Spellwood does for Scrabble and Words With Friends what Puzzle Quest did for Bejeweled,
namely turn a friendly puzzle game into a duel between magical creatures.'
Spellwood is more Harry Potter than Skyrim, though, pitting your Spellwood
Academy grad against cute critter "Word Wizards" rather than nightmare
creatures.' These wizard duels are played out on a seven by seven square
grid on which you form words from the seven random letter tiles you're dealt ...
well, let's just say that it's pretty much exactly like Scrabble except that the
points you score from the words that you play zap your opponent's hit points
rather than add to your score.' A duel is won once a player reduces their
opponent's hit points to zero.
Each duel had its own minor rules
variations that determine things like how long words remain on the board before
disappearing, and there are magic scrolls that you can use to affect the game
such as turning a square into a double word score space.' Magical hats and
other equipment can also affect the gameplay by varying the damage the wearer
takes from an opponent's words.' Winning a duel will gain you experience
points that will help you to level up and earn more hit points and learn some
new tricks, so there is also an RPG-light element to the game.
The AI in the game varies from relatively easy to beat to challenging, with
that challenge coming with its knack of playing high-scoring words more so than
an ability to place words strategically to make things more difficult for you.'
True Word Wizards will get more enjoyment out of the game by taking on human
opponents, and in this mode the game provides a nice change of pace from yet
another round of Words With Friends.
Spellwood is an interesting take on the Scrabble formula, but the core
gameplay is not significantly different from that of its source of inspiration.'
As such it's a good change of pace for fans of such crossword puzzle games, but
it doesn't offer enough to win new converts to the genre who don't have much
interest in Scrabble in the first place.