some feedback on how the month went, my favourite themes and any comments on the month. And we'll finish with the Community's Choice for a theme for the next month!

Note that for this blog I'll skip over the feedback and favourites part, since much of this was done in the previous blog released a few days ago.

Summary of Changes

Following last blog's productive discussions (see here: Word Search Feedback Blog), a few changes have happened to word search, which I hope you will enjoy.

Theme Changes

We have changed some themes based on your feedback, you can now see the new schedule below:

DayOld ThemeNew Theme
MondayEasy Monday
TuesdayCountries TuesdayGeography Tuesday
WednesdayWordy Wednesday
ThursdayCapitals ThursdayHistory Thursday
FridayFresh Friday
SaturdayHidden Saturday
SundayCryptic Sunday

The reasons for these changes were simple, having such restrictive categories for Tuesday and Thursday meant that it became repetitive over time, especially since Countries is already incorporated into Saturday's grid. Therefore, we combined Tuesday and Thursday into Geography Tuesday, whilst allowing for greater variance, including U.S. States, Subdivisions, Rivers, Mountains, Lakes etc...

History Thursday came about because History is a very popular quiz topic on JetPunk, and it's not something that was currently represented in the Word Search.

The other benefit, is that Friday theme's now don't have to use anything geographical or historical, giving more flexibility and variance over the week, hopefully making everything more enjoyable for you :)

Challenge Mode

Another change suggested in the previous blog was the addition of a "hide list" button, that adds extra challenge to your gameplay.

So, you will now have the option to hide / show the word list. An example can be seen below:

A Word Search with the list shown
A Word Search with the list hidden

This option is stored the same way as Dark Mode, and so it is only stored per browser (not per user account). However, the option is remembered, so once you activate it you won't be spoiled on any other day's puzzle!

Some notes on what this doesn't do:

  • It does not change what words are required to find in the grid, sometimes words are added as Red Herrings, especially on Wednesday's, and so these words would still not be valid. So although the list is invisible, the words you're looking for are unchanged.
  • It does not change you score in any way.
  • It does not affect gameplay, you are free to toggle the button on/off as many times as you like during the game, it has no affect on the gameplay itself.

Saturday Starting Letters

Another suggestion was to add starting letters to Saturday's puzzle. The intent was to make Saturday a little easier, without ruining the sanctity of it.

This change will now show the unique starting letters of words in the grid. This change will only appear when Challenge Mode is deactivated, so classics can continue to play the game the "old" way, without the starting letters.

The Saturday letters without challenge mode
The Saturday letters with challenge mode activated

Note that this only shows unique starting letters, and not every instance of them. For example, in the fake puzzle above Myanmar and Moldova are there, but only one M is present in the list. This means you cannot infer the word count from the list, but it may help to discover missing words towards the end.

Also note that the starting letters never get "crossed out" at all, so you'll never know whether you've found all the words for a starting letter.

All-Time Word Search Stats

You can now view your all-time stats here, or by clicking the "friends" icon on the Word Search page. This will show your 30 most recent days in the graph, as well as all your previous scores down below in a table. You can also select one of your JetPunk friends to compare to, so you can make sure your friends are playing along as well!

All-time stats found on the link above

Community's Choice - How It Works

Now comes to the Community's Choice for Word Search. The idea is to allow the community some involvement in the minigames, with the choice of a theme for one word search each month. Here's how it'll work.

At the end of every month, inside the monthly round-up blog I will include a vote for a theme on the next month's word search. Specifically, you will be voting on the theme for the second Friday of each month, in this case that's March 11th. I will present 4 different options, with some ideas for each option, you will be able to vote on these ideas in the comments (by liking the relevant comment) and then after 3 days of the blog being live, I will close voting and announce (in this blog) the winning theme.

Note: Once chosen, the theme cannot be changed, and the other themes are discarded, never to be seen again (for at least 6 months)! So choose wisely! :)

Community's Choice - March 2022

Below are the 4 choices this month. Choices 2 and 3 were suggested by specific members of the community. Please don't spam suggestions to me, I will ask 2 people on JetPunk of my choosing to suggest a theme each month. (Which also means don't ask to be selected - then I will definitely not pick you).

You can vote for these themes by "liking" the relevant comment pinned below.

(1) Board Games

Enjoy a selection of common board games and related words and themes, from the classics of Monopoly, to the necessities like dice.

(2) Chinese Cuisine

Thanks to Iluvbread123 for this suggestion!

A variety of delicacies particular to the Chinese culture, from the staples of Rice to the classics of Wonton soup.

(3) Flying Objects

Thanks to Simon1006 for this suggestion!

From fighter jets to birds, and hot air balloons to rockets, take to the skies with this aerial theme!

(4) NFL Teams

Something sporty to keep you active, with the team names of NFL teams, whether it's the Bengals or the Dolphins!

Voting will close March 2nd at 5pm UTC, when I will announce the winning theme in the comments of this blog.

Voting is now closed, after many votes the winning theme for Friday 11th March is... Flying Objects!

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Level 68
Mar 2, 2022
After 3 days of voting, the winner is:

(3) Flying Objects

Look forward to that on March 11th!

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Level 42
Feb 27, 2022
All these changes are wonderful! Could you explain again for me why we cannot have a timer on Word Search?

Also, ain’t six months too much? What about two months?

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Level 68
Feb 28, 2022
Because many people come back to Word Search throughout the day (especially on harder days), and there's no way to legitimately track the time spent like this.

Also, in 2 months you have only 9 Friday's, there's os much possibility for themes out there, that repeating themes every 9 weeks is way way too frequent. It'll get too repetitive if themes are repeated that soon.

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Level 42
Feb 28, 2022
Oh, alright
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Level 63
Feb 27, 2022
Looking forward to these new features!
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Level 68
Feb 28, 2022
Thanks! They're all live and testable now, although you'll have to wait a few days to test out how Saturday goes :)
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Level 55
Feb 27, 2022
Wow! Apparently I am my own friend when I look at my friend's stats in the WS :) thanks
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Level 68
Feb 28, 2022
Fixed, thanks
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Level 71
Feb 27, 2022
Nice to see these new updates! I definitely think some of these changes are definitely what the JetPunk community wanted, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out :)

As a general guideline, are you okay with us voting/liking for more than one option? Or do you just want us to do one? Obviously there's no way for you to enforce this, but if you prefer that we only choose one, I'll just choose my favorite one. If you're okay with multiple votes though, I'll do both of the ones that interest me!

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Level 68
Feb 28, 2022
You can vote for multiple if you wish, I'd only ask that you don't vote for them all (since that makes your votes useless).

Thanks!

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Level 53
Mar 1, 2022
I'm really happy to see this minigame progress, I've been a huge fan of it for the entirety of its existence. I think that Chinese cuisine would be a very interesting topic for a Fresh Friday.
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Level 68
Mar 1, 2022
Seems like that'll have to wait a while based on the current votes :)

But thanks for the positive feedback!