Grimm’s Journey Remastered is a Scrabble game in the form of an RPG. The cute art-style can be enjoyed by both adults and children, while the variety of upgrades and unlockables to choose from allows each player to define how they want to play the game.
+ Cute art-style
+ Large variety of unlockables and upgrades
+ Innovative take on a classic formula
+ Fun achievements and quests
– Minimal story
Platform(s) available: PC, Android, iOS
Platform reviewed: PC
Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey Remastered is an RPG Scrabble game made by the two-man Canadian developer team, Bacon Bandit Games. Players take control of cutesy Grimm the Grim Reaper, who’s so determined to get a pizza that he’s willing to journey through graveyards and dark forests, while battling monsters.
Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey was originally released in Flash, which limited the platforms that the game could be released on. On the 6th August, the remastered version was released, which includes an Endless Mode challenging players to survive as many monsters as they can in a row, 8 more achievements (60 in total), fully animated enemies and shopkeepers, a new soundtrack, tooltips during battles, a dictionary of over 192,000 English words (frequently updated) and 70 in-game quests to complete. It’s interesting to note that the game also has full keyboard support, meaning that it can be played by typing the letters on the keyboard rather than clicking and dragging with the mouse.
The first things players will note are the game’s art-style and soundtrack. The main characters and monsters all have a cuteness about them, while the backgrounds are charming and child friendly. The game features two soundtrack options (the original, and the new remastered soundtrack) which allows players to switch between them for a nice change every now and then.
The RPG title that Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey Remastered gives itself comes from the ability to level up the characters stats, but the lack of story means there is nothing in particular to actually role-play. There are 7 comic book pages, gained by completing certain missions, and while each page is cute and colourful, a few more would have been much appreciated. However, this sort of spelling-puzzle game does not require a story in order to be fun.
Each stage is divided into 4 different stars, which represent challenges to complete. The first star is always to defeat all the monsters, the second is a timed stage, the third has some sort of condition to fulfil, such as only being able to use 12 words in the stage, and the fourth is a crystal star that is an extra difficult challenge.
In Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey Remastered, players are met with 3 rows of 5 tiles containing letters of the alphabet, and must use them to spell words which attack monsters. Letters have different strengths depending on how common they are. Easier letters like A, E, and D are all worth 1 point, letters like P, V and Y are worth 2 points, while the more difficult to use X, Q and Z being worth 3 points. The more points, the more damage dealt to the enemy, meaning that longer or more impressive words cause more damage.
Monsters can also put effects on tiles that means even more thinking is required, such as poison and spike tiles that mean players lose health if they use them, stone titles which can’t be used for a specific amount of turns, whirlwind tiles that change what letter they are in between each go, and many others. If no words are available from the current tile set, players are able to refresh all the tiles onscreen, at the cost of a turn.
Completing each stage rewards players with a pile of gems, used to upgrade and buy equipment such as health, damage, weapons with different effects, and more. Gaining upgrades starts to feel like a necessity as stages get increasingly difficult. Playing the story mode and completing stars unlocks more available equipment and upgrades including a female playable character, named Rose, who has different stats. In addition to the upgrades, an old man sometimes appears during the level offering upgrades including stealing health from enemies, restoring a percentage of your health, higher attack and a shield, which will last for a limited amount of turns.
Some may find the gem system frustrating, as completing each section is only awarded with a set amount of gems on the first playthrough. Some gems will drop from monsters, and finishing a stage (even when replaying) ends with a pile of gems. Unfortunately, the amount gained from drops is always equivalent to the word spelt by the player, putting those with limited spelling skills, or dyslexia, at a disadvantage. On top of this, upgrades are quite expensive. This is a nice feature for those with skill at the game, as not being loaded with gems means having to think carefully about choosing upgrades, but those that struggle may find multiple playthroughs of beginning levels frustrating.
This little game is packed full of things to keep players interested and give a gameplay level that will be both fun and challenging for all ages. Right from the start, players are able to choose between normal and expert game modes, encouraging fun for those spelling and word enthusiasts out there.
Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey Remastered is a fun game for those who like Scrabble, Boggle and other such spelling games. Players who have trouble with words may find frustration in the limited amount of gems gained for replaying levels, so an easier mode where either gems are easier to gain, or upgrades are cheaper, may be appreciated. That being said, the game has a fair difficulty curve while the art-style and monster descriptions keep a light-hearted and enjoyable atmosphere, so the game never feels unsatisfying or boring.
This review is based off a review copy of Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey Remastered provided by Bacon Bandit Games.
This review was originally part of the GamersFTW site, the servers of which have been taken down. It now appears on GabsTannerReviews out of respect for the developers/publishers that gave me a copy to review.