Spellspire (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 21.01.2018

Review for Spellspire on Nintendo Switch

Spellspire first appeared as a mobile app, as most spelling/word-scrabble ones often do. Later on, it made the leap to other platforms, and, of course, along with a price tag. The question at hand is simple: can it provide any fun outside of its "normal" environment, or its mobile foundation is more obvious than it really should. After taking a good, thorough look at it on the PS4, Cubed3 checks the Nintendo Switch version to see if it has the capacity to put a spell on you.

The Spire of Spellspire is nothing more than 100 rooms filled with a typically dungeon crawling-esque cast of monsters, but, instead of hacking and slashing his way through them, the heroic wizard of this tale will have to spell some spells… with spelling. Don't worry, though. The craft of Anagrammatism-ancy is pretty simple. 10 letters are given to you, and after that you'll have to put those thesaurus skills to the test in order to kill whatever is in front of our frail protagonist.

To spice things up, coins can be gathered; coins that can be used for some RPG-like spending, with robes, wands, and hats - varied in what they can do, whether that is a different type of element damage, immunity, and so on. After a while, it would be possible to re-enter a room to try and get a Star by reaching the end unscathed, with these basically unlocking higher tier equipment.

Audio-visually, this is nothing more than what you would expect from a free mobile app, with its cartoony art style and generic tunes being just fine, but nothing more than that. As for the controls, once again the Nintendo Switch turns out to be the best choice, as this can be enjoyed on your TV, in docked mode, and, of course, via the touchscreen, with the latter being the fastest option available.

Screenshot for Spellspire on Nintendo Switch

In conclusion, a nice a simple video game; one that won't rock your world, but will offer a pleasant form of casual-friendly escapism, nonetheless. Correct? Far from it! The execution of it all has one major flaw, which, without a single doubt, derives from Spellspire's mobile beginnings. The original pushed skills aside in favour of in-game purchases, something that, for better or for worse (spoiler alert: for worse) meant that your word-scrabble abilities didn't really matter.

While the in-game shop has disappeared for the console ports, the whole odyssey remains insanely grindy. If you expect to reach any room after the tenth floor, be prepared to repeat most levels more than 20 times, in order to amass the necessary amount of money to buy or level-up a piece of equipment, something that, most of the time, feels unrewarding, as one has to purchase tons of upgrades to even feel the rise in "strength"

The worst thing, however, is how the very core of the game doesn't actually matter in the long run. In other words (pun intended), equipment shouldn't matter as much as it does - your spelling should, though. To give an example: one can spell four eight-to-ten letter words, and even as lightning-fast as possible, and still lose a level, and, usually, by a long shot.

Screenshot for Spellspire on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

The flaws of the free, mobile version have been carried over to the Nintendo Switch port, and as such, destroy what little fun could be had by this word-scramble title, the reason being that, rather than the ability to craft words, Spellspire is all about grinding.

Developer

10tons

Publisher

10tons

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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