Word Warrior: Scrabble Meets Final Fantasy

The title of this article sounds ridiculous but that’s just about the best way I can think of to describe Word Warrior, a fantastically innovative RPG with an intellectual twist.

Is your vocabulary good enough to help you defeat your enemies and build your character up to the ultimate Word Warrior?

Getting Started

Most RPGs feel the need to immerse you into a world before you play the game, which means you have to sit through ten minutes of lame narration before you actually get to play. When you first launch Word Warrior, you won’t have to sit through a lot of story or even run through complicated account setups. Instead, you’ll be up and playing in seconds.

Once you start the game, everything is pretty easy to figure out but if you want to make sure you know what you’re getting into there’s a brief walkthrough accessible from the main menu.

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Word Warrior

Once you decide you’re ready to play, you’ll be taken to two maps. The first is a world map, there’s only one option here for now but more will come later as you progress. The second map shows your little character and a series of circles, each of which represents a level to be conquered.

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Navigating the map

Each level contains a certain number of enemies and many contain specific instructions for how to beat the level. To start off though most of the levels simply tell you to “Battle Enemies”, which we’ll see how to do next. Note that you can’t skip any level that lies directly in your path, to progress and explore you must defeat the enemies.

Fighting with Words

When you enter a level, you’ll see your character on the left and your enemy on the right, each of which has a meter containing “Hit Points” or energy above their head.

What follows is a typical turn-based fighting style battle, similar to what you’d see in an old Final Fantasy game. The difference here though is that you’re not simply choosing attacks from a text-based menu but instead building words from the available letter tiles.

As in scrabble, you try to make the best word you can with the available letters. To attack your opponent, you create a word and hit the little sword button on the left. This releases an attack on scale with the difficulty of your word and gives you a fresh set of tiles to work with.

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A fight!

At the top-center of the screen is a countdown meter, when this runs out, your enemy will take a swipe at you. Obviously, the basic goal here is to attack your enemy faster and harder than he attacks you because the fight doesn’t end until someone dies.

Most fights contain more than one enemy, the count of which can be seen right above the enemy’s attack meter. Occasionally, you’ll see a colored tile. When used in a word, these have special ways that they affect the enemy such as freezing them.

Special Fights

Some of the enemies that you encounter can only be defeated with certain words so be sure to watch the level description before you begin. For instance, sometimes you’ll be told to only use words beginning with the letter “L” or words that are five letters long.

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Some levels have specific instructions

Once you reach a boss enemy, things get even more interesting. This time, instead of receiving special instructions before the fight, the enemy’s weakness will change during the battle. Watch closely to see a number or letter appear over the boss, indicating the length of the word you need or the initial letter.

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Bosses can change weaknesses

Building Up Your Character

As with any good RPG, your character can change dramatically throughout the course of the game. There are three key components to your character than can be improved: strength, defense and luck, the latter of which increases your chance of earning more equipment from fights.

There are two ways to build up these three characteristics. The first is by leveling up. After so many fights, your character levels up and you can choose to improve his strength, luck or defense. Be sure to vary your selections to make sure you have a well-rounded character.

The second method is by upgrading your armor and weapons. As you defeat enemies, treasure chests will randomly appear at the end of your fights (more luck, more treasure). These chests contain new equipment for your character.

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Choose your equipment carefully and watch your stats

Each piece of new equipment affects the three character traits differently, and there’s usually a tradeoff. Some items increase strength but decrease luck, others increase luck and defense but decrease strength. As you build up your armory you’ll have to make some tough decisions about how to prepare your character for the next battle!

Worth a Download? Absolutely!

Word games are fun little mental exercises, but it’s hard to beat the excitement of a good fight. Until I played this game, I would’ve never thought that you could have the two worlds collide successfully.

Word Warrior is innovative iPhone gaming at its best. I simply love both the concept and execution of this game. I hardly ever find myself really getting into a game on the iPhone enough to come back again and again but I’m completely addicted to this one.

The difficultly is just right and the structure of the game is perfect for picking up and putting down at odd times, as is a necessity with iPhone gaming. I really only have one request: I’d like to see a meter or number that shows my progress on leveling up (if there is one, I haven’t found it), it would be nice to see that goal so you know how long it’s going to take if you’re just building up your character to fight a boss. Other than that, Word Warrior is spotless.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a simple but addicting RPG that utilizes a unique fighting system, Word Warrior is the way to go. If you’re bored with your folder full of word games that all do the same thing, again, Word Warrior is just what the doctor ordered.

For $0.99, this game is a steal. Go grab it and leave a comment below letting us know what you think. There’s also a free lite version in case you want to try before you buy.


Summary

Turn-based fighting that uses word-building to defeat enemies. I almost never find an app good enough to award a perfect ten but this game is really that good.

10