There are only so many times you can play a Scrabble clone without getting painfully bored. There's nothing wrong with the tile-placing template, but we need fresh thinking, new ideas, and exciting new linguistic horizons.
Thankfully, there are games like Lexatron to sate our wordy desires. It mixes the best parts of Scrabble, asynchronous multiplayer, and turn-based two player Snake to create a heady and entertaining puzzling experience.Verbose
The game takes place on a vaguely diamond-shaped board that bears a passing resemblance to a reshuffled Scrabble board. Rather than starting in the centre of the board, each player starts at one side of the diamond.
The aim of the game is to create a chain of words from your starting square to a square on the opposite side of the board. At the same time your opponent is trying to traverse the board as well, leading to an inevitable clash in the centre.
Here's where the strategy comes in. As well as getting letter tiles you get bombs, which you can use as offensive weapons to blow a hole in your opponent's words, allowing you to make a break for the finish line.
Or you could try and beat your opponent to the middle, throwing in longer words that mean you get there first. But they'll try and block you, or twist their own chain in order to bypass yours and push on for the win.Word fight
If the letters in the letter bag run out, or you and your opponent skip your turns twice, the player with the most points is declared the victor. So there's added incentive to throw as many big words onto the board, and cross as many point-boosting special squares, as you can.
Lexatron is a breath of fresh air in a genre that hasn't really changed since it was first invented. The extra layers of tactics the game throws in aren't particularly complex, but they mean you have to think in ways your brain isn't quite accustomed to.
If you hate word games, you're still going to hate Lexatron, but if you've even the slightest interest in throwing lettered tiles down in a vaguely intelligent order then it's a must buy.