Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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A mere week after the release of Letterpress, we come to another word game that offers quite similar elements: Letris & Friends. It's a bit more garish in appearance than Atebits' offering but, crucially, offers three different ways of playing the game against others. That in itself muddles the options yet gives more variety.
There's no sign of single player functionality, outside of a tutorial detailing what's involved. Instead, as the name suggests, players are reliant on friends and other random opponents.
The three modes available have the same aim of finding as many long words as possible, but each does so in a slightly different manner. There's Snake mode which involves joining consecutive letters together in order to create words. The 2 minute time limit might seem generous at first, but given there's always a ridiculously long word hidden in there somewhere, it can be quite challenging. Players have to work on their short word scores as well as longer phrases.
Letris mode is Tetris like in nature, with letters cascading down the screen gradually and requiring players to tap them in order to create words. Once the letters hit the top of the screen, it's game over. Control issues emerge here as I'd have appreciated the ability to tap on a blank spot of the screen in order to clear the word attempt. Valuable seconds are lost through this inability.
Wordmatrix is the most calming of the modes, giving players unlimited time to clear a screen of letters by creating the longest words possible and accruing the most points. In each game mode, there are power-ups to use although I found these detracted a little from the purist fun of testing the gray matter.
While the game modes might offer the same aims, the variety in which players can partake is a nice touch. It reduces the risk of boredom after playing the game plenty of times, by always offering something a little different. If only the controls were a little more intuitive and effective. Letris & Friends performs quite well. It's just unfortunate that it comes along at a time when another game does it all better, and classier.