Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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What better way to fight monsters than with a flurry of words? That's the premise for Word Mage; a fairly enjoyable Scrabble/RPG crossover title. It's a little simple in certain ways but its core gameplay promises to be satisfying and ideal for repeat sessions.
Laid out like the world map of an 8-bit RPG, players progress from location to location tackling various foes. Regular enemies pop up frequently with boss battles occurring every now and then. Fighting them is a matter of creating words from a grid placed at the bottom of the screen. Players can drag a finger around to connect adjoining letters and create words as long as they want, with that length dictating the amount of damage inflicted.
It's a keen balance of spelling fast with a series of two letter words, or trying to track down a much longer word for more damage. Other issues arise too, such as enemies that require certain ways of dealing with them - things like only being damaged by words of more or less than 3 letters. Others poison the player every time they misspell a word. It's a fun way of keeping things interesting and different each time.
Elsewhere, powers can be upgraded; offering superior fighting skills or spells that can be used at regular points in the game. These powers are gained through a mixture of leveling-up and collecting items from battles, adding reason to replay earlier stages. At times, Word Mage is a little more shallow than I would have liked, with a more extensive leveling-up experience certainly being welcomed. Also there's no way of checking what words have already been created, which would have been useful.
The core experience, however, is pretty fun. Boss battles are refreshed regularly so there's always a reason to go back for more. For $0.99, it's an easy purchasing decision to make.