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Apple Arcade Daily #9 - Word Laces

Whilst surving bullet storms or going on an adventure across the world can be great fun, you sometimes need to step back a bit in life and time the pace down a bit.

Beautiful graphics or a pumping soundtrack usually make for an interesting gaming experience, but in the right situation, something far simpler is called for. It’s this time when quiet, relaxation and simpler time is required that today’s comes into its own. The game is Word Laces, by Australian development studio MiniMega Games.

These micro reviews are always supposed to be short, and my review of Word Laces is likely going to be the shortest so far1. Don’t take that as a reflection on the game, however, because I’ve probably sunk more time into it than any other game that I’ve reviewed so far.

The aim of the game is simple. Each level includes an image in the top half of the screen2 and a collection of letters on the bottom half. You then need to swipe through the collection of letters to form set words that are associated with the image. In the image shown below, for example, you would link together J-A-CK-E-T which will earn you some points and then remove that set of letters from play. You continue this until you have enough letters to move onto the next level / image. It really is that simple …

It’s this simplicity that makes the game so engrossing, however. This isn’t a game you’re going to necessarily veg out with for hours on end, but it is a perfect game to fire up when you have a few minutes whilst waiting in a line, or before bed to give your brain a bit of a tune. It only takes about 4-5 words before you move onto the next image, so even this keeps it fairly fresh and gives it a ‘just one more to’ style that has, if I’m being completely honest, and a little gross, kept me on a toilet for a little longer than I should have.

The design style is very simple, but again this isn’t a bad thing. The game is what it is and it’s not trying to be anything else by employing fancy, distracting graphics. The laces part of the game comes from the fact you’re linking the letters together via the laces of various shoes / boots you unlock as you earn points through completing each level. It’s a slightly odd premise, but again the graphical details really are secondary. Each new show unlocked gives the game a new background theme and lace design. It’s a nice touch, but doesn’t really effect the game one way or another.

The game includes a whopping 1,000 levels currently, along with a ‘daily puzzle’ which could keep you coming back even after finishing all of the main levels. There are also over 50 shoes to unlock. Because this, and all Apple Arcade games, are lacking IAPs you can freely use the help option as much as you want, which will highlight the start of the word you’re trying to find. The fact this is available for use whenever you want is great, and stops you getting stuck and frustrated at any point. This is another win for no IAPs!

Word Laces won’t stretch your Apple devices to their limits and it won’t have you on the edge of your seat. It will, however, keep you just as entertained and is a perfect example of a quick in and out game that I can see myself coming back to a lot over the coming weeks and months.

  1. Spoiler: it turns out it wasn’t the shortest. I wrote this line first, and then realised I waffled no longer than expected. [return]
  2. From a beach scene, to a man up a ladder looking at clouds, to a duck in a suit. [return]