HomeReviews3.5/5 ReviewLetterbox by POWGI Review

Letterbox by POWGI Review

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Lightwood Games have been serving up word-based puzzle games for quite a while, yet they still appear to be full of ideas in order to continue expanding their POWGI series. The most recent instalment, Sixty Words by POWGI, was possibly their most ambitious to-date with a clever spin on the classic wordsearch. Now though, Letterbox by POWGI has to follow it somehow, but can it deliver another unique word game for us to indulge in?

The idea behind the concept for Letterbox by POWGI is that you’ll be given a nine-letter word and a grid containing six five-letter words, with a slight catch. Each word has the middle three letters missing and you must fill in the blanks of the 3×3 grid by using those which form the nine-letter word. If successful, you’ll end up with three correct words vertically as well as three that can be read horizontally. Trust me, it’s undoubtedly a lot simpler to grasp while playing than it is to explain, and much of that is down to the control setup. 

You merely have to navigate the blank tiles, interact with the one you wish to fill and then choose a letter from those available. Once used, it’ll automatically ensure it’s unavailable for the next blank space; unless you clear the tile and put the letter back on the shelf. What’s extremely helpful is the ability to check whether the letters you’ve placed are correct, which then offers to remove any erroneous ones – because it’s optional, it enables the opportunity for everyone to have a better chance of solving the puzzles.

Solving the puzzles is very rewarding, no matter how much help you receive. Every single problem will see your brain searching the depths of your memory vaults, attempting to remember five-letter words beginning and ending in certain letters, all in the hopes that you have the rest of the letters at hand and that the word you make fits in well with the other words in the grid. Once you figure out at least one correct word, creating the first eureka moment, then the rest should slip into place and another satisfying feeling should arise.

Letterbox by POWGI pun

To further cement the feel-good moments of completing a puzzle, you’ll be presented with a pun or one-liner that would give Christmas cracker jokes a run for their money. These are usually related to the nine-letter word at the heart of each puzzle and most of them will at least bring a smile to your face, if not cause a little chuckle. Some of the humour is a tad dark, but never crosses the line and the laughter it can provide is a perfect way to end a mentally taxing problem. In fact, it’s an incentive.

With 120 puzzles to tackle in Letterbox by POWGI, there’s plenty to get stuck into. I can’t see folks spending much more than a minute or two trying to complete each one, which makes it a prime candidate as a game to fire up for short sessions here and there. Naturally, the downside here is that the gifted wordsmiths could be all done and dusted in a couple of hours. It’s also worth noting there’s not really any replayability, because the solutions won’t change.

In terms of audio, the BGM is pleasant enough for a short while as there’s a bit of variation to the tracks. Eventually the music does begin to grate though, tempting you to stick it on mute and put on your own chillout playlist instead. The UI isn’t much to look at either, with a no-frills approach on the visual front throughout its entirety.

What Letterbox by POWGI lacks in ambition, it certainly makes up for with a clever concept that really tests your vocabulary. Expect to feel elation upon succeeding and occasionally learn new words, all while having a laugh at the consistently funny puns. Sure, it won’t provide a long-lasting experience, but it’s very easy to pick up and play whenever a spot of free time emerges.

If you love word puzzles, fancy a giggle, and just want to fill a little bit of time, Letterbox by POWGI gets my stamp of approval.

Letterbox by POWGI is out now on the Xbox Store

James Birks
James Birks
Been gaming casually since the SNES as a youngster but found my true passion for games on the Playstation 1 (the forbidden word ooo). My addiction grew to its pinnacle with the purchase of an Xbox 360 & Xbox Live Service. A recovering GS hunter that will still play literally any game.
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