Every Wordsmith's Dream
By Edwin Velez
Reviewed on Xbox One
Updated with Switch Review Notes on 11/28/2017
Released on April 8th, 2016 for Xbox One and PS4, Also Available for PC (Released on November 23rd, 2017 for Nintendo Switch)
Developer: Bacon Bandit Games
Publisher: Digerati Distribution
The gameplay is simple and effectively translates on Xbox One. Using a grid of letters, you can pick and choose as you please to make valid words with varied power. It isn’t like Boggle, where you have to chain adjacent letters. This makes it easier to play on the RPG styled battles. With similarities to both Puzzle Quest and 10000000, Letter Quest makes battling monsters interesting in a variety of ways. For one, your range of letters have three different strength tiers, with harder to work with letters like X and Z having higher power while vowels all have lower power. You will also get some crystal tiles that award you with a variety of perks after using them. Your enemies also have some skills to set you back, like creating negative effect tiles such as poison or spike. Some of these are more detrimental, and can hold you back over the duration of their turn counter, while others (like one that sets your letters upside down) are kind of pointless. Bosses even have special restrictions that will either work for you or against you.
Along the way you’ll save friends, earn upgrades, and maybe muster up the strength to attempt to win a Crystal Star, which is the award for beating a level’s hardest variant. These levels require players to strategize, whether it be with equipment or upgrades. There are different items you can equip like books and scythes, which offer various boosts. One of my favorite books added damage to words with double letters, so words like “books” or “letters” would get boosts! The scythes are cool too because they let you add a little flair to your character in addition to getting some positive perks. The graphics fit the title perfectly, with colorful cartoon animations that shine. There are a whopping two soundtracks on the game, one from the original and an all new one. It is nice to have such a variety, but some of the tracks do admittedly grow tiresome.
VITA VERSION NOTES: On the Playstation Vita, you can expect the same great game and experience that you would find else where. This time it is back to its portable roots, fit with touchscreen controls. The only downfall here is that there is no option to use the D-Pad or the analog sticks for letter selection, meaning you have to use the touch screen. This sometime makes it awkward for longer play session when it can be uncomfortable. Other than that, it is a great addition to the Vita's library!
Ahhh I am once again visited by that familiar title screen jingle. Letter Quest is now on Switch, bringing yet another great port to Nintendo’s current flagship device. Letter Quest Remastered is an excellent word building game from Bacon Bandits, and now on Switch, this is the third platform I have tried it out on. I do this without hesitation too, as it is honestly one of the most memorable games I have reviewed. As a game that started on the go, it makes a lot of sense on the Switch. Everything good about it on the Xbox One version is present here. A charming, witty adventure with challenges and upgrades to keep you working out your brain. The shortcomings of the Vita version, specifically the noticeably darker colors, are not an issue on the Switch in handheld mode as Letter Quest Remastered look and runs amazing. Only issue on the Switch I have is this versions responsiveness, specifically when using the Joycons. I tend to move pretty quickly when building words, which makes this a huge issue on my end, as the A button is very finicky in this situation, sometimes requiring several presses before the input is recognized. I switched to a Pro Controller which almost fully remedied my issues, but for whatever reason did not allow me to use the analog stick. I have reached out to both Bacon Bandits and Digerati and if the issue is fixed I will update this section accordingly. But otherwise, if these issues get addressed, it is a fantastic port. The touch screen controls work well, it’s the same great game as it has been, and it looks fantastic in handheld mode. Once a patch comes through, it will be another great port on the Switch, one worth picking up if you haven’t yet already.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review.
Final Score: 8/10
+Fun and Lighthearted
+Makes players actively think
+Lots of replayability
-Some elements could use polish