November 10, 2012: Letterpress

Letterpress. If you have an i-device and are a fan of word games and/or strategy games, you’re got to try Letterpress.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/letterpress-word-game/id526619424?mt=8 (Free download. If you want to play more than two games concurrently, you can pay $.99 for the full game via IAP.)

Gameplay is simple: You have a grid of 25 letter tiles. Your color is blue; your opponent’s is red. (There are other color themes but they are, er, too linuxy for me.) You take turns creating words using any of the letters on the board; letters don’t have to be adjacent. You get one point for every letter that you use. When you submit your word, the letter tiles you used are painted your color.

But wait, there’s more. A white (unused) letter gets you a point, and so does using a letter that is painted in your opponent’s color, and in both cases the letters are changed to your color. Using your opponent’s letter not only gives you a point, it also subtracts one from his score. You get nothing for using one of your “own” letters.

But! Surround one of your letters on all four sides with other letters of your color and it turns a darker blue. A darkened letter gives your opponent no points, if he uses it, and does not change to his color! It is critically important to capture as many letters as you can.

The game ends when every white letter has been used. High score wins. I often get carried away, play a really cool word that colors all the tiles, and lose because I have the lower score :)

Not only is the game extremely fun to play, but the interface is a joy. Clean and uncluttered, with tasteful animations and sound effects that beg you to get your fingers in there and start rearranging letters.

The only drawback is that the game relies on GameCenter. You match up with your opponent via GameCenter and there’s no “rematch” button, so after every game you have to go back to nasty GameCenter to start the next match. And when GameCenter is having ISSUES, Letterpress won’t load. Oh well. Nobody’s perfect.

Oh hey, here’s a good detailed review with screenshots and stuff:
http://www.imore.com/letterpress-atebits-review

If you try it, start a game with me! (KaraShallenberg on GameCenter)

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