Game Design, Game Reviews

Letter Farm will awaken your inner crossword master

iconIf you like word games and your English is good enough to play them in that language, you’re going to love Letter Farm.

Available on Google PlayAvailable on iTunesamazon-1It’s a mobile game for Android, iOS and Amazon platforms built by Bundy Games. It combines classic crossword puzzles with a few advanced crossword features and tops it all with some digital sweetness.

The Premise

The game’s premise is fairly simple – on a board of tiles, in which each tile represents a letter, you must find and form words. It differs from the classic crossword puzzles in a way that you don’t need to guess a specific term. Instead, all you need to do is form a word, any word you can think of, by switching the tiles between them until you get the desired word.

Yet, similar to the classic, you can only form words horizontally or vertically. You submit your word by swiping it, from the beginning to the end. You can also string multiple words together. For example, the word GAME is spelled horizontally, but the word ENDING is spelled vertically, with the letter E, as the last letter of the first word, is also the first letter of the second word.

In order to beat a level you must achieve a certain number of points in a set amount of swipes. If a level requires you to reach 25 points in one swipe, it means you must create one word which will give you 25 points.

The Digital Goodness

ss1Having a simple crossword game would suffice for all crossword lovers out there, but adding additional features that you can’t have on a piece of paper is what separates this game from the classic and adds a solid layer of gameplay. Aside from the option of shuffling letters around until one gets the desired word, the player can also earn specific in-game currency to buy special power-ups.

These power-ups include spellchecking (very useful), doubling the points earned from a word, tripling the points earned from a word, etc. The player can earn the in-game currency, the kiwi, by playing a particular mini-game.

I’m not sure if the currency is a tomato because the game is called Letter Farm, or the game is called Letter Farm because its currency is a tomato. Be it as it may, the mini-game is called The Harvest, and it has a specific set of rules. Winning the mini-game brings the player kiwis, which he can later use in the shop.

Questionable Choices

There really isn’t that much to say about the game, as it has no plot, no characters, and no need for advanced graphics. But you know what they say about great ideas – they’re nothing more but old ideas with a new twist, and this one is exactly that.

ss2

Why a farm?

There is however something strange about the game. Once you start it, you’re presented with a top-down view of a farm, with levels spread along a curved path. As you move along the road, you’re offered new, tougher levels. I’m not sure why the game’s topic is a farm, and what letters have to do with farming. I would even go as far as to question the general idea of the game being on a farm. Maybe the developer wanted to tap into the Farmville gaming community? I’m clueless and can’t find any connection.

But what I do know is that this is a good crossword puzzle game. It has an interesting concept and sets up the game nicely, with the ability to swap letters around, blocked tiles, ability to change letters, spellchecking and whatnot. Every crossword fan out there will enjoy it, for sure.

I’m not really sure about the whole farm idea, as it’s confusing and might even scare away someone who’s been harassed into oblivion by Facebook Farmville farmers and their annoying notifications. Why not go for a simple, newspaper crossword puzzle look? It would strike the nostalgia chord with older crossword fans, looking for a quick fix while they’re commuting or waiting somewhere in a line.

P.S.

I’d also suggest the developers use the spellcheck power-up on the game, as it has a few spelling errors.

UPDATE:

After the review was published, the developer reached out to us to clarify a few things, and here are his words:

“You don’t earn Kiwis by playing Harvest, but you do earn other fruit. Ones that you’d trade Kiwis for, so it’s all the same. Also, as to why I picked farming, instead of newspaper or something more familiar with words. I needed a theme and I owned the assets. It seemed as good a theme as any and I couldn’t think of any other game that combined farming and a crossword game. So I have that market all to myself 😀 If anyone has any questions about the game, or issues with it, you can email me at letterfarm@hotmail.com“.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Bundy

    July 1, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    This is my game 🙂 Thanks for the review. A couple of things. You don’t earn Kiwis by playing Harvest, but you do earn other fruit. Ones that you’d trade Kiwis for, so it’s all the same. Also, as to why I picked farming, instead of newspaper or something more familiar with words. I needed a theme and I owned the assets. It seemed as good a theme as any and I couldn’t think of any other game that combined farming and a crossword game. So I have that market all to myself 😀 If anyone has any questions about the game, or issues with it, you can email me at letterfarm@hotmail.com

    Thanks again.

    Reply

    • Letter Farm Fan

      July 2, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      Great game but highly addictive!

      There are many types of farms, why not one that harvests tropical fruits? Makes perfect!

      Reply

      • Allan

        July 2, 2015 at 4:18 pm

        If I add more levels I’ll probably introduce more fruit and a slight change on the theme.

        Reply

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