Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey Remastered is the updated console version of the mobile app Letter Quest Grimm’s Journey which is available as a cross-platform purchase, published by Bacon Bandit Games. This isn’t the first mobile game to jump to console, but does it hold its own in the big league of the gaming world?
Letter Quest is a stage by stage game where you play as Grimm, fighting bosses and regular monsters by spelling words, with a few side levels to play too. Kind of like Mario meets Scrabble. To defeat the monsters you need to spell words using the 15 tiles you have. Each letter gives either 1, 2 or 3 points to the word (it’s never explained how this translates into attack points) and when you spell out a valid word you can take a swing. You earn gems for each monster defeated, as well as encountering piles of gems on your travels. Gems can be spent on upgrading your character’s health and attack, or on tactical advantages like damage previews, so you can see how much damage your current word would do. Some characters have special abilities or weaknesses to try and prevent the game from getting boring too fast. It’s essentially still a mobile game that can be repetitive but you still can’t stop playing it, only now it’s on console too. A really good part of the gameplay is the buff/debuff tiles. You get buff tiles (made of crystal) that give you power-ups for the next few turns and debuff tiles such as poison, which decreases your health or plague, which reduces the effect of the host letter to zero and spreads to a neighbouring tile each turn. Each level has four stars showing the completion of that level; unlike other games with this kind of system, each star is earned for completing the same level in an extra game mode (such as time trial) or by completing a challenge. Out of the four stars, you have completing the level, time trial, challenge and a red star, available to earn after completing the other three.
I’m not going to get too deep into the graphics of this game, it looks pretty clear, but it’s still a cartoon; There’s little more I can say of the visual quality of the game, it’s standard. As for the design of the game, it’s quite colourful, although this game has no DLC options for different keys or characters, an option the mobile version did offer for a small fee. There were times when Grimm was running across the screen and it didn’t look quite right, as if the frame rate was a little off. Not a big thing, but it’s annoying if you pick up on it. The background music options are quite good for a game like this; you can choose from either the original soundtrack (from the mobile version) or the new one. Both sound pretty ok, just don’t expect to be blown away by some musical masterpiece any time soon.
A few changes have been made when the game moved from mobile to console, not all of these are for the better. Like I mentioned earlier, there’s no DLC, which isn’t a huge disappointment, but I would prefer to have the choice. They have added in a dictionary section, which gives you the definition of the word you’ve just used.
So what could make this game better? Well, perhaps some kind of idea as to how much damage each letter does, or maybe if you could spend your gems on an automatic word, for when you just can’t think of anything (and you don’t want to cheat by using the internet).
Is the game worth it? Okay, so the game costs £8, and is then available on both PS4 and PS Vita. So yes, the game is worth £8. But on the other hand, the mobile version is free, and minus the dictionary definition I struggled to find many differences that changed the game. £8 is not a lot of money for a decent word game, but you can get practically the same game for free on your phone.
At the end of the day, word games (in my opinion) are the kind of games you play to kill the time; you play this game on the train, or whilst you are waiting for a game to download on your PS4. If you want a cheap game you can have a proper gaming session with and pull an all-nighter to complete, this isn’t for you. This is a good game for people that want to pass a few minutes, but minutes can turn to hours quicker than you’d think. You’ve been warned.
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