Spelltower

Spelltower App Game

Like most great word games, it is extremely easy to play.  After all,  a good quality cerebral game does not need to have any complex features – and SpellTower is no exception.  In fact, it’s that straightforward that the tutorial only lasts about a minute.  This might sound brief, but we feel that it is perfectly adequate, it really doesn’t need to be any longer because the game is so self -explanatory.  Here are some of SpellTower’s basic, but invaluable features:

Features

  • Straightforward Swipe feature – all you have to do is simply swipe to create words.
  • Five different game modes - that range from simple to hard and are guaranteed to give you a good challenge range.
  • In built dictionary – find out if your word really exists or simply check the meaning of words with this excellent tool.
  • Tweet your best words – share your talents with all your family and friends with this wonderful facility.
  • Omnidirectional motion - the game uses this motion when words are created.
  • Replay ability – you can play each mode endlessly and pause in-between or during games as well.

Basic Rules

If you follow some of these basic rules then you’re on to a winner:

  • You can only create a word successfully if it can be found inside the game’s own dictionary, plus it needs to be three words minimum. 
  • Any word that has five letters or more will clear all the letters that surround it. 
  • You cannot create the same word twice. Whilst you progress through each game the choices of words that you have left are reduced because you can’t play an agreed  word on more than one occasion in every game
  • If a letter has a number attached to it, then the word has to be that specified length or more.  For example, if you see a number (7) on the corner of the letter B you cannot use the word bird, although you can use the word Bundles. 
  • Uncommon letters such as X,Z, Q and J will clear their entire row if they are used correctly.

It is not like every game mechanic will work in opposition to you. You’ll see that certain letters are highlighted with a blue coloured background.  If you take account of the blue shaded letter/s, then the full row disappears.  You’ll also see empty spaces dispersed all over the screen. If your word contains a letter next to a blank space, then it will also disappear. It’s really important to remember that every word you play is worth  points. Plus, if your word is worth more points, then more letters will be removed.   Therefore, a word containing six letters is quite capable of taking out around twelve individual letters; it all depends on how many points it is actually worth. 

Game Modes

SpellTower has 5 different modes, some are a lot harder than others and make the game so much more demanding.  Furthermore, the overall game experience becomes a lot more involving the longer each game mode goes on for. 

Tower Mode – This is the easiest mode  where you’re given a full screen of letters that you must get rid of.  You’ll find that it’s virtually impossible to clear your screen completely.  It is the best one to start your game off with  because it gets you going nice and slowly.   This mode supplies you with 15- letters and the game requests that you accumulate as many points as you possibly can from that selection. 

In the beginning, it is so tempting just to stick to three or four letter words instead of trying something a lot more adventuress.  We certainly fell into this trap for the first few days or so.  However, since we have started to play this game at any given opportunity, we have discovered that we are now setting up 6 letter words and feel that our vocabulary is gradually increasing as each minute passes by.  We are thankful to SpellTower for this because our vocabulary knowledge was a bit embarrassing before.

Puzzle Mode - Then you have Puzzle Mode where a fresh row of letters will be added onto the bottom of the screen.  You will have to make clever moves if you want to be successful in this mode.  Every time you create a word, an additional row of letters will get added onto your screen.  The game is over as soon as a letter hits the top of your screen.  Some element of strategy is needed if you want to stay in the game for longer which involves keeping  all the rows as low down as possible on the screen.  Once you accumulate 2,000 points, the Ex Puzzle Mode will be unlocked and things start to get even more difficult.

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Ex Puzzle Mode - is similar to Tower and Spell modes, the only difference is that you begin with letters on your screen that have higher numbers( on the top right hand corner).  

Rush Mode - here time really is against you because new rows are presented to your screen really frequently – around every 10 seconds.  This happens even if you haven’t found any words.  The new rows continue to pile up, pressurising you to make fast decisions sometimes so that you can get rid of as many letters as you possibly can off your screen.  We even tried to create words that didn’t exist because we felt that desperate and you might find that you do the same at some point.  This mode will get your adrenalin pumping and heart racing at times.

Multiplayer Mode – this is known as Debate, which is just limited to iOs only.  The connection in this mode is set up through Bluetooth so in order to use it you will have to be very close to your rival.  In this mode, time works against you like it does in Rush Mode, and every word that you locate will drop the letters onto your rival’s screen and the other way round.  The aim is to fill your rival’s screen up which will end their game prior to your own screen getting filled.

Tips for Getting High Scores

The secret to gaining a high score is to remain patient. Do not play the game too quickly, and do not feel that you need to insert a word simply because you discover it.  It’s not an issue if you let several turns pass you by without making any words because it simply gives you a wider selection of letters and more options. 

The key strategic rule is to prevent building towers on the sides of the board on your screen.  Try to work on a shape where the board is even, or an upside down U shape would be even better, where the columns in the middle are higher than the ones on the side.  The explanation behind this is straightforward: the rows on the sides are the most difficult to clear up as there are less potential words that you can make when you connect to letters that are on one side only.  Therefore, you should search for words that utilise the letters on the very extreme side columns at all times.  If you cannot locate any, then simply include another row until you can do so. 

You must insert the letters one at a time until the screen reveals precisely what letters will be taken away.  After that, you should assess the impact this will have on your own shape prior to hitting the final letter another time round to insert the word.  It is extremely important to have a careful look before jumping in. 

The next rule is to create longer words over shorter ones (six plus) because the more letters you use the more neighbouring squares you clear This way, you also stop yourself from selectively  moving letters with no horrid 6’s on the corners, making a screen where the majority of the letters do have these horrid little 6’s. 

One more benefit is that you save the shorter words for an emergency situation only.  You will not have many three letter words left to rescue you if you use them up quickly in the beginning.  Therefore, again, if you’re not able to find a word it is generally better to add another row of letters instead of making 3 or 4 letter words.  Keep the shorter words just for an emergency and to assist you to chop down those annoying little towers or build-up of black spaces prior to them getting out of hand.  What is even more essential is to save the shorter Z,J,X and Q words as they’re very useful when you’re in a jam. 

We have one more important strategy that will come in very handy when it’s needed.  Occasionally, you might not be able to find a word and you will be really close to death.  Instead of taking a risk with getting  great letters in your subsequent row, you could perhaps search a word that is  almost linked. If you create a shorter word that takes away a letter that gets in your way, you could connect the word and utilise it during your next go so that you can clear out a dangerous column. 

We haven’t really said anything about how to actually find words yet.  We advise that you look for common sequences like ING, ON, ES and so on and keep on attempting to make different shapes and options.  Plus, one final thing, do not be scared to just guess a word.  SpelllTower recognises plenty of words that you actually don’t.  Hence, if you find yourself in a gridlock, all you need to do is tap a reasonable sequence of letters and you’ll discover that an astonishing number of them will be accepted.

It ultimately boils down to perseverance!  Do not ever create a word simply because it’s got a high score because one word isn’t really worth much.  Keeping alive is more important! Do not be tempted to add  an S to the end of your word to gain an extra 100 extra points if it ruins your shape. 

If you manage to find a word with 6 letters that expands the size of your tower by one extra column then we suggest that you take your time and try and find another word that is better for your shape. If you end up finding a word that is worth 1000 points, but it eats away at your middle rows then you are only tempting fate.  Actually, you really shouldn’t end up dead if you play in puzzle mode where it is easier to stay alive .  The only issue that will definitely kill you is that you’ll eventually utilise that many words that you will not have enough left over. 

The Good Points

  • Easy Gameplay, you do not need to spend hours trying to work out what is expected of you.
  • Stylish layout – Spell Tower is nicely laid out on your screen and the graphics are basic but effective –  various colours have been  used to make things stand out and seem clearer.
  • Tutorial – there is a very easy tutorial in the game that gets you started.  All the instructions are clear cut, even a child as young as seven could probably follow them. 
  • Multiplayer option – you can challenge other players with this option and show off your talents.

The Bad Points

  • Fast pace - The game can seem quite fast paced at times, especially in the more challenging modes gets  hard very quickly.  So you might feel a bit overwhelmed at first if you don’t have a good vocabulary range.  If this is the case, nevertheless,  you could play in the easier modes until you feel that your vocabulary has improved enough to take on the timed challenges.  Perhaps the game could do with an option where the words jump from 4 to 5 and not just 4 to 6, which would make it seem like a more gradual jump.
  • Letter freezes - On occasions some of the letters freeze up on the screen and you have to tap them a few times before anything happens. This can be a bit annoying, especially when you are under time pressure.  If this happens frequently then we suggest that you restart your iPhone/iPad and try again.  You will be able to resume the game that you were playing and won’t have to start from scratch again.

Final Verdict

SpellTower is an incredibly addictive game, and it is both entertaining and gruelling at the same time.  It’s the type of game that turns 10 minutes into two or more hours.  And, you will only notice that this much time has passed you by because your iPhone/iPad battery indicates that it is running low.  This happened to us a few times. 

You will always find yourself striving to beat your personal best score, or else if you’re playing with a family member or a friend then you will try to find ways to outdo them too.  We’ve played so many word games before and this one is by far the best one so far.  It is so enticing because of its simplicity! This game is guaranteed to keep you occupied for hours on end as well as expanding your personal vocabulary.  It is sure worth it for $1.99!

We give it a 9/10.

Spelltower App Game View 2 Spelltower App Game View 3 Spelltower App Game View 4 Spelltower App Game View 5

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Spelltower is developed by Zach Gage. Read our article on Spelltower 2.