January 10, 2013

Adventure With Words

Lasting First Impressions of Spellwood

Developed by Three Rings Design  |  Distributed by SEGA

» Spellwood is a new addition to the world of word games that has recently made its way onto iOS devices. This adventure puts its own twists on the traditional word games we’ve seen in the past on mobile platforms and takes the next step to creates a medieval fantasy universe in which the player’s character is becoming a wiz at words (pun intended). The player progresses through levels in a variety of towers on the world map, battling opponents with each word they play. Each tower has various levels and as opponents are defeated, the game progressively becomes much more challenging.

Both the player’s and opponent’s character have a health bar and the game plays like a battle against opponents with the words played as the weapons.  Heath decreases with each word played as each letter used is worth a certain number of points.

Spellwood seems very familiar to games such as Scrabble, but the board is much smaller and only the last word played remains on screen. This feature makes the game seem simpler, but in fact it’s more Spellwood Screen 1difficult to create a new word just from the previous word used. In the later levels, there are also glyphs that are applied to the game board that modify the letters or words the player uses when placed on top of the glyph. An example would be the double word glyph, which is helpful in catching up to the opponent’s score. After completing a match, the player also gains experience can then upgrade their health to make the matches easier.

The graphics are cartoony but very well suited for this title. The player has great accessibility with large buttons and a simplistic world map. Playing on an iPhone was not a problem because it has been simplified from larger boards like Scrabble or Monopoly. With the medieval music, the theme of Spellwood is not lost. Having a cohesive style has made this title more interesting than an averagely designed word game.

Overall I really enjoyed this game because it’s the type of game I can play on and off. There is also a multiplayer mode in which players can invite friends to play, much like Scrabble. The addition of RPG elements makes the experience more worthwhile and feels like the game would be more memorable and enjoyable for a longer period of time. I always feel like these types of games deserve more respect because they make the boring activity of word creation much more interesting and enjoyable.

Three Rings Design, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Diana is an Apple Administrator and a Post Sound Assistant at a major Canadian television company whose love of gaming first began with such classics as Doom, Duke Nukem and the King's Quest Series. A previous job at EB Games has caused her collection of both console and PC games to grow to epic proportions. Her preferred genre is Sci-fi and her favourite titles are Mass Effect, Deus Ex and Dead Space. In any video game, however, what really matters to Diana, is a good story. Diana can be found on Xbox Live and on PSN as Limesplash.



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