Saturday, September 28, 2013 09:10:34

Review: SpellTower Is a Slick, Addictive Game For Lovers of Words

SpellTower has been reviewed by both App Junkie and SGDjames, with the former saying:

Slick lexicological puzzler with different game play modes, to include online multi-player. Great user interface and animations.



Now, "lexicological puzzler" sounds kind of scary, but really, if you like Words with Friends or any other game that has to do with finding words, I suspect you'll have fun with Spelltower.

Concept and Gameplay

The core mechanic is simple: You have a grid of letters, and you need to connect those letters to create words. You can connect adjacent letters in any order you wish: Right to left, left to right, diagonally, and top to bottom. As long as you end up with a valid word, you're good to go. You can connect letters by dragging across tiles, or by tapping tiles one by one. The longer the word you'll make, the more points you'll get, of course. But that's not all: The tiles you use to create each word disappear off the board. If you make a word that's five letters long, it will take a whole bunch of tiles off the board (more than five). There are special letters, too: X, Q, Z, J, and so on. If you make a word that uses one of these letters, an entire row would disappear.

Now, ordinarily you may not care so much about the disappearing rows, but these become important in some of the game modes: In Puzzle Mode, with every new word you make, a new row is added to the board. This means you have to keep making words which are long enough to keep the board from filling up -- because as soon as it fills up, it's game over (naturally). Rush Mode is even more hectic, with new lines appearing periodically, based on a timer -- so, not much time to think and come up with words. Pretty stressful.

Thankfully, there's the default Tower Mode, too. This is the most relaxing of all: You just get a board full of tiles, and you have to make words as you go. No new lines appear, and you have as much time as you need to think.

There is also a multiplayer mode for playing with other Android users who are connected to the same Wi-Fi network as you are. Old-school multiplayer: No Google+ login or anything asynchronous about it.

Graphics and Sound


The different game modes.

SpellTower is a beautiful game. Its flat aesthetic and thin, all-caps font lend it a thoroughly modern look-and-feel, and it looks right at home on any new Android device. The game ships with two themes -- a bright one for daytime, and a dark one for night owls.

Thankfully, there's no background music -- developer Zach Gage probably understand that you don't want music breaking your concentration when you're fighting the clock and looking for five-letter words in a jumbled mess of random letters. There are sound effects, though, and they're quite crisp and helpful. When making a word that's valid, the game makes a particular chirp to let you know you're on to something.

A Refreshing Take on Scrabble

If you're sick of playing Words with Friends and other Scrabble-like games, you should really try SpellTower. It's fun, clean-looking, and is everything I'm looking for in a lean, minimalistic game.