Feb 18, 2014
Word games can be hit or miss; Lost Words is one which attempts to liven up the best parts of the genre.
The gameplay comes in two flavors, Classic and Arcade mode. Each mode is further broken into four levels of difficulty: Kid, Easy, Normal and Hard. For the most part, the game is the same in both modes; the playing area consists of word blocks stacked six high and representative of the six tries one gets to solve the word. The width, which is the length of the word, varies by level and is generally longer with tougher difficulty.
The general premise runs thus: there is a word, with maybe a starting letter given as a hint piece. The goal is to guess the word in the least number of tries. When a wrong word is guessed, the game automatically looks to see if a letter from the right word is there. If there is one or more, it will highlight it in green if it is in the right place, the game engine retains it on the next line in said correct spot. If it is not in the right position, it will be highlighted in burnt orange on the built-in keyboard.
To visualize this, if the game asks to solve a five-letter world starting with G (lets say GLOAT). If the first guess is, say, GOALS, the game retains the G in green, and highlights the O and A in burnt orange, so the player knows those words are in the word, just in the wrong place. If the next guess is GLOWS, the game would retain and highlight in green the G, L and O.
Thus, in this way, via guesses and process of elimination, the word can hopefully be discovered. Points are assigned for correct guesses, with bonus points and game coins assigned depending on how early in the cycle the word is guessed. In Arcade mode, there are helpers that can be purchased to help solve the words, like a guessing tool. There is also a spinner which, when tapped, spits out a random helper or obstacle. Missing the word ends the run.
I think the game mechanism could use more polish; while it might be a deliberate design decision, I don’t like the fact that there isn’t a way to play around with the known letters. The game might feel a little bland as well.
In any case, it is a decent game, with fun gameplay, and can be the perfect time waster.