There's a new match-three puzzle or word game on iTunes every week. App stores across all mobile platforms are flooded by games from these two genres, and it doesn't feel like there's much any developer could do to innovate in either. But what if we combine the two?
Developer About Fun does just that with the amazing Letz: The Story of Zed. It's a match-three puzzle. It's a word game. It's both of these things wrapped around a compelling tale of storybook adventure and candy-coated with colourful characters and a whimsically charming style.
Injecting narrative into a pair of genres that don't normally bother with story is a big part of what makes Letz so appealing. All but one of the letter people have been captured and imprisoned across for magical worlds. The heroic Zed must travel these worlds, securing the four magical artifacts that will allow him to save his friends.
The narrative unfolds in storybook fashion, each new sentence tied to a secret word that lies hidden in the game's puzzle stages. It's not just about matching coloured gems. Some of the colourful shapes on the game board have letters on them. Matching these unlocks the letter for play. If it's part of the level's secret word it appears atop the puzzle, filling in a blank. If not, it goes to a letter reservoir on the left side of the screen, where players can at any time tap letters to spell out words for bonus points. It's so gleefully chaotic.
When the secret word is completely filled in (a task that becomes more and more complicated as the player progresses) the level pauses and the story advances. Players are free to advance the tale at this point, or they can choose to hop back to the board and work at earning badges for additional accomplishments, or earn coins to pay for upgrades to the game's many power-up gems.
In a mobile market inundated with word games and match puzzles, Letz: The Story of Zen is one of the best examples of both genres.
Letz - The Story of Zed ($1.99) [iTunes App Store]