Word puzzles may be ten-a-penny on iOS at this point, but that hasn’t dissuaded developers in the slightest from having a go at putting their own unique stamp on a genre that’s proven a hit with casual gamers looking for compelling yet uncomplicated titles they can enjoy in short bursts. Enter MottiMotti with their debut game, Dicto (out now, Free to Try/$0.99 and $2.99 IAP(s)), a puzzler that’s both pick-up-and-play friendly and satisfactorily feature-packed.

DICTO’s main objective is delightfully easy to grasp: presented with a random string of Scrabble-style letter tiles, you’re challenged to create as many words as you can in the shortest amount of time possible to earn a high score. As you play, you must keep a close eye on what each individual letter is worth points-wise and learn to use two HOLD slots strategically e.g. save higher valued letters until a bonus round when your score is tripled. Granted, gameplay isn’t massively sophisticated, but it’s a lot of fun and more challenging than you might expect.

DICTO also features a ‘Survival Mode’, achievements, and a raft of other unlockable extras. The review copy of the game we received had all of this bonus content unlocked from the word go – including an impressive showing of dictionaries (with support 9 different languages in total) and a fun bonus game called ‘Guess The Word’ – however, the average app shopper will have to invest in these extras with one or two in-app purchases. You have the option of plonking down $2.99 for the premium version which removes in-game ads and gives you access to all the content, or buying ‘Guess The Word’ on its own for 99¢ — nothing majorly pricey, but I guess it’s worth bearing in mind there are plenty of other word puzzle games already available for a buck on the App Store.

Putting the ‘freemium’ aspect to one side, I did enjoy the time I spent with DICTO, and would definitely recommend the game to genre fans. The inclusion of some manner of multiplayer mode — which is something the folks at MottiMotti have confirmed they’re working on — is only likely to broaden this one’s appeal too. On that note, I can definitely see something like head-to-head battles of words in a similar vein to the ‘Guess The Word’ game working really well and being a heck of a lot of fun to play with friends.

iFanzine Verdict: A well crafted word game that really engages thanks to Intuitive and polished gameplay and a raft of fun extras. The free version is well worth a download and I’d recommend splurging 99¢ on the enjoyable ‘Guess The Word’ game too.