BAIKOH (Free) by Mum Not Proud is a word game that tests out your vocabulary as well as your speed. If you enjoyed word games like Spelltower and Highrise Heroes, then you will love what BAIKOH has to offer. Think of Spelltower combined with the personality traits of GLaDOS, and you’ll end up with something like BAIKOH.
As someone who writes for a living, I can definitely say that I’m a word person rather than a numbers type of gal. With that said, it should come as no surprise to anyone that I do love my fair share of word games, though I’m far from being the best linguist out there (I mostly lost my Words with Friends matches). Still, I enjoy word games and will continue to play them, even if it’s just to improve my own lexicon. When I heard of BAIKOH a few weeks ago, I was intrigued because not only was it a word game, but it did things differently by penalizing you for mistakes, which not all games in the genre do. Naturally, I had to check out BAIKOH for myself and after spending some time with the game, I can say I’m not disappointed.
Visually, BAIKOH features a beautiful minimalistic aesthetic that will be appealing to anyone. The game makes use of a flat design that seems to be all the rage these days, and the rounded square and circle letter tiles look fantastic as they fall and stack up on the screen. BAIKOH uses a stylish sans serif typeface that is easy to read and goes well with the modernized appearance of the overall game. The different types of special tiles have their own unique appearances as well, but it’s pretty easy to tell what they do for the most part. The colors in BAIKOH are pleasing to the eyes, as it is composed of subtle dark backgrounds and soft pastels and vibrant hues for the tiles so there is a nice bit of contrast. The subtle animations in BAIKOH are smooth and fluid, with no lag on my iPhone 7. The game also has a rather upbeat and quirky soundtrack in the background that is delightful to listen to, and the sound effects are a nice touch as well. Overall, I believe that Mum Not Proud really knocked it out of the park with the visual and audio design of BAIKOH, because it’s the first thing I fell in love with when I saw the game.
BAIKOH, like most word games, will have a few different ways for you to play. At the moment, BAIKOH just has a Solo Campaign with two different modes available: Solo and Zen. The two are almost the same, except for the fact that Zen does not allow players to use badges, traps, or bet baikoins. Regardless of which mode you go with, the goal of the game is simple: spell words out with the tiles on the screen (vowels are circle tiles and consonants are squares for easy reference) as fast as you can, since more tiles are constantly dropping in from the top of the screen. While shorter words are best for being quick, you do get more points for longer words, so just keep that in mind. Another thing to watch out for is the fact that if you misspell a word three times, then a row of tiles will drop down with an “X” on them, meaning that they can’t be used for a few seconds. On top of that, there will be other challenges, such as frozen tiles, bombs, giant angry blocks that take up a 3×3 space on the screen, and much more. While things don’t sound too bad, once you unlock more obstacles by playing the game, things can get pretty hectic and challenging.
Controls in BAIKOH are simple and straightforward. To spell out words, just tap on the tiles you want to use in the correct order. Tapping on a selected tile will deselect it, and if you change your mind about a word, just tap on the “X” button at the bottom (where the word is) to just deselect all tiles at once. To submit a word, just swipe horizontally anywhere on the screen. If the word is valid, it goes through without a hitch; if it’s misspelled, you’ll get some visual and haptic feedback so you are clearly made aware that a penalty is coming soon (three strikes and you’re out). If you took any badges with you, they can be activated by tapping on the badge along the bottom section of the screen. As you spell out and submit words, more tiles fall from the top, and it’ll always be a constant stream, so you’ll have to stay on your toes in BAIKOH.
As I mentioned, the game gets harder the more you play. This is because eventually you will level up, and this unlocks “badges” for players to use in the Solo or online battle. The badges are power-ups that you can take with you into the round, though they do cost you some baikoins to do so. You start off with one badge slot, but more can be unlocked through in-app purchases. Baikoins can be earned by completing rounds, and you get more depending on how high your score is. New traps are also introduced as you level up too, so there is a lot of reason to keep coming back to BAIKOH.
The only negative about BAIKOH to me is the fact that it’s a free game with in-app purchases. Fortunately, the game can be played and enjoyed thoroughly without ever having to drop a dime, but I personally would have preferred to pay upfront for the game and not have to use up coins each time I want to take a badge with me into a round. There are also ads, but only if you want to get a continue or more coins after a round, so it isn’t too bad. I still love the design of BAIKOH, the music is outstanding, and the controls are fairly intuitive. I do hope to see more modes added for the single player in the future though, as I feel that it can get a bit repetitive after a while with just the regular and zen modes only. On the upside though, online versus mode will be added in a few months, where two people can go head-to-head, so that’s something I’m eager to try out once it’s available.
I recommend giving BAIKOH a try if you’re into word games at all and want something a bit more hectic, challenging, and just downright fun. You can find BAIKOH on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for free. There are in-app purchases for Baikoins, themes, and more.