Letter Quest Remastered moved from mobile to the Xbox One. Does Grimm reap the benefits of the platform change or does it spell disaster for this word-puzzle title?
Game – Letter Quest Remastered
Platform – Xbox One (reviewed), iOS
Developer/Publisher – Bacon Bandit Games
Release date – June 8th, 2016 (Xbox One)
Price – $9.99
Letter Quest Remastered is a spelling game adventure centered on its main hero, Grimm. Grimm has to battle monsters, ghosts, and ghoulish creatures as he traverses through haunted forests, science labs, and crystal caves. Grimm just wants to find the closest pizza place, and his phone decides to take him the worst possible route. It’s a simple backdrop to the game that matches the humorous backstories for Grimm’s enemies.
The player is armed with Grimm’s scythe, and the power of his attack is based on the point values of the word spelled. Select letter tiles onscreen, in any order, to spell words. Spell larger words with more valuable letters and be rewarded with a higher attack power. The spelling battles are turn-based, and the player is armed with potions in case health becomes an issue. Eventually, tiles become affected by enemy powers: poison tiles, duplicate tiles that change all neighboring letters to the same matching letter, and stone tiles that become unusable for a set number of turns. It gives just enough variety to spice up the game until the difficulty kicks up.
Grimm can use crystals to upgrade health max, weaponry, and other fun modifiers. Different quests are given as the player progresses through the level. Grimm earns crystals by defeating monsters, which can be used to purchase the upgrades. The player can also pay to skip quests if they wish. There isn’t much point, but it’s there for players who don’t want to be bothered with a quest.
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There are four stars to earn for each stage. Beat the stage, time trial, special challenge, and the crystal star. The special challenge is a particular goal (ex. use 3 words or less). The crystal star is an extreme difficulty. Here, enemies have special conditions to defeat them: they only take damage from 4 letter words, for example. There is a regular mode, endless mode, and Expert mode. In expert mode, the levels are the same, but the monsters are revved up with higher defenses and bigger hit power.
The animation is simple and well-drawn. Grimm, his sidekick, and the enemies all have added character thanks to the artwork. The level select screen lends its inspiration from old 8-bit titles, and it fits in well with the world map. The in-game music is also engrossing and catchy. Lastly, the in-game dictionary is pretty accurate with the exception of a handful of odd definition choices. The player also gets to review the definition of a word, which is always nice.
There aren’t many noticeable differences between the console version and the phone version. The touchscreen on the iPhone makes for lightning fast spelling, and the Xbox One controller does lose some of this speed. However, it’s nice to see the game on a TV sized screen. It’s also much more sporty to show off the leaderboard through the Xbox One and its Achievements.
Letter Quest Remastered is one of my favorite word games on the iPhone, and I was naturally excited to see it move to the Xbox One. I was also wondering how it would fare on the Xbox One controller since the game worked so well with touchscreen prompts. I was happy to find that what it lost in the smoothness of the touch screen, it gained on a larger platform.