SPELL YOUR HEART OUT
10tons Ltd.’s latest game, Spellspire, challenges players in a typical word game, but throws in some light RPG mechanics into the mix. With an assortment of enemies to defeat, and a variety of levels to complete, Spellspire is a good experience for “Word Wizards” to explore.
Spellspire immerse players as an aloof wizard with an internal drive to climb to the top of a 100-level tower. Though no true story is crafted, the emphasis of the game is focused on its gameplay. To traverse through a level, players must create words from a series of 10 letters to blast powerful spells towards enemies blocking your way. The longer the word, the more powerful the spell. Along with this, there are some minor RPG elements sprinkled into your character. A variety of hats and robes to modify your player – some give extra health, others provide immunities to status ailments, etc – can aid you through the journey. Wands, the main form of your offense, have several elemental abilities that can be imposed upon enemies targeting their weakness.
Though the robes and hats have the ability to truly modify your character to your specific game style, the wands are essentially stronger modifications of the previous models. For example: I have a weak wand that creates fire damage, then get a nearly identical fire wielding wand that is slightly more powerful, followed by yet another fire wielding wand. Regardless, each item can be buffed further by exchanging coins from normal gameplay or purchasing better items with stars from replaying levels with specific challenges. I found myself constantly linked to the multiple ice wands to freeze enemies providing me more time to defeat each enemy.
Even with the gameplay shining through as Spellspire’s high point, there is very little variety to keep me playing more. The first few hours were great – lots of panicky tapping on my Vita to quickly craft words and spells to defeat my enemy. The intermittent levels with bosses varied the gameplay a bit, but not enough to keep the the excitement going. I eventually had to take a break from the game due to its repetitious model, but, after a little bit, found myself itching for another few rounds.
With the highlight being gameplay, the actual look of the game is simple. The art style and character models are straightforward enough, especially since I spent most of the time staring at the words and letters. The same can be said about the music and sound effects. I was so fixated (in a purposeful way) on creating words that I was able to forgive the extremely repetitive sound effects.
The Verdict: 7.2 out of 10
Spellspire is a good word game that blends in some RPG elements into its gameplay. The breadth of diversity with the equipable items is limited, but the gameplay was strong enough to keep me engaged, especially during smaller play sessions. If you consider yourself a “Word Wizard”, then this has the ingredients for you.
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