One of the most innovative and elegant word games on iOS has just received a significant update, arguably its biggest in a quite a long time. I’m referring to Letterpress, which has just been updated to version 3.0.
Released in October 2012, Letterpress went on to become a hit with players and even with Apple, which gave the game an Apple Design Award in 2013 for its minimal interface, which features a bit of color and an abundance of clever animations, as well as for its simple yet engaging turn-based “war of words” gameplay.
In case you’re uninitiated in the wonders of Letterpress, let this brief explanation of the game’s basic mechanics clue you in:
The game features a 5×5 grid of letter tiles. The first thing you may think of is Boggle, but the game is nothing like it, aside from making words. Rather than having to use tiles that are adjacent to each other, you can actually use any letter on the board to make a word. There are no point values for each word — you just have to worry about “claiming” more letter tiles than your opponent. Once you submit your word, those tiles will change to your color, and you get a point for each one. If you surround a tile with the same color, that tile will be “defended,” so the opposing player cannot steal it for their own. You are still able to use a defended tile, but it won’t give you any points. To add to the challenge, players cannot use a word that is a prefix of another word that is already played. So if one person played “QUILTS,” that means that “QUILT” cannot be played, but “QUILTED” or “QUIT” is okay.
Learn more about Letterpress by checking out our original review
With its big 3.0 update, Letterpress has gained a trio of major new features.
Chat with your opponent in a Letterpress match by tapping his or her avatar and tapping the Chat button. Say whatever you want, ask what's taking your opponent so long in playing his or her turn, or even do a bit of teasing and taunting when you're getting ahead in the game.
Note: Chat messages are delivered with push notifications. Chat bubbles on the home screen or match board indicate unread chat messages. You can mute a conversation via the chat menu or block all chats in Manage Account in the app’s settings section.
Feeling like a champ? Tap your avatar in the home screen to see your match statistics and view your top words played. Tap on Leaderboards to see where you rank against other players across a variety of statistics.
Note: Match statistics include only completed matches after updating to version 3.0 and word statistics are generated as turns are played on version 3.0 and later.
Turn time limit
Sometimes life or laziness gets in the way and your opponent becomes slow in playing his or her turn. Well, any turn not completed within five days will be passed back to the other player, who will have the option to immediately claim victory or pass the turn back to continue the match and wait another five days. If you choose to claim victory, your win is scored 25-0.
Letterpress 3.0 also effectively unlocks all upgrades for all players, including themes, the ability to view played words, and the removal of the two-match restriction. But in exchange, the game’s free basic version now occasionally shows ads. To get rid of the ads, you may upgrade to the ad-free version via a $1.99 in-app purchase.
Download Letterpress for iPhone and iPad
Created by Loren Brichter aka atebits (who is best known as the developer of the pioneering Twitter client Tweetie and the now ubiquitous pull-to-refresh interaction technique on iOS), Letterpress was acquired earlier this year by Solebon, which released a Mac edition of the game in July.
Download Letterpress for Mac from the Mac App Store for free