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Letter Quest Grimm’s Journey Remastered Review
If you were to cross an adorable RPG and the classic game Scrabble, you’d probably end up with something like Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey Remastered. Join Grimm and Rose, two adorably cuddly Grim Reapers, on an epic journey through graveyards, spooky woods and secret labs – all in the name of pizza.
Created by Bacon Bandit Games, this remastered version features the redesigned game, an Endless Mode, more achievements, a brand new soundtrack (which is pretty awesome) and a dictionary with over 192,000 English words. Which makes me feel even worse when my mind blanked. The story features 30 levels, and each contains a selection of monsters to defeat, magic chests to unlock and gems to collect. You damage enemies by creating words out of the assorted letters at the bottom of the screen. More complex words not only do more damage, but also increase the score they reward, and using more difficult letters (such as Q and Z) will deal the most damage. It sounds relatively simple, but the limited amount of letters actually presents quite the challenge. The monsters add to the difficulty level by putting effects on the tiles, such as poison (which will cause damage) or whirlwind tiles (which changes letter every turn). The further you progress, the more these effects will be used and the more challenging the game becomes. But who doesn’t love a good word challenge?
While the main story itself is only 30 levels long, each level has 4 stars to obtain: the first is for completing the story level, the second is a timed challenge, the third has a unique condition to fulfill and the fourth is the especially-difficult crystal challenge (recommended for those with an extended vocabulary…) It means you always have plenty of things to do, and each level rewards players with good old fashioned gems. Gems are used to purchase the large selection of upgrades, including: upgrading weaponry, buying beneficial books and maintaining a healthy stock of potions. Some of the items are rather expensive though, and you’ll find yourself having to repeat levels just to earn enough gems. Luckily you can get gems from defeating monsters, completing the levels and from special Hangman chests in the levels. There are lots of ways to augment Grimm and Rose, and some of them are definitely needed to meet the rising difficulty level. Another way to earn extra gems is to complete the 70 in-game quests. You’ll always have 3 active at a time, and they range in difficulty from using words that end in S to spelling 5 palindromes. Some are so easy you’ll find yourself accumulating money without thinking about it.
If you’ve managed to finish the story and completed all the additional stars, you may be wondering what to do next. Letters Quest: Grimm’s Journey Remastered contains an Endless mode, where players keep battling monsters with limited supplies until their health is depleted. Old Man Merchant appears frequently to take your hard-earned gems, but anything gained in Endless mode can only be used in that single game. It’s another great way to challenge and expand you vocabulary, but it would be nice if the gems could be added to the main story mode as well instead of disappearing after the one game. I have my eye on a shiny health upgrade, and the extra money couldn’t hurt!
I absolutely love the cartoon art style Bacon Bandit Games have gone with: they even manage to make graveyards look bright and cheerful. Every character is cute, and the descriptions are entertaining to read. Letters Quest: Grimm’s Journey Remastered also features two soundtracks: the original score and an updated electronic track. You can easily switch between the two by going through the Options menu, and just between you and me I’m much more partial to the newer score. The redesigned audio kind of reminds me of Scott Pilgrim or one of the many retro titles from the Sega Megadrive years, and it’s pretty catchy.
I’ve put a lot of hours into this PC title already, and I’ve struggled to find anything that’s really wrong with it. It would be nice if the Endless mode gems could be transferred to the main story, but on the other hand allowing you to excessively gain gems takes the struggle out of playing the main story. There’s no struggle if you can buy all the upgrades before you’ve started! Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey Remastered is a fantastic take on Scrabble-type word games. It features a ridiculously cute art style that will appeal to players of all ages, and the increasing difficulty will gradually challenge new players while offering a higher level of challenge to more experienced gamers. As an added bonus, Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey Remastered acts as one long vocabulary lesson, teaching you new meanings for words you probably use every day but don’t really think about. Bacon Bandit Games have created a great wordplay game that I’ll happily keep on playing. As for Grimm… you’ll just have to see if he gets that pizza by playing it yourselves!