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Word games like Scrabble are great, but their classic sensibilities can sometimes feel a little staid. If you’re looking for something a little more mobile, you might want to give QatQi a try—it feels similar enough to the familiar formula, yet is a fresh take that has you “moving” around a darkened map looking for coins and multiplier bonus tiles. Yes, it’s rather interesting.
For starters, QatQi has a noticeably unique aesthetic design. Sliding difficulty puzzles—doled out weekly using a minimalist-slick calendar that gets harder with each passing day—are essentially blank maps you uncover by playing letters to form words, which in turn opens up more adjacent spaces. It's kind of like exploring in an old-school dungeon crawling RPG, only without enemies. The more you use your words to branch out into different rooms, the better chance you have of stumbling across hidden gold coins, further boosting your score.
The fluid strategies here can quickly get complex. Longer words increase your chances of landing on a multiplier space while upping the values of already uncovered multipliers (the identifiable dots are often positioned to form word prefixes). You’re also encouraged to undo moves if you make a mistake, giving you the edge in knowing which letters you’ll get in the event you use a few of your finite lexical mulligans to go back a few tiles.
Unless you’re a genius, doing so is crucial to getting as high a score as possible—and there’s nothing like nailing a 10-letter word (e.g., “nautiluses”) thanks to clever tactical maneuvering. Aside from its leaderboard support, QatQi’s most appreciated deviation may be that unlike Scrabble, any English word is acceptable, including slang and partial words.
The bottom line. Love lexicology? QatQi will have you hooked.
iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone running iOS 5.0 or later
Interestingly open-ended design than "mobilizes" the Scrabble template. Highly addictive. Excellent aesthetic and music. Fun stats and leaderboards.
Puzzles get much harder throughout the week. Easy to get burnt out after a few games.