There are many a word game on the App Store and all of them offer a slightly varied experience, but Lumicon has separated itself from the pack with tense, fast paced gameplay and stunningly attractive graphics.

May I repeat: yes, it is a word game and yes, it is visually stunning. The newly released puzzler is sure to make a great addition to your already cluttered Home screen…

Design

I find the most simulating user interfaces to pose “detailed simplicity” and Lumicon achieves this particular double standard utilizing clean lines, uncluttered menus, and a constantly-changing-gameplay-determined background color. Adding to the visual finesse, the curves of the letters contrast well with the grid patterned board on which words are constructed. The typography really plays into the excellent overall design and garnered Lumicon a highlight from Beautiful Pixels.

Gameplay

At its core, Lumicon challenges the player to build 3+ letter words with a limited and randomly provided set of letter tiles. Time adds another ingredient to the tactical complication of word construction. Tiles drop into the “gutter,” which only holds 6 letters,  at an increasing rate of speed. If the gutter fills before the tiles can be placed, the game is lost. In later levels, even the gutter tiles have a timer and if not placed quickly, become a permanent and unmovable fixture in the available letter box.

Additionally, the playable board space is limited. Once 3+ letter words are built, they can be tapped/eliminated for points and popping multiple words in quick succession awards bonuses such as vowels, time delays, and point bonuses. However, if the letter gutter is filling, simply dump tiles onto the game board to eliminate losing; then, the challenge is to build new words on earlier mistakes, eliminating the tiles.

When described, the game sounds complex, but the learning curve is very short. My biggest challenge was placing the tiles: after many hours of Words with Friends, I tried to drag tiles from the gutter to the board. Lumicon is based on tapping, not dragging, therefore, tap the gutter tile, then tap the board to place it.

Check out the gameplay video below.

Conclusion

Thanks to our friend over at UglyApps for hooking us up so I could test my own skills with Lumicon ($1.99 in the App Store), which is a solid addition to the growing field of word games. A challenging and intense puzzler, I actually felt the rush of gameplay, which is an engaging experience thanks to a color changing background, sound effects, and rapid movement. I have tested many game apps which typically get deleted after a blog post, but Lumicon has earned a permanent home on my iPhone.

Pros

  • Progressive difficulty systems makes it easy to learn
  • 7 game changing power ups
  • Full Game Center integration, battle for top spot (find me as “xeqshunr”)
  • Twitter lets you brag to your followers

Cons

  • Currently only available for iPhone
  • For the simplicity, $.99 is a little easier to handle

Who loves word apps and cannot get enough of them?  Who downloaded Lumicon and has an awesome high score?