Casual

Prolix Review

Taking something from both puzzle and word games, Prolix is slick and fun.

I played Prolix a while back, and was impressed with it’s simple interface and clean gameplay. Months later, after a few updates, these simple aspects of Prolix are still intact, with an extra layer of polish on top.

Prolix is in essence, a cross between a match puzzle game and games like Boggle or Scrabble. Word tiles fall from above, and you must use them to create 3 or more letter words from left to right or top to bottom. It’s a very simple concept that Prolix puts forth quite gracefully. Controls are easy, allowing you to tap or slide your tile where you want it to go, then sliding down to drop it.

As you play, you gain bombs and the ability to shuffle tiles around. Bombs are dropped in place of tiles and will prolix-004explode any tile they touch. Shuffle will move tiles around, generally creating at least one word for you out of existing tiles. There is also a “?” tile that drops, which will take on any letter that will make the highest scoring word with the tiles you drop it on. For instance, if I drop a “?” after “CO”, it may turn into a “T” for “COT”. But if I drag it between “CO” and “L”, it would change to an “A” to form “COAL”.

The normal mode starts out pretty slow and will take you a while to lose, especially with all the bomb tiles you gain as you progress. I was disappointed that I couldn’t choose the level I wanted to start out on, as someone wanting a faster challenge right off the bat won’t get one. Luckily, for those people the timed mode will satisfy. Much like Bejeweled, each level has a progress bar that starts out in the middle, and slowly goes down. The more words you make, the more the bar refills, until you go onto the next level.

One of the most impressive features of Prolix is it’s integrated online features, which allow you to instantly access online leaderboards, make friends, post on walls, etc. All of this without requiring to enter a bunch of information to register (all that is optional). It was a seamless experience to switch from the game to the online experience, which is more than most games out there that have tacked-on community systems.

Despite it’s smooth gameplay and interface, I felt that Prolix was lacking in content. It’s two game modes are solid, as well as the online support, but it won’t exactly keep you coming back for more. You can change your style of letter tiles in the options menu, but I felt something like this would have better used as unlockable content, much like Motion X Poker Dice did. A puzzle mode would have been welcome, where you drop missing letters to clear the game field. Maybe an option to change the size of the game field with room for more letters. Still, for a 99 cent game, Prolix is much better than most, and will impress with its clean, simple design.

Presentation & Graphics

4-stars_sm
Very clean and smooth presentation, in every aspect of the game.

Sound

3-stars_sm
prolix-006Very simple sound. Would have liked to see some nice ambient background music. You can listen to iPod music if you like.

Gameplay
3pt5-stars_sm
Excellent controls for maneuvering letter tiles. Simple, but helpful special abilities. I learned that there are more 3 letter words than I originally thought! Unfortunately, there is no option to choose the starting level of difficulty. Gameplay can get pretty repetitive, as nothing much changes other than the speed of falling tiles or the timed mode.

Gamelife
3pt5-stars_sm
Extremely simple and well-integrated online community system with profiles, friends, scoreboards, etc. The game really needs more than two modes of play. A challenge mode would have been welcome. Excellent saving system for playing on the go.

Game Rating

3pt5-stars

It may not be taking any risks, or doing anything unexpected, but Prolix is an elegantly execute word/puzzle game. There could be more to it, like extra play modes, to keep you coming back, but for those that are looking for a simple pick-up-and-play word building title, Prolix is a steal at 99 cents.

Prolix – $.99

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  • Jason

    I was one of the lucky recipient’s of a free copy of Prolix, courtesy of TouchGen! Thanks guys!

    My thoughts: Prolix is an interesting concept with a nice presentation, but it is fundamentally flawed.

    First, the game automatically selects completed words. This adds to the fast pace of the game on later levels, but it also severely limits the game. It’s very difficult to build up longer words, because the game automatically picks shorter words as you play. If any three consecutive letters of a longer word match a word in the game’s dictionary, the shorter word is selected.

    Which brings me to my second point. The game dictionary is too broad. It includes many foreign words, slang terms, abbreviations and, worst of all, ACRONYMS! As a result, you’ll constantly find yourself getting points for seemingly random letter combinations.

    Out of curiosity, I played a game in classic mode and placed tiles systematically in the lowest slot, left to right, building rows of letters, and letting the game find words. I never purposefully placed tiles to make words. By level 10, things started to get a bit hairy, but I had earned eight bombs and four shakes. I started using them any time I got up to five rows, but I still systematically placed the tiles. I played for more than 30 minutes this way. I finally lost on level 14 with a high score of 110,800–all with no word-building.

    I don’t know about you, but, if I’m playing a word game, I want it to be actually based on creating words.

    If the developer would scale back the dictionary and perhaps tweak the word selection method a bit, Prolix could be a great game. As is, I’m moving it to my “waiting for update” screen on my iPhone.

  • Nathan Mustafa, USA

    “The game dictionary is too broad. It includes many foreign words, slang terms, abbreviations and, worst of all, ACRONYMS!”

    The abbreviations and Acronyms may be excessive, but I can’t imagine what would happen if I couldn’t input “taco” or “yo”. Perhaps a way to avoid your problem mechanically would be to require words to be highlighted and only then put through the recognition. Actually, I think Lexel does that.

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