Developer: About Fun
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

Graphics/Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

The match-three genre has grown into a place where it feels like it is constantly dating other genres, trying to see if any are a particularly good match to spawn even more of their little mixed-genre babies. Enter LETZ: The Story of Zed, who sees the intrepid match-three date a word match game: various blocks will have letters, collect the letters to spell the goal word at the top of the screen, or have a bank of them that can be combined for more words. A quite fun endeavor for anyone seeking to pass the time with some word and gem matching.

To frame the tutorial and initial steps, LETZ offers a story reminiscent of stories told to children. LETZ are really letters with eyes, after all, and therefore, Zed is off to save them, as something has befallen them. As a frame it works to move along and indicate which words need be constructed from level to level, though thematically, everything is a bit all over the place (bombs, vampires, and other power-ups seem there more for their mechanics, than actually fitting into the story). It’s amusing enough to perhaps teach a child some letters, surrounded as it is by a fairly simple mechanic.

Otherwise, the game is quite amusing, offering the usual bits of exploding the screen with action through power-ups earned by either matching four or five gems, or even making Ts or Ls, and sometimes even by random chance. There are coins to be earned, which lead to a store where it is possible to buy further bonuses and power-ups.

Perhaps a bit confusing is the dictionary it uses, however. Some words find themselves readily available, while others will not, and there seems to not really be any indication as to why this is. However, there is a dictionary tab that allows browsing of all the words that can be constructed (though that seems a daunting task until it can be narrowed to words that have not been created as yet — something that comes further down the road).

This particular blending of match-three with word construction does seem to work rather well, particularly as Endless Mode is approached, where the player is free to just match, build words, match, fulfill objectives for coins, and continue so long as there are matches to be made (or to purchase a bomb with in-game coins to shake things up if there are no matches to be made). It also does seem particularly well-suited for children learning letters, or having just started attempting to read, write, and spell.

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