Version Reviewed: 1.2.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Although it may sound like a classic Scooby-Doo mispronunciation, Ruzzle Adventure is actually the latest spelling game from MAG Interactive. It can be hard to find new ideas in iOS word games these days, but this one delivers thanks to its diverse mission structure.
Ruzzle Adventure is the follow-up to the developer’s previous spelling game, Ruzzle. But while that game featured a more straightforward, Boggle-style take on word smithing, this sequel shows a lot more ambition. Instead of simply having players spell as many words as they can on a randomized board, it tasks players with completing a series of bite-sized missions like Candy Crush Saga. The three worlds are each chock full of levels to complete, so it’s quite the adventure indeed.
It’s in these missions where Ruzzle Adventure displays its creativity. Some are the standard “spell enough words to reach a certain score,” but others require much more inventive thinking. In some levels, players must bring gems to the bottom of the screen by clearing the words beneath them, including stone letters that take multiple matches to crack. The “escape from the well” stages are particularly tense as players are forced to spell as fast as they can to escape the rising water level. There are even boss fights that make great use of the game’s bomb mechanic.
Ultimately though, these gimmicks mostly feel designed to entertain not word nerd grown-ups but Ruzzle Adventure's primary audience: kids. Along with its levels that are perfect for short attention spans, there are also plenty of power-ups like board scramblers to help make the experience easier. Meanwhile, the bright bubbly graphics and triumphant questing music feel straight out of an educational children’s show. The dictionary feels pretty lenient too, allowing profanity and slang like “phat.” Even the freemium elements aren’t that obnoxious. On most levels, players only have a certain amount of moves to complete the board and get all three stars. But it’s usually faster, cheaper, easier, and more satisfying for kids and adults alike to just try again and finish failed puzzles on the second attempt instead of buying more turns.
Make no mistake. Ruzzle Adventure is no substitute for classic, endless spelling game goodness. But anyone looking for a more varied and exciting expansion of the word game should definitely check it out.