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iPhone  header logo

Glyph Quest

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

It's a kind of magic

Product: Glyph Quest | Developer: Alex Trowers | Format: iPhone | Genre: Puzzle, RPG | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.02
Glyph Quest iPhone, thumbnail 1
When you're a critic, one of the downsides of seeing loads of games every working day is that you start to see a lot of the same types of title, and many of them presented in ways you've seen before.

Glyph Quest's gameplay will be instantly familiar to anyone who's played Jelly Dash, but its presentation and polish, plus its good nature and sense of fun manage to make it stand out from the crowd.

(That's a good thing)

You're presented a grid of icons - the game refers to them as Glyphs - which you must combine in strings of two or more to remove them from play and score a hit on your opponent. These battles are taken in turns, with you matching icons, and enemies attacking you directly with either physical strikes or status effects.

As you progress through the game and level up, you can match more than two icons together, until you're creating huge spells that take massive chunks of life off of your opponents. As you'd expect, your enemies don't take this lightly, and pretty soon you're fighting all manner of strange mythical beasts of varying size and strength, from mangy rats to mermaids.

Their powers vary wildly too. A low-ranking goblin might just chip away at your health with their bow, but a goblin mage will cast spells such as Sight Steal, concealing all of the icons on the board so that you're effectively playing in the dark.

IAPs explained
Apart from the full game purchase, there are no other forms of IAP available for Glyph Quest, so if you want currency you'll have to get it the old-fashioned way.
You fill out the Bestiary as you progress through this single player experience, plus you'll note down new spells wrought from matching ever increasing numbers of Glyphs. It's a fun collection element, and it's well implemented.

Glyph Quest's text is almost always read with tongue lodged within cheek and often sporting parentheses around genuinely humourous asides. Its art is playful and cute yet with a handsome wood print effect. There's plenty of content here too, especially after you cough up a little money.

(That's a bad thing)

Though the game is "free" on the App Store, it's actually a glorified demo, the full version of which you unlock with a one-off payment. Getting to a point in the game where you can't progress, only to have a prompt pop up hinting that you should give the company some money, feels a bit tacky.

Once you've purchased Glyph Quest outright, you needn't worry about further IAPs, as you get plenty of Coins to afford all the upgrades you want, and there's plenty of content to play through to get more anyway.

The combo system is simple, but the advantages you can bring to the battlefield are humongous. Simple combos of two will do small amounts of damage, but matching more will hit your opponent with greater force.

If you then follow up your attack by matching more Glyphs of the same element, you begin a Chain that increases the power of each strike with each subsequent match. If you then match an opposite element - fire is opposite to water, for example - the Chain continues and increases in power once more. It's actually quite thrilling when you've got a +7 Chain on the go.

But when the dust of your encounter settles, it's still matching icons of similar kinds on a large grid - the sort you've done a bunch of times before.

Even if you have experienced your fair share of puzzlers though, it's still easy to love Glyph Quest. It's a warmly familiar puzzler that you can take at your own pace, that rewards strategic thinking and planning, and it looks simply super.
Glyph Quest
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 3 February 2014
Top marks for creativity: Glyph Quest is beautiful to behold and some of its systems of play are intriguingly deep, even if its base play isn't that inventive
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