Wandering around the PAX show floor, I discovered a number of games that I would have never heard of otherwise. For instance, here is the iOS title SpellTower, a word-search puzzler infused with the speed and intensity of Panel de Pon or Puyo Puyo. And surprise, surprise! It's been available for quite a while now!
What bothers me about games like Words with Friends is that you are forced in multiplayer-only matches and must wait minutes, sometimes hours for your opponent to bother to make a move. What are they doing? Reading the entire damn Webster's, cover to cover? SpellTower, on the other hand, is primarily focused on single-player, in which you make words by connecting adjacent letters horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. You can take it easy in Tower Mode, trying to make as many words as possible, or tackle Rush Mode, in which new rows constantly stack up until you are unable to find any more matches.
Starting tonight, version 3.0 will be released, adding Bluetooth multiplayer. I tried this mode at PAX, and it's quite nerve-racking. It's not like you can take your time and consult a dictionary for inspiration. You gotta be nimble. For $1.99, it's a good time on iPhone or iPad, and eventually, an Android version will be made available. So... look out for that!
SpellTower By Zach Gage [App Store]
Here are the first screens for the Typing of the Dead-esque Fantasy: World Wide Words
1:00 PM on 09.11.2014