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Word-based arcade fun

If you're a fan of word-based puzzlers like the classic Scrabble or even the Tetris variant, Wordtris, then this little known board game-style experience should be right up your alley. It's deceptively simple but pretty addictive stuff if you like messing around with letters so be prepared to lose a few hours to it if you're into this sort of thing. There's also elements of arcade-style games such as Marble Madness or Spindizzy, making this a test of your reflexes and your brain. AlphaNatix is a kind of word-construction game where the player is required to spell out various words against a strict time limit. The arcade side of things comes from the fact that you're in control of a ball, which must be rolled around the game board in order to spell out the required words. You have to pass over the letters in the correct order while it's also possible to fall off the edge of the board, thus requiring the player to think both quickly and accurately. There are also several special tiles to add some challenge, such as arrows which can help or hinder your actions, as well as things like teleport squares. AlphaNatix really is a terribly clever little game. While it takes its inspiration from the aforementioned isometric classics, the addition of the word-based gameplay is a truly inspired choice and which makes for highly compelling and enjoyable gameplay. The visuals aren't spectacular, lacking the character of the best isometric adventures such as Head over Heels or The Great Escape, but for a puzzler they're certainly up to the task. If you're looking for something original and thrilling, this makes for a great choice and it deserves to be checked out.
AlphaNatix (pc game)
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  • Courtesy of Home of the Underdogs revival.