Crossword City Chronicles – Review
Follow Genre: Casual, puzzling
Developer: Trailblazer Games
Publisher: Trailblazer Games
Platforms: PC, Mac, Android, iOS
Tested on: PC

Crossword City Chronicles – Review

Site Score
4.0
Good: Easy to get into, casual puzzling
Bad: Repetitive mobile gameplay
User Score
2.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 2.5/10 (2 votes cast)

A detective needs to be smart, that much is true. They need to see beyond what’s visible and weave together past and future to come to a conclusion. They need to use wits, be brave, and keep their head cool. But sometimes, just sometimes, they mainly need to be good at.. making words with letters given to them?

Story

In Crossword City Chronicles, you can pick either a female or a male detective. You will then use this character to go on many “cases”, where in each case there are clues and antagonists to be found and apprehended. You don’t have to actually solve anything by making choices though. The cases are done by laying down words like you would in Scrabble. If you did well enough (or grind enough), you get to see the case develop itself. Cases have regular endings and best endings, but essentially they are just simple small stories set up for you to get to the same gameplay over and over. The stories aren’t exciting but feel rather grindy instead. You simply catch another baddie once you play the game enough. Casual stories are quite common in games that are originally crafted for mobile platforms, but it feels like Crossword City Chronicles lacks some of the excitement that the regular detective genre usually brings with it.

Graphics

It couldn’t be much more obvious that Crossword City Chronicles is a straight port from mobile platforms. Instead of utilizing the full PC screen potential, the game just puts bars on the side to still have an interface of mobile proportions. The colors used are clear theme colors that reference old dusty detective agencies. The Characters have some appeal, but barely get to say more than a few simplistic lines. In a way, Crossword City Chronicles probably got exactly the polish you would expect from a mobile game. It’s accessible, cartoony and communicative.

Sound

You are better off without the sound in this game. It’s repetitive as it quickly sounds like a loop, and despite some smooth jazz that fits the theme, it’s really not worth your while to listen to. As the game is also missing voice-overs, all you will get to hear besides the background music are sounds affirming that you’ve laid down a word or two, which granted you some points.

Gameplay

Starting with Crossword City Chronicles, the game doesn’t feel so bad yet. You think you will start doing “crossword puzzles”, which already is misdirecting you since a real crossword puzzle is more challenging and different. Instead, this game is more of a word puzzling casual game. The rules are simple. You get a couple of letters (six) and you need to attach them to the words that are already on screen. Each level has replayability, like a game such as Candy Crush has the same type of replayability. The conditions stay the same in a level, but the letters are randomly generated. This could be fun if it didn’t make different levels feel rather useless, as they (almost) all play the same. On top of that, the field to play on is ridiculously small, and it’s just not very fun to look for word spaces as the game stomps your creativity quickly.

This is where Crossword City Chronicles goes wrong the most, the creativity stomping. There are some variations in the game, such as the field being divided into four red and green-colored squares. The trick here is that it’s best to focus on one of these colors, making the playing field even smaller. The game sometimes slightly alters levels this way. It doesn’t matter though as, in the end, you’ll be playing the same game with the same gameplay over and over again. In word games such as these, you’ll try to find the best possibility of laying down a (big) word that grants you the most points. With little space and only a few letters, these possibilities quickly disappear. This makes Crossword City Chronicles a pretty poor game, even compared to other wordy puzzling games. Slap on top of that that the hint system only gives you words such as “do, go” and other two-letter possibilities, and it even starts to feel insulting. If anything, this game could be used as an educational game for younger kids to start finding words, but for most of us, it will probably be boring.

Conclusion

Crossword City Chronicles is easy to get into, but way too easy. It’s insulting to the intelligence of the gamers and limiting in possibilities. It uses repetitive gameplay to get through mediocre small stories, and it’s just probably not worth your time. Even when you’re looking for a puzzle game where you can make words with letters, this one is a bland as they can come.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 2.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Crossword City Chronicles - Review, 2.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

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