Spellspire (out now, free) is a word game mixed with some interesting RPG elements. You are a bespectacled wizard on a quest to reach the top of a very tall tower. Hindering your efforts, each floor has some nasty foes to vanquish.

Your wand will have an element attached to it which could be a game changer: will you hit an enemy with ice, fire or poison? You also wear a tunic and a hat, both serving as armor. You can upgrade each items a number of time before hitting their maximum potency, but you can also level up your base stats of attack and health.

spellspire_1Like most game of the genre, some enemies will have a strength element or a weakness element and even sometimes both. As you enter a level of the tower, you will battle the foes by making words. You are given 10 letters for each level, and they are random. You make words and they hurt. Needless to say the longer the words, the bigger your attack!

The enemies will retaliate in a strange way: they won’t hit you automatically after each attack, but rather each foe has a unique timer. Some will auto attack you after 5 seconds, others 60, it really varies. Thankfully you only need to battle one of them at the time!

Each attempt you make at going through a level will cost you one of your 5 lives. Each of them respawn after 30 minutes, so you can see how you won’t be able to play for a long time in a row. Which is a shame because you often have to get grinding to gather coins in over to buy your next leveling up of armor or weapons. So the games kinda forces you to be patient, or fork over some real cash quickly.

And Spellspire does monetization so well. You can pay real money to buy more coins, of course. But also to make your life easier in the game. A free chest is offered each 8 hours of real time, but maybe you’d like to have a 2nd chest to open as well every 6 hours? Pay once and it’s gonna enrich you forever!

spellspire_2Also, each time you fail a level they are quick to offer for you to revive for the sum of 99 cents. Or maybe you want that new shiny wand that you just unlock but can’t quite get because you lack in coins. Well, here’s a quick hit on your credit card if you want it right away.

The gameplay is engaging, the enemies varied and the brain power needed to enjoy the game is just enough.

A good strategy in games of this genre is to remember to make your words plurals when you have an S. Also, make your verbs in past tense if you have E & D.

I found the music in the game to be cute, but sadly extremely repetitive. Thankfully, you shouldn’t stay in the start menu or the shop too long. The sound effects of the actions in the levels are on the other hand quite engaging.

Verdict

Was Spellspire enjoyable? It’s a bit of a cash grab, yes. But darn it the game is fun! You will find yourself unable to put it down. Well, not until you need to recharge your lives anyway.

Positives
Engaging gameplay
Use of your brainpower
Excellent time waster
Negatives
Bit of a cash grab
Gets grindy quickly
Slow recharge of your stamina
4
Great
Download on the App Store