In recent years role playing games have managed to latch on to almost every other video game genre. Over the years they have mixed with first person shooters to create classic titles such as Fallout 3 and Borderlands, with side scrolling platform games giving us the Castlevania franchise and even dabbled in the puzzle game genre creating the awesome puzzle/RPG hybrid Puzzle Quest. So what do you get when you mix an RPG with a simple word game such as scrabble or Words with friends? Ladies and gentleman I present to you, Spellwood.
In Spellwood the aim of the game is to beat your opponent with the mystical power of words. In this one on one battle of vocabulary the aim is to reduce your opponents HP with the words you make. Much like scrabble you are given a set of letters and you take turns to conjure up words. Each letter has a certain amount of points which are scored similarly to games such as words with friends and scrabble, meaning the bigger or more complex you word is the more damage you will inflict on your opponent. This may sound pretty straight forward, but this is a word game with a difference. Unlike scrabble the words that you and your opponent play will disappear after one or two turns, making the game much more fast paced.
So what about the RPG elements I hear you cry. Well in the single player campaign you play as an aspiring wizard. Your mission is to graduate from Wizard school, and then to make your way up a set of towers beating the bad guys with your wizarding word skills along the way. Each battle earns you experience allowing you to level up and gain items and potions. Items can be equipped in advance to buff up the words that you cast or to level up your defence, whereas potions are used during battle to give you a boost when needed. These RPG features work really well as you have to negotiate the best time to use potions in battle and really think about which are the best items to equip.
Unfortunately there are only 4 towers to scale, so the game could benefit from more levels. You may also find that when playing the single player mode your opponents may take longer taking their turns than expected, which can be frustrating. These are however only small niggles to a gameplay formula that on the whole works really well.
Graphically the game has a quaint cartoon style which works really well on the mobile platform. Even though there is not much in the way of animation or cut scenes it has a cute charm which will appeal to gamers of any age.
Spellwood confirms that RPG elements will fit into almost any game genre. This is a game that will appeal to any word game fanatic and mobile gamers alike. Spellwood is definitely a game that will keep me spell bound for hours.
+ Great Mixture use of RPG elements
+ Good game play that breathes new life into the word game genre
+ Cute cartoon graphics that will appeal to anyone.
- Needs more levels in single player
- Slow AI in single player.