Textropolis in Review – Build ‘Words’ and They Shall Come

textropolis7Ian Marsh, the brains behind the popular App Store title Hanoi Plus and the highly enjoyable Scoops, has taken on the Word Game genre with the release of the very cool and fun Textropolis. Unlike the majority of Word titles that lack a theme or some much needed flavor, Textropolis delivers by taking you around the world and have you finding hidden words in each city as you progress.

textropolis5Firstly, players must create one of five user profiles that will keep their scores and progress in separate files. Once logged in, you will see a list of 30 cities that you must travel to and help build its population by spelling out hidden words found in that location. So if you are in ‘Kingstown’ (the default and unlocked city), you must compose words out of this city name that are at least 4 letters long and cannot be proper nouns. Some words you can create here are ‘sing’, kings’, ‘gins’ and ‘owning’.

Each city will start off with nothing but a blue background. The more words you are able to submit, the more buildings and citizens will fill the screen. In order to unlock the next city in your list, you have to earn at least 1 star in the newest available city. This is essentially achieved by finding 10% of the total words that can be formed from that city name.  The top of the screen will provide players with info on how many words have been found and how many have yet to be uncovered.

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City Before a Star Ranking

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Now Booming with people

From a design point of view, Ian Marsh has implemented a very handy and user friendly interface. As you spell out letters, the game will show you in real time all the words that have already been formed with the current letter combinations. Completed words will also scroll horizontally above, reminding you of words you have solved. If you are stuck at any point, you can even shake your iPhone to reveal a hint that will fly by quickly, but this will deduct from your total population.

One of the best aspects of Textropolis though is the fact that its as much fun as it is educational.  Every time you submit a valid word, an airplane will streak across the screen with a banner that explains what the word means. Want to view a definition again for words that have already been submitted? Just type out the word and tap on it to watch the banner fly by once again. This feature alone makes Textropolis an addictively fun learning tool. With no time limit to finish levels and the ability to return to a game where you left off, players can enjoy the game at their very own pace.

textropolis11As much as I have come to love Textropolis, there are a few suggestions that I feel could help improve the gameplay even more. Currently, there is only a backspace button that will erase one letter at a time should you realize your word is a duplicate entry. As a time saver, there really should be a ‘Clear’ button to eliminate all that tapping. Also, some levels actually have 300+ hidden words found in its city name. With so many of them, it would be great if you could also somehow quickly glance at all the submitted words at once instead of having to wait for them to scroll by on the top of the screen.

The sky is the limit for this game really. With future updates that could easily contain more Cities to populate and hopefully even a global scoring system, players will have every reason to keep Textropolis as a staple word game on the iPhone/iPod Touch.

Textropolis is without a doubt one of the most enjoyable word games I have played on the iPhone. With a beautiful interface and original use of City names as levels (not to mention how challenging it can be to find all possible solutions), word game lovers won’t want to miss out on this globe trotting fun.

Special introductory price of $0.99 lasts until Jan 20th

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App Summary
Title:TextropolisDeveloper:Ian Marsh
Price:$0.99App Size:1.0 mb
  • Very Challenging if you want to find all possible hidden words
  • Well designed interface
  • Shake device for definition hint
  • Definitions that come with every submitted word
  • 5 Separate save files
  • No ‘Clear’ button to erase word with just one tap
  • Can’t quickly glance at all submitted words
  • No Global Stats to compare your population with other players

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