For the third consecutive day I’ve turned my PC on to play Elite Dangerous and instead been distracted by what is, in essence, a sort of Scrabble-cum-RPG(lite) hybrid. And I don’t just mean I’ve popped on had a quick go, and then moved onto something else. something flashier. I mean that I’ve sat there and played it for hours. And hours. And hours.
Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey is a port from the Android and iOS title of the same name and features you, playing as the the young Grimm Reaper, battling through enemy creatures such as snakes, ghosts and (erm) grannies, using your intellect as a weapon. Well, that and a scythe.
In terms of presentation, Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey is nothing spectacular, but entirely sufficient. The character sprites are cute (for want of a better word) and well drawn. The soundtrack is a 16-bit style score which, although catchy, is slightly repetitive due to it’s short length and starts to grind after a while.
The combat is where the Scrabble element comes into play. As you reach each enemy character a selection of letters appear on the screen, and the goal is to create a word to ‘attack’ the enemy. Obviously, the longer the word is the more damage you deal, but there’s other factors to boost the damage output, such as using more difficult letters of the alphabet or choosing coloured word tiles as and when they appear. To add some further complexity, occasionally the game can make the letter tiles less effective. Plague tiles deal reduced damage, and if you don’t use them quick their debuff spreads to other tiles, and cracked tiles deal no damage at all. Little touches like this means you often have to approach your choices tactically.
Each level on the game is actually split up into 4 sub-sections. After playing the level for the first time, 3 more variations of that level open up with different modifiers to increase difficulty. There’s a timed level, giving you a very short amount of time to find enough words to defeat the enemies, there’s a special conditions level with modifiers such as being only able to use 2 words, or words over or under a certain length. Once the first 3 sub-levels have been completed the final crystal star’ level opens up. This is a super tough version of the level, where the enemies deal considerably more damage, can absorb a lot more too, plus have special condition like the previous stage. Even from the beginning, these levels are really difficult!
Defeated enemies will drop currency in the form of gems, which the player uses to purchase items to improve your character, and this brings in the RPG-lite elements. Potions can be bought to increase damage output or reduce how much you take, different weapons can be bought, each with their own individual perks such as health regeneration, and your armour, weapon and health can be increased to make attacking higher level enemies an easier task, and is necessary to take on the crystal star levels. On several occasions I needed to revisit these final sub-levels after picking up several potions or upgrading my character.
As I stated at the beginning, I’ve been pretty stunned by how much I’ve enjoyed my time with Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and it’s nice to give my brain a workout as well as my fingers. I can also see potential value as an educational tool, something you may want to consider if you’re a parent. All in all, a hearty recommendation from me.
MLG Rating: 7/10 Format: PC /Android /IOS Release Date: Out Now
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of 1 week on Steam. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.