Published on 19th May 2015 | by Tim
Most of us like to play quick, simple games on our iPads and iPhones and if it comes with an addictive element then that’s an added bonus. Letterpad is a simple word puzzle game available for iOS and the Apple Watch, the aim of the game is to guess the hidden words that relate to the puzzle topic.
I’ve been playing Letterpad for around a month now and find it highly addictive, which is usually one trait that games often lack in a busy app marketplace. It’s well designed, easy to play and there’s something about it that keeps you coming back for more.
When you start the game, you’ll be given a puzzle word at the top of the screen, underneath you’ll see several hidden words that you have to guess. You’ll be given 9 letters that you can use which are displayed on tiles and tapping on each letter will add it to your guess word.
If you guess a word correctly then it will appear underneath the puzzle word leaving you to guess the remaining hidden words. If you guess incorrectly then it’s back to the drawing board, you don’t lose anything by guessing incorrectly and you can try as many times as you like.
If you’re finding it difficult to guess any of the hidden words then there are a few tricks that you can use to help you. One is to shuffle the lettered tiles around by hitting Shuffle at the bottom of the screen. This will rearrange all of the tiles in a new configuration, sometimes you might see things differently if letters are displayed in a new arrangement.
Another trick that you can use is to either remove tiles that are no longer needed or to reveal a letter if none of the tiles that you have can be removed. In order to remove tiles you can either spend a hint or use a free hint. You collect hints as you progress through the game, these are usually limited in number and once you’ve used one it’s gone for good. You can also purchase hints via an in-app purchase in bundles of 10, 100 or 1000.
If you don’t want to spend your hints or if you’ve run out then you can use a free hint, which involves watching a video ad. Using a hint removes a certain number of tiles that are no longer needed to solve the hidden words. The number of tiles that can be removed will vary and will usually depend on how many hidden words you’ve revealed so far. It makes the game a little easier, but I found myself trying not to use hints too much, instead relishing the challenge of the puzzle.
If you get to the stage where you can’t remove any tiles but you’re still stuck on a word then you can still use a hint to reveal a letter. This will always reveal the first letter of a hidden word and will then proceed to the next letter along if you continue to use hints.
Lastly, if you really are stuck and you’ve run out of hints to use, then there is the option to share the current puzzle so that you can get help from friends.
At the time of writing this review there are 232 different puzzles but this will likely grow in size with future updates. There are also a number of puzzles submitted by the Letterpad community, plus you can create and submit your own. You start the game having to guess three hidden words, but as you progress the number of hidden words will increase making the game more difficult.
For the most part, the puzzles are quite challenging, which I’d much rather have than them being too easy. I will point out that the app tends to be heavily Americanised using a lot of American words and using the American spelling of certain words at times. This makes the game all the more difficult if you live elsewhere in the world. Quite often I’ll get to the point where I have to use a hint to find out what a hidden word is only to find out that I was guessing correctly all along, albeit spelt differently. In some cases, this makes the whole puzzle highly difficult as a lot of the puzzle words tend to relate to American life in some way.
Letterpad integrates with Game Centre so that you can sync your progress across multiple devices and also challenge friends. There are also a number of achievements for completing various puzzles at different stages of the game.
If that wasn’t enough you can also play Letterpad on your Apple Watch, something which seems ideally suited to the smaller display. I attempted to play Letterpad on the Apple Watch a couple of times but found it slightly unintuitive when compared to the iOS version. After a couple of attempts I gave up, but maybe I’ll revisit it again soon to see if I can get to grips with it.
Overall I’ve found Letterpad to be a highly addictive game and one that I find myself dipping into at regular intervals throughout the day. There is an element of difficulty and I would like to see more regional puzzle words and also spellings of words to make the game more inclusive. It’s also a great game to share with friends either through challenges or if you’re stuck on a word and need help.
Letterpad is available to download for free from the App Store for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple Watch.
by Nimblebit | Free
Summary: Well designed, easy to play and highly addictive. Puzzles are challenging but the game offers hints and you can ask friends for help. A huge number of puzzles available, along with community submitted puzzles. Create and submit your own and share with friends. Game Centre integration to sync across multiple devices and achievements to unlock. Works with Apple Watch.