Developer: Kumkwat Entertainment
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 3.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

The letter-guessing game known commonly as Hangman is best played in a stuffy room wherein time has seemingly crawled to a halt. Ideally, Hangman should be experienced on a piece of note paper shoved back and forth between two schoolkids while the teacher’s back is turned.

bhof_01Big Hangman of Fortune by Kumkwat Entertainment is a digital take on the childhood pen-and-paper classic. And, much like its analogue counterpart, Big Hangman of Fortune should keep players busy for an hour or two. But before long, they’ll opt for a word game with a little more excitement and challenge – and fewer hanging puppets.

Not to say the game is without merit. There are actually some interesting ideas at work that add a trace of depth to the straightforward formula. For example, Big Hangman of Fortune is styled to resemble a game show, complete with head-to-head competitions, themed levels, and flashy visuals. The game’s hangman – the poor little dude that materializes and eventually  hangs if players are unable to guess the word being spelled out – is a cute, expressive mascot. It’s a little bit creepy given his inevitable fate.

Big Hangman of Fortune even has some ideas in play to speed up the tedium of slowly guessing phrases letter-by-letter. Each round begins with a letter elimination mode, during which players can quickly eliminate letters without damaging their score. When they hit upon a letter that is in the puzzle, the game begins in earnest. There are also optional “lifelines” that black out letters that aren’t used in the puzzle – but not all of them, so caution is still necessary.

bhof_05Big Hangman of Fortune features a solo option as well as the option to play with friends. Interestingly, starting up a new game with a stranger requires players to tap the “Play With Friends” button, which may lead some folks into thinking the game lacks the option to play with random opponents.

Big Hangman of Fortune sets out to make Hangman an exciting game worthy of its own audience and game show. Hangman in any format just isn’t that exciting – Big Hangman of Fortune included – but there’s enough here to make players pleasantly nostalgic for a little while.

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