Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey Remastered Review
Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey Remastered was developed by Bacon Bandit Games and published by Digerati Distribution. It released on Xbox One on April 8th 2016 at a price of $9.99/£7.99. A press review copy was provided for The Hidden Levels.
Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey Remastered follows the tale of two grim reapers named Grimm and Rose who are battling to defeat a horde of monsters, ghosts, and evil bunnies using the power of words. With an interesting story and incredibly addictive game play I’ll admit I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of depth that Grimm’s Journey has to offer.
What I Enjoyed:
Word Up! – As soon as I saw that Grimm’s Journey was being ported to Xbox One I immediately got excited. I have always enjoyed word based games such as Wordament and Quarrel but this is the first word based puzzle game to reach us since the Xbox One released back in late 2014. The game mechanics are actually very simplistic; you are assigned a random selection of 15 different letters and it us up to you to try and make as high scoring a word as possible. Every time you make a word the letters you used are replaced with another random selection. Each enemy you battle will have different conditions for you to be able to beat them effectively, which sometimes makes it a case of strategically using certain smaller words instead of going all out with the biggest words possible. It’s a fun twist that stops you getting complacent.
Surprisingly deep – For a game that simply involves spelling as many words as possible there is actually a decent amount of content here. The bulk of my time was spent in the story mode. It’s a fairly throwaway story but it is still reasonably humorous. There are a total of 30 levels and each level has four stars you can earn. The first star you can earn is always earned by simply defeating the enemies. To earn the remaining three stars though requires you to beat a variety of conditions. Some of them are fairly reasonable; there is always a timed section where you have to defeat the enemies but the time limit is so generous I never came close to failing. The requirements for the last two stars are where it gets interesting though. The third star normally has a certain condition that enables to score more or less points. One such example was spelling a word that contained two or more letters from the bottom row of your total letters, while another gave you extra damage if you spelled a word with a Q in it. The fourth and final star is a crystal star. This is where the enemies get harder and they either do more damage or have a lot more health. As you play you can upgrade your weapons as well as increase your overall health or damage resistance.
It definitely gives off a light RPG feel with that although it is pretty minimal. While you progress through the levels new mechanics are added to try and stop you advancing; there poisonous tiles that sap your health when you use the, stone tiles that cannot be used at all, duplicator tiles that leave you stuck with multiple copies of the worst letters on your board, and also whirlwind tiles that change to a different letter every time that you don’t use them. They are simple mechanics but at the same time they definitely add an extra element of thought. There are two difficulty modes for you to choose from so if you fancy yourself as a proficient speller then I would recommend you test yourself on expert mode. The other mode available to you is endless mode. It’s fairly self explanatory; you start off with absolutely no upgrades and have to fight as many enemies as you can before you run out of health. There’s not a lot here when compared to the story mode but it’s a fun little diversion all the same.
Where did the time go? – Be prepared to lose a lot of time when you play Grimm’s Journey as it is seriously addictive. I’ve already confessed to being a big fan of this genre but i still surprised myself with just how much I played this. Over the course of the weekend I was reviewing the game I amassed around 24 hours of total play time, and this could easily have been more if I had more achievements to unlock. I really hope that there is a follow on game or some DLC to be released as I definitely need an excuse to go back.
What I disliked:
The sound of (repetitive) music – I had to really think about something for the ‘disliked’ section of this review and for me only one thing really stood out, and that was the music. One thing I will say is that I didn’t outright dislike the music in this game, in fact some of it is actually rather good. My issue with the music is more to do with the repetitiveness and lack of variety. It probably didn’t help that I played for hours at a time with very little breaks, but it would have still been nice to have more tracks to listen to as I played.
Even though I finished everything that Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey has to offer I still find myself returning to the game for 30 minute sessions to try and come up with elusive longer words that can be made. That for me is the sign of a game that everyone should buy. If you are not into word based puzzle games there isn’t anything here that will convert you, if you are a fan though then this game is an essential purchase.
Score: Buy it now.
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