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Word Puttz

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

Smart cephalopod

Product: Word Puttz | Developer: Jackbox Games | Publisher: Jackbox Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Sports, Word game | Players: 1 | Version: US | App version: 1.0.3
Word Puttz iPhone, thumbnail 1
What's on your 'to-do' list today? Shopping? Cleaning? Bear slaying??

Those are all important chores, sure, but try and make time for 'play some word games with a purple octopus that's proficient in Yiddish.'

Word Puttz is a crossword / golf hybrid game from Jackbox Games, the studio behind You Don't Know Jack.

Word Puttz's light-hearted sense of humour and marriage of genres make it a compelling and interesting play.

That said, you'll still occasionally play a course that's as much fun as chewing on raw octopus drizzled with chocolate sauce.

Up on the green

Octoputtz is a bespectacled octopus in charge of a chain of mini-golf courses. He wants someone to play with. Congratulations, you're that 'someone'.

IAPs explained
Word Puttz offers myriad in-app purchases. Octoballs, which enable you to pick any letter when used, are available in packs of five for 69p / 99c. Letter swaps are likewise available in packs of five for 69p / 99c.

Moreover, you can buy three lives for 69p / 99c (when you fail to complete a course, you lose a life. Lives refill automatically over time).

You can also buy a "combo pack" for £2.99 / $4.99. This contains five letter swaps, disables ads, and generates life more quickly.
Playing through Octo's courses isn't simply a matter of whacking a ball between a plastic dinosaur's legs, however.

You need to spell words using letter-printed golf balls. And said words need to stretch across the green and into the hole at the end of the course.

In typical crossword puzzle style, you can spell words vertically and horizontally here. You're scored according to word length and the value of your letter tiles.

Less typical of a crossword puzzle, however, are the tricks and traps on the course. Oh, and the conditions for victory attached to certain courses aren't exactly regulation rules.

Spell your way to a hole-in-one

For the most part, a Word Puttz course requires you to "spell" your way to the hole within a certain number of tiles / balls. If you run out of letters before you reach the end of a course, your game is over - though you have the option to buy some more letters for 69p / 99c.

Reaching the hole within your allotted number of letters isn't always easy, however. Word Puttz's putting green is littered with rocks, molluscs, and other objects that keep you from spelling whatever you want wherever you want. Visualising the placement of your letters is vitally important, then.

But not everything on the course is against you.

For one, there are coins you can grab with your word tiles for big point bonuses (a very important item, given you usually need to hit a minimum score to make the hole open up). And there are even secondary holes that warp you to different parts of the course.

Sometimes salty

Word Puttz has a few quirks that might make you seasick, however. There are, for example, stages in which you "race" Octo as both of you spell your way to the hole, or you attempt to get all the coins on a course before he does.

Octo moves super-fast in these contests. And more often than not, you're stuck with crummy letters. Obviously, the better your vocabulary, the better you'll do at Word Puttz. But when you realise word swaps cost money (once you've run through your ten freebies), it's hard not to be suspicious.

Despite its bits of micro-transaction trickery, Word Puttz is far from boring or unwinnable. You could do worse this afternoon than go golfing with an octopus.
Word Puttz
Reviewer photo
Nadia Oxford | 25 March 2014
Word Puttz's free-to-play formula might rankle with word game purists, but if you're looking for casual, light-hearted word play, you'll find it under the sea
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