From Bookworm to Alphabear, games where you spell words have definitely found an audience. Now that Grimm has put his scythe in the ring, let's see how Letter Quest fits into the genre.
Grimm wants some pizza. So, he asks his phone to show him where the nearest pizza place is which leads him on an adventure through areas filled with monsters. Why he didn't just order some like everyone else is beyond me. Anyway, you play by simply spelling words from a selection of fifteen letters in order to harm your foes. Spelling longer words and using trickier letters such as Q and Z will make the little reaper inflict more damage so having a vast vocabulary is the key to success. This is especially true when you face enemies that are weak to certain words like ones that contain a specific amount of letters or two of the same letter in a row. Once in a while, you'll come across a treasure chest that presents you with a Wheel of Fortune style puzzle that you have to solve to open it. Overall, the simple gameplay that only involves spelling words is enjoyable and a good exercise to both test and expand your vocabulary.
Letter Quest looks like it was ported straight from a mobile device which is a bit off-putting. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the comic book visuals with smoothly animated characters and quirky monsters but it doesn't really form its own identity. Unfortunately, the audio is just as (if not more) uninspired with tunes that don't seem to fit within Grimm's wacky world and generic sound effects. You have the option to select one of two provided soundtracks which is nifty but I found both to be rather unmemorable. In the end, Letter Quest doesn't offer anything special when it comes to presentation thus making it all the more difficult to get immersed in.
Grimm's Journey consists of a story mode that contains 40 stages and an endless mode where you try to get a high score. Thankfully, the story campaign boasts many challenges to master. Each stage has a few collectible stars that correspond to challenges such as time trials. Also, an ever-changing checklist of quests is rewarding to fill out. On top of all this, you acquire gems as you play that you can redeem for many various upgrades at a handful of stores. As you progress through the campaign, some complexities help make the otherwise basic gameplay kind of interesting. The most prominent wrinkle is the different kinds of tiles that can potentially end your adventure early. Knowing which ones to avoid is an important skill to learn. You may also run into a shopkeeper from time to time who sells you helpful items in the middle of a stage. Each unique stage will keep you wondering what'll show up next.
Even with the upgrades and variety of tiles, the gameplay remains incredibly one-note. After playing for hours, I'm frankly bored. I may pick it up for a few short play sessions down the road yet I can't help but feel like I've exhausted all of the fun I could ever have with Grimm. An aspect that makes the tiresome gameplay stand out like a sore thumb is the fact that there is almost no content. Sure, there's an endless mode but what's the point when there are no leaderboards? There is no multiplayer to be found either. I would've loved to play a competitive mode against my wife. That alone would be enough to redeem a lot of Letter Quest's shortcomings.
Letter Quest Remastered is an enjoyable little game for the short while that it lasts. However, you'll simply wish that there was more to it after playing for only a few hours. If it doesn't sound like your cup of tea then take a lesson from Grimm and order a pizza instead.
- + Simple gameplay that tests your vocabulary
- + Complexities such as upgrades and special tiles help keep things somewhat fresh
- + Lots of challenges and quests to master
- - One-note gameplay gets tiresome very fast
- - Lack of content such as leaderboards, additional modes, and multiplayer
- - Mostly generic and uninspired presentation