Letter Quest: Grimm's Journey Remastered reminds me of Bookworm Adventures, in a good way. It's a game of letters where you use a grid of tiles to make words in order to damage your opponents and find treasures. Along the way, you buy various upgrades, complete challenges and unlock new stuff. You can customize your character in many ways to fit better with your playstyle and the game gets plenty challenging and I lost many hours to it while trying to complete every objective, obtain every achievement and finish all of the elite levels. It's a really great game.

The base progression of the game is quite simple; you enter a stage and fight a few enemies. The way you fight is by making words on the board. Some enemies have special rules, like they take double damage from words with the letter S in them, or they don't take damage from words with more than five letters, things to keep you on your toes. You make a word and then attack, dealing damage based on certain factors, but mostly points associated to each letter in your word. I assume that these values are based on how frequently used the letters are - with more damage for the Ws and the Zs of this word. Then it's the enemy's turn, they mostly attack you to deal damage, but they sometimes will also afflict you with status ailments, such as making your tiles deal no damage, change randomly, be unusable, or damage you if you use them.

For defeating enemies - and sometimes in chests - and at the end of each level, you get crystals which you use to buy upgrades. These are in various categories; passive stat boosts, books, potions, etc. The books have to be equipped and they give a bonus that goes up in level with you killing enemies and they're a good way to customize your character. A small problem I have with them is that they're quite easy to level to maximum and then you spend the rest of the game with a bunch of maxed books with no incentive to change them. You also can select a weapon that you can upgrade with crystals, all with various abilities and the same problem as the books. I'm not a big fan of the potion system, but I've barely used it, so maybe it wasn't that important. You can also switch heroes, but it's a purely cosmetic change and there are only two of them.

There's a good bit of randomness involved in your victory or defeat, the letters are a good chunk of that randomness. Especially in challenges where you have a limited time to win, not being able to quickly make words can spell your death. Crystal tiles are also quite random; some of them have slightly helpful effects, like giving you 15% of your health back, but the diamond tiles will just give you every buff possible. I had to retry certain challenges a couple of times and that's in part because of the way this game works. It's rarely frustrating to lose because most of the time you know you haven't found enough words to win, but sometimes the randomness spoils the fun a little.

Finally, I'm a bit confused by the dictionary used; Some words will work, others won't. Some modern words like 'zine' are fine, some very old forgotten English words will work as well. It's always a bit weird to just piece letters together and have them form words I didn't know even existed. Also a few weird  cases where the game just told me 'No definition found'. This doesn't impact the fun of the game, but it's a bit annoying at times when you see a word that maybe (?) should work, without success.

I really had a great time with LQ:GJR, I managed to get most of the red stars in the elite stages and I completed a good chunk of the quests offered. So far, it's the best game I've played in 2016 and I only have stopped playing it because I have to move on to other games, otherwise I would try to find all the red stars and truly 100% it. Maybe I'll still do!

AuthorJérémie Tessier