Find words to topple the tower

Spelltower is a well-made word-puzzle game with a stylish feel and enough built-in variants to justify its price tag.

Spelltower is a well-made word-puzzle game with a stylish feel and enough built-in variants to justify its price tag.

The gameplay should be familiar to word-game fans: you find words on a grid of letters, which you can trace over horizontally, vertically, or diagonally (even overlapping the path that you trace) to form words and remove the letters. Spelltower's innovation is stacking its grid in a tower--so that when you create a word, you remove all adjacent letters, dropping down all the letters above accordingly. This adds another satisfying layer of think-ahead strategy, as you're looking for not just good words, but good Bejeweled-style setups for future moves. The game also adds a few wrinkles with its special squares, such as dead squares with no letters, blue squares that will take out a whole row, and squares that require a minimum number of letters to form a word. Spelltower has a nice variety of modes, ranging from fast-playing frantic (with rows getting added from the bottom when you form a word, or on a timer) to the more perfectionist and meditative Tower Mode, in which you try to score the most points possible from 100 letters. The game also comes with a local multiplayer mode that lets you compete device-to-device over Bluetooth, with a handicap system for handling skill disparities--and we hope to see more multiplayer options in future releases.

Word-game fans know that execution counts for a lot given this genre's simple, repetitive gameplay, and Spelltower excels at that, with satisfying audio and visual feedback. Add to that its thoughtful game-design touches, and Spelltower is a great value for word-game fans.

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