App Reviewed on: iPhone XR
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There is truly no shortage of word games out there, particularly on mobile. Between playing bootleg Scrabble online or completing word-centric puzzles based on classic literature, there's almost certainly already something out there for you already. If you're looking for something new (and refreshingly straightforward), Wordsmyth is a solid word game worth taking a look at.
Wordsmyth is essentially a repackaged version of the classic word search board game Boggle. This game does away with the time pressure and competitive multiplayer elements, though. Instead, Wordsmyth has players sit and focus on one matrix of jumbled letters for the entire day, all while taking in a beautifully calming and natural background.
Every new day, Wordsmyth serves up a new grid of nine letters for you to squeeze as many words out of as possible. Wordsmyth pre-calculates the amount and kinds of words you can find in the grid and measures your progress all along the way so you can always feel some satisfaction as you chip away at a puzzle over the course of a day. If you happen to complete the puzzle early (or you get bored), you can also hop back to previous puzzles you haven't quite completed to keep playing.
There isn't much about Wordsmyth's gameplay that is particularly novel or exciting, but the player experience of its simple word puzzles is top-notch. It just looks so nice and organizes everything you'd want to know about your activity in the game in a way that makes sense and feels good.
At any point while playing, you can pop up to a menu that gives an overview of each day's puzzle, complete with badges for reaching certain milestones like finding the nine letter word of the day or finding every word possible. On another screen below the puzzle, you can take a look at meters showing how many words of each length you have found on the active puzzle. These sound like small touches, but they make spending time with Wordsmyth feel worthwhile and satisfying.
Inevitably while playing Wordsmyth, you'll end up running out of steam and struggling to find new words. Thankfully, the game has a hint system that you can use at any time. This system doles out letters from an unidentified one at a time, but stops short of handing you the answer by a few letters.
Even with this hint system, it can be tricky to find some of the more obscure words in Wordsmyth's dictionary, which can lead to taking a trial-and-error approach to the game. If a game session devolves into this territory, Wordsmyth becomes much less enjoyable, as quickly erasing and forming new words in the game is actually quite clunky. It's possible this is an intentional design choice to stop folks from trying to brute force its puzzles.
The bottom line
Wordsmyth's chill approach to word puzzling is enjoyable mostly thanks to the cozy environment it creates. There's nothing particularly special about its puzzles, but the way it lets you focus on them provides a respite from the sea of games trying to overwhelm you with content.