SpellSpire is a very simple game that introduces a wizard able to cast a variety of powerful spells based on the combination words that you can create. In order to successfully complete powerful moves, you must act fast make sure to be as creative as possible when using a set of given letters as your main resource. You begin the game at the bottom of a very tall castle, filled with monsters of all kinds. Each floor of the castle brings a more intense challenge, and your main goal is to help the wizard make his way all the way up.
The game style is overall charming and attractive. There is not a large variety of effects, however, enemies were very well designed to create a funny looking experience. One of my favorite visual elements include the vivid colors found in the game. One of the things that I missed in Spellspire is the usage of better animations, especially when using magic against enemies. Even though the game provides customization options through available items, there is definitely the potential to make the visual elements more enhancing. When it comes to audio elements, there is a basic selection of sound effects that match the structure of the title. Considering the simplicity of the game, I was not expecting an excessive selection of sounds other than action responses such as hitting enemies and casting spells. The good news is that the music is very enjoyable and nice to listen to as you move on the other levels in the castle.
You must know that you can only access one floor are a time. There is no way to skip levels until the current opponents have been defeated. You literally begin the challenge on the left side of the screen and move forward upon a successful spell combination is used against a monster. Your character is not only able to cast multiple spells but is also susceptible to receive attacks if enemies get too close. Occasionally, you will also notice that some floors may become more crowded than others, which require faster reflexes and attention. Damage received in combats differ from the type of opponent you are facing and can vary from less intense moves to eventual strong and effective hits. The most important thing in battles is to act quickly at all times. The more words you are able to spell the fewer chances monsters will have to counter your moves if they get too close.
The power of each spell will vary depending on the word you are able to come up with. The more letters you use while trying to spell a new word, the stronger the damage you can inflict against opponents. The player is not allowed to repeat words that have been used before, but they can use the same letters multiple times on each stage (or floor). The longer the word, the more damage you do. Ten letter words are, of course, the most powerful, but two letter words don't count and are useless. You can only use each word once per attempt at a floor, so using shorter words against weaker enemies is preferable so you can save your more powerful words for the tougher enemies. It's this sense of tactical planning that differentiates Spellspire from other word games, although there does come a time where no matter how good you are at putting words together quickly, the enemies are just that little bit too fast or they hit hard enough to kill you in one strike. Each enemy has a set weakness or resistance that can be checked in the game's Monsterpedia, a bestiary that can be purchased for a nominal one-time fee. One floor might have a variety of enemies that are all weak to the same element therefore making the choice easy, while others might throw out a complete mix of different enemies. Players will need to decide what their biggest threat might be and act accordingly, thinking about the correct gear choices. If you are looking for ways to improve the wizard’s defense, upgrading capes and hats can give you the extra protection in combats. Even though this is a good gameplay option, there is a really odd dynamic between upgrades and enemies. For the most part, it felt like the game expects you to always upgrade items to what is available at that level. That happens because monsters seem to equally increase attack power as you move on to the next floor.
Overall, the item purchasing system is very simple. As the player advances to a different level and prepares for the next battle, they will have the chance to buy new gear from the in-game store. Most of the items have a special ability that allows better performance and power execution. While wands are directly associated with the attack power, wearable items such as clothes can improve bonus damage for specific words you are able to spell.
Spellspire takes a simple word game and spices it up with some interesting RPG elements, adding some tactical thinking to the usual “spell big words to win” formula. Upgrades actually feel useful rather than being tacked on and don't end as an afterthought. The good news is that if you enjoy the word game genre, Spellspire will give you fast-paced battle rounds and a good level of customization in its core gameplay. What really differentiates the title from other similar games is the ability that players have to come up with a real strategy when combining items, and planning most efficient attacks against enemies.