As a self-proclaimed wordsmith, I always jump at the opportunity to play word based games. When 10tons brought to light Spellspire, I knew I was in for a good time. With their prior successes in the realm of casual gaming, and my egotistically backed word building prowess, the game and I were bound to hit it off. But while I know lots of words and am rather good at building them, I am ashamed to say, I am truly not always great at spelling. So as I did with my time covering a similar title, Letter Quest, I brought my fiancé along for the ride, and all her spell-checking goodness was quite the help.
Spellspire is a cute and casual word building game. A rather large tower, 100 floors tall to be exact, is overflowing with monsters. It is up to you, a whiz-kid wizard with top notch spelling and spell casting, to clear out said floors. To duke it out, players will build words out of a set base of 10 letters. Upon building words, your letter options will remain the same, unlike in many other word building games. This makes it easy to make build plural and varied tense versions of words, but also reduces the variety of words that you can create. I was opposed to this style at first, but it grew on me the more I played. Only thing I did not like about it is how this style made it just too easy at times. It oversimplified the word crafting in a lot of cases, making certain stages all too easy, which I will touch on shortly.
In addition to simply building words, there is a variety of ways to improve your chances at beating a stage. There are several pieces of equipment that can be bought, like new wizard caps, robes, and wands. These will typically have different base stats as well as perks. Certain wands can burn, poison, or even drain enemy life, while caps and robes usually offer defensive perks like freezing enemies upon being hit or even allowing you to dodge hits once in a while. The aesthetic changes are minimal, but the perks make a huge difference, especially on certain enemies that have elemental buffs. There are also offensive and defensive items that you can pick up along the way. Potions and scrolls are what you will normally run into, allowing you to replenish health, build large words on the fly, as well as do elemental damage to foes. These make an impact on your travels and can be the difference between beating a boss or not.
The bosses bring me back to the issue I have with the difficulty. During my time with the game, I found the bosses to be quite a fun challenge, but the rest of the game was not as consistent. Much of the game was too easily beat, and then would ramp up in spurts. It just felt unbalanced, and towards the end, felt all too familiar. There is no story, which is not an issue, but does have an impact considering there is not much variety. Sure, there are different enemies, but at the end of the day it is mostly cosmetic. I never found myself truly having an issue to beat any of them.
Regardless though, I enjoyed my time with SpellSpire, as did my fiancé. It was fun to play as a team and come up with the best words we could think of, playing off each other’s creations. After the base 100 levels, you can continue going through the colorful cartoon like levels to earn challenge stars, which further unlock more accessories to buy. You can also participate in an endless dungeon mode, which is more of an endurance challenge if anything. SpellSpire adds another great casual title to its already great line up. It would have been great to see a bit more variety along the adventure, but it still gets the job done, and I can say that I still have lots of words to build before I call it quits. If you like word building games, SpellSpire should be an easy purchase to add to your library.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purposes of the review
Final Score: 7/10
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