SpellTower is almost a perfect word game with very few faults. This does not, however, mean that there is no room for improvement or at least further diversity. To make this word game even more appealing so that every gamer remains fascinated and continues to enjoy playing it’s probably worth some more useful features and various other gameplay options. Ideas that we would like to see in Spell Tower 2 range from improved sound and graphics to implementing additional game modes to offer more replayability. We have also recommended some other word games that could be included in the current edition that may appeal to a younger audience.
Mode to play vs. the computer
We would like to have the option to play against the AI of whatever device you are using – iPhone, iPad etc. The concept behind the game can remain the same in this mode, searching for words and earning points, although to make it more challenging a time limit could be included. So if a player doesn’t find a word within a minute then they miss their turn. The flaw at the moment is if you don’t have an internet connection you can’t play against anyone except yourself! So Spell Tower can feel a little lifeless.
Improved Graphics & Sound Effects
Whilst the current visuals and sound effects work really well, they could be a bit more stylistic. We wouldn’t necessary want to see a bunch of tacky fireworks interrupting play just because you get a substantial word or even the electrifying graphics so regularly used in games like Bejewelled, but a subtle hint of extra polish to the games core visuals would go down a treat. This is very much a take it or leave it suggestion – some people prefer basic graphics as to not provide any distractions from the main game play.
A Charming Character for Good Measure!
Think Sega’s Spellwood and you know what we are talking about. Sega’s word game strikes a real balance providing that little bit of charm through several cute characters while keeping the game’s challenge as the main focus. Writer Rumble is another great example (a little more grown up).
A nerdy looking character could appear on the screen, holding his thumbs up, and have a huge cheeky grin every time you get additional points (ok this may get annoying) but a charismatic character would definitely add more life to the game. The sound effects that accompany the character could be a loud trumpet sound or the sound of another musical instrument that implies some kind of triumph. SpellTower could also do with having some other distinct sounds for high scoring bonus points. These little suggestions may not seem much but all the little things add up.
Yes it’s that time again when we state the most obvious improvement - A story mode could be included to the existing game where a Story Teller has a word hidden underneath some plane white tiles. The player would be expected to reveal the word by guessing all the letters that are already displayed on the bottom of the screen. The story teller will only let you have 4 guesses before he walks off and takes away 3 points off your current score if you don’t uncover the word. Players could be awarded five points for a correct answer, but 2 points could also be deducted for a wrong answer. This type of game could use various topics to keep within a storyline, for example, World War 2, world politics, general knowledge. Light hearted topics could also be included to appeal to a younger audience, such as fashion and sports.
Fill the Gaps Activity
In this mode the player could be provided with a few letters from a given word and they are expected to work out what the full word actually is (borrowed from the story mode example above). This could be played at two levels: normal and difficult. In the normal mode, the words could be 5 to six letters long, in which case only one letter needs to be revealed. Or else, it can be played at a difficult level where a word could be 7 or more letters long. You could even have double words in this level. Again, a time element could be included in this mode to make it more challenging, plus this gap fill activity could be included in a multiplayer mode also because it would give it an extra competitive edge like the Countdown Conundrum.
This mode is a slight Variation to the Puzzle and Ex current modes – continue to make as many words as possible on the letter grid but the player also has a further challenge. Here the player could also try and earn extra points by answering a question correctly. To do this in the first place, the player has to get a question mark tile down to the bottom of the screen. Once they manage to do that successfully, a question will appear. For example, select the best meaning of a word that has already been played, like symbolic. If a player chooses the correct meaning of the relevant word then they could earn additional points (what do you mean get the question mark to the bottom of the screen – not very clear?)
A hint feature: in addition to the in-built dictionary, it would be useful to have extra help from time to time, especially for all novice players. This means that a player could select the hint option if they are really struggling to find a word and one letter will flash on the screen that can be used to begin a word. A player can only use this option three times in total and this feature could be introduced in multiplayer mode too.
At the moment SpellTower is the sort of game that rapidly moves from an easy mode to a difficult one. You reach a stage in the game where only six letter words or more are accepted – this is obviously in the advanced modes.
Perhaps in SpellTower 2 there could be an option where the minimum word limit is 5 before moving straight to six. This will suit the more relaxed player as well as those who feel that their vocabulary isn’t that great at this particular moment in time. This is guaranteed to change the more you play SpellTower though, but still it would be much appreciated.