Day 532: Lexiv

Posted: 2012/04/25 in Indie Games

Now here’s a 240 Microsoft Point game that I would have paid 800, or maybe 1200, Microsoft Points for. “Lexiv” mashes up, of all things, Scrabble with Sim City.

This game in crazy, in the best way imagineable. You place letters like in Scrabble, but the kinds of words you use affect your city-building. Verbs you place create occupations for your citizens (which affects production of letters for your letter placement. Nouns provide residences for your citizens. Adverbs and adjectives modify verbs and nouns close to them (so where you place your words matters nearly as much as what the words are), and are the key to leveling up your residences and your occupations, as can special tiles on the game board. No word game would be complete without participles and conjunctions, which modify both verbs and nouns.

It isn’t a pure sandbox game, it has a campaign mode with levels (and lots of them), each with specific objectives, and spread over a big map. Leveling up has several benefits, such as the ability to draw a new slate of tiles, or giving you five more tiles, and gaining experience with ranks you up and can lead to more upgrades. To do all of the above you place words around the map to grow your city, and then place other words to upgrade your city, in a virtuous cycle. The main map is where you choose your upgrades, so they’re not random and there is strategy to which ones you select.

The game even has levels where you are attacked and must defend yourself (with turret tiles, naturally). It has levels with fog of war! This game is so crazy, but it’s all on the crazy good side of the equation. A working command of language is a real benefit, but the game does what it can to help along those that could use some assistance. The randomness of the tiles and the huge number of levels (with their varying objectives) offers just massive replay value. Do *NOT* pass this game over because it costs more than 80 Microsoft Points, it’s well, well worth it’s asking price!

Here’s what the developer (Andrew Gaubatz) has to say about the game:

“Build a city using just your words in this innovative puzzle-strategy game where each part of speech has a different effect! Citizens will flock to your city, but can you keep them happy and safe from harm? Test your skill through 4 varied worlds in a challenging 10+ hour campaign.”

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