LetterLasso ($0.99) by PixelBilly Studios is a dynamic word game where you must unscramble a mix of letters to spell out words in a short amount of time. If you’re tired of the same old word games where you must make words out of a board of letter tiles, then LetterLasso is a nice change of pace for the word aficionado.
First things first — I love the design of this game. Right from the menu, I was enamored with the simple, yet elegant, interface. It’s clean, vibrant, and easy to follow. For a game, that’s always a good thing, because who has time to go through complicated directions and the like? Of course, since LetterLasso has a new gameplay mechanic, there are tutorial overlays when you start a game (or view the tutorial), but nothing more than that.
So how do you play, anyway? You will have several different theme packs, and these will contain a certain amount of words that you will encounter in your rounds. When you start a Quick Play game (or even Tutorial), you will go through each of these words. Letters will be floating about on the screen, and you are able to see the current theme at the top. Descramble the word (every letter is used once) and spell it out by “lassoing” each letter. To lasso, find the first letter of the word (letters turn green if you select the right order and red if you aren’t). Then, without lifting your finger, drag it to the next letter of the word, and then the one after that. You’ll repeat the process until the word is spelled out. Lifting your finger off the screen before it’s spelled out will “break” the letter lasso, and you’ll have to start over. Also hastily bumping into wrong letters will throw you back at the drawing board, so be careful.
If you’re really stumped by the word, you can touch the lightbulb icon in the corner to get a hint of the next letter. This can be used as much as you need it, but the real test is to not get help.
Of course, time is of the essence — kind of. At the bottom, you’ll have a timer bar that will deplete itself in a short amount of time. You should complete the word before the bar runs out, that is, if you want to earn bonus credits. However, you can still complete rounds even if you run out of time — the only thing is you won’t get bonus credits, and your word breaks, which is a tad annoying. You will earn credits depending on how many letters a word has though, regardless of time. So you can accrue a nice amount if you just keep playing the game.
LetterLasso will start you off with a few word theme packs already: Animals, Plants, Fruits, and Holidays. You can spend your credits in the Theme Store for more themes like Social Net and Elements, but the credits for each of these will vary (the cheapest packs will cost 500). If you don’t have the patience for collecting credits, you can buy them through in-app purchases. With $0.99, you can get 4,000 credits, $2.99 will get you 20,000, and $4.99 nets you 40,000.
Once you descramble all words in a pack, you can either replay that pack again (a good way to get more credits), or move on to the next available pack. While the game does have a timer, it’s not possible to “fail” a level, which is kind of nice. Word aficionados can relax and just enjoy some nice unscrambling to whittle away at the time.
So far, I’m enjoying LetterLasso quite a bit. It’s a nice change from the normal fare of word games, but it’s still very relaxing. I would think that adding some different game modes would add a nice variety to the game, so hopefully this can be done in the future. More word themes would be great as well.
Still, I highly recommend checking this little gem out. It’s a great word game, and you can also improve your vocabulary at the same time — a win-win for all. You can get it in the App Store as a universal download for $0.99.