Now, I don’t know about you, but word games don’t tend to spark a great deal of heart-pounding, sweaty-palmed excitement in me. I mean, sure, they’re perfect for when you fancy kicking back with something a tad more cerebral than a zombie-filled shoot ’em up or action-packed endless runner, but thrilling? Nah, not generally speaking.
Lumicon (Out Now, $1.99) from indie studio UglyApps turns that idea on its head by offering up an electrifyingly fast-paced hit of strategy-laced word spelling action that requires quick thinking and even quicker fingers to master.
Gameplay is pretty straightforward: As a gutter at the bottom of the screen fills up with letters, the goal is to tap and drag them upwards onto the game board to form as many words as possible. Letting your gutter get clogged up spells disaster though, so you’ve got to be quick about it! The best strategy is to line-up words on multiple rows of the board and then pop them all quickly to trigger combos. Combos unleash power-ups, which range from ‘Pause’ (which temporarily stops new letters from flowing into the gutter) to ‘Vowel x1’ (brings an extra vowel into play), and can often mean the difference between a ‘Game Over’ and an enormous high score.
Whilst playing, I did try entering a very occasional word — mainly of the four and five letter variety or plurals — that Lumicon failed to recognise, so perhaps its dictionary could do with a little more fine-tuning come update time, as this can be pretty frustrating and tends to throw you off your stride given the frenzied nature of the gameplay.
Other than that minor quibble though, Lumicon is a lot of fun and I’d thoroughly recommend it to any fans of the word game genre who fancy a little more excitement in their lives.
iFanzine Verdict: Lumicon’s high energy, arcade-style pacing makes it much more exciting than your average word game, and its strategy-laced gameplay will keep you coming back for more!