I recently included Kurt Bieg in Four indie mobile developers to watch, he having churned out 4 Thrones (a Solitaire variant with intriguing Game of Thrones logic), and the better-than-it-ought-to-be Hoots.
I’m pleased to say that LEX, a spanking new word game, is possibly my favourite Simple Machines release to date. Sales pitch below.
How to describe LEX? Let’s start with the App Store blurb: “LEX is more than a word game. It’s an ephemeral experience of colorful glyphs and breath-taking music that you create as you play.”
Essentially, in LEX, you’ve got a ration of nine letters along the bottom of the screen at any one time, each with a Scrabble-style value. Needless to say, you’re tasked with making words from said letters, but there’s a cheeky twist when it comes to the time limit.
See, if a letter has a low value (A, E, I, L…), the logic is that you should be able to get rid of it pretty quickly, while something like an X or a Z is permitted to hang around for a little longer.
So each letter has its own little timer; specifically, the tile will start to fill red, and if it fills completely, it’s game over.
That concept alone would’ve been enough to make LEX an interesting prospect, but as the aforementioned App Store description explains, the background and music evolve as you play.
Each letter you choose contributes towards a kaleidoscopic image in the background, while the music speeds up in accordance with the increasing urgency.
All in all, pretty great stuff. I decided to have a quick blast again this morning before penning my review, and that “quick blast” suddenly became a full-on 30-minute session. It’s incredibly moreish.
The only criticism I can think to level at LEX pertains to the depth. It’s one of those games wherein you’ve seen pretty much everything there is to see after your first outing. But hey, depth doesn’t necessarily equate to greatness.
And heck, there’s replay value in the form of Game Center leaderboards, or maybe – like me – you’ll find yourself repeatedly spurred on by the realisation that you only just messed up; the number of times I’ve spotted a word just as the timer ran out.
So, yes, at 69p, LEX is definitely worth a punt. See you on the leaderboards.
- Interesting concept
- The kaleidoscopic visuals
- The evolving music
- Not a great deal of depth
- Just the one game mode
- If you’re not bothered about leaderboards…
Summary: LEX is an intriguing and incredibly moreish word game, in a world chock-full of same-old word games. Thoroughly deserving of your attention.
Developer: Simple Machines
Price: 69p @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.