Letter Quest brands itself as a RPG game mixed with Scrabble, but will you be leveling up your vocabulary or spelling out forgettable.
Grim and Rose are two reapers who set out to rid the world of all manner of ghouls and monsters, straight away your thrown in at the deep end as you have a 3×4 grid of 12 letters and have to spell out a word, with hangman style challenges thrown in for good measure.
Once you’ve selected your word, the Scrabble style points accumulated will deal damage to your foe, and soon enough you’ll stroll on towards the next enemy, each turn let’s you create a single word from the selection available, and when your turn ends, the enemy takes a swipe back until you’ve downed your opponent.
Progressing through, you’ll find a range of cartoon styled ghouls, with a variety of locations to explore, with over 70 challenges spread across 40 stages which doesn’t feel like a long journey when you first start of, but soon spreads out.
The initial stages will pass quite quickly and even relying on smaller 3, 4 and 5 letter words, you’ll be finding yourself without too much of a challenge. Things quickly change when enemies doing damage also switch tiles, with various effects thrown into the mix, such as whirlwind tiles that change after a move, plague tiles that effect adjacent tiles each move, or stone tiles that are locked out and can’t be used.
This mixture often leaves you with far less letters to choose from, or sacrificing your health to make a larger word to try and deal greater damage. Fortunately there’s help on hand as the RPG style continues with the gems you collect from fallen foes working as currency to use in the store to unlock books, potions and boosts.
Potions have an instant effect of a health boost, or clearing status effects (dodgy tiles), with boosts such as damage and health giving you a permanent increase to the relevant stat. Finally books also give you a boost, but the more you use them, the more XP they’ll gain and as they increase in level, their effects also increase making it easier over time if your stuck on a specific level.
There’s also new Scythe’s to unlock, while the exact unlock requirements weren’t always clear, these also add extra damage and effects as well as a little more graphical variation.
Speaking of graphics, the game feels very cartoon like, and seems to move along nice and smoothly, there’s not much variation between the enemies but you’ll soon get used to the kind of damage and attacks each one will do, so the lack of variety actually pays dividends when planning your attack.
Sound is minimal, with a subtle soundtrack and the odd groan or chink of gems, but the real heart of Letter Quest is within the unique play on words, which makes it appealing to all ages, even if it might come across as more of a children’s game, and whether your young or old, your time with Letter Quest is likely to leave you feeling somewhat smarter.
Every word you use, shows up on the left hand side of the screen with a dictionary-like description of what the word means, and as valid words show up in blue there’s plenty of options to try out a few new words to try and utilize some of the awkward letters.
I’m sure Letter Quest wont appeal to everyone, but for those willing to give it a try, there’s plenty of game to enjoy and you’re likely to spend many hours working your way through various levels and challenges as you continue to level up your books.
Even after completion you’ll find it more than inviting enough to head back into the game and battle a few more ghouls, especially if you have children that want to spend time on games, Letter Quest not only feels fun, but also educational and there’s not many educational titles that offer enough fun to keep children entertained for long.
Finally it’s worth mentioning that the developers ‘Bacon Bandit Games’ is a small development team of two people, with Mark covering the game side and Jake more Art, to create a title like Letter Quest certainly isn’t easy for a team of 10 or 20 so kudos to Bacon Bandit firstly for a great name, but mostly a great game.