As much as I love words, games like Scrabble and Word with Friends are nonexistent in my adult life, so I come to Lexatron with pretty fresh eyes. The object of the game is pretty simple – you must get from one side of the board to the other before your opponent. Along the way there are different icons that will help you increase your word score and if you really want to raise some ruckus, three bombs are randomly given out to wipe a slew of letters before your very eyes. The bomb aspect is pretty fun, and Lexatron, with its unfettered and clean design, is solid to the core.
You can invite friends from Twitter or Facebook to join you in a game of Lexatron, or if they’re actually right next you, the pass-and-play option is probably the best way to go. For humans who tend to shy away from human contact and are stuck for hours on end at their apartments, there is the online option, which actually enables you to instant message the other player during the game. To chat with your new online friend, click on the thought bubble on the upper right hand corner.
Seven random letters are given at the start of the game, and as soon as you place your first words by touching the screen, the game automatically zooms in closer to the board. Although I was completely fine with just having a stating visual in front of me, the close up feature makes for a nice addition. To continue viewing the board up close, just pinch your fingers out. Using one finger to move the board around to fit one’s comfort level also adds to its easy manageability. If neither person is able to travel across the other side after 108 total letters are used, the winner is the player with the highest score.
If it was simply a game with online and social media capability, Lexatron would still be worthy addition to one’s gaming lineup, but the ability to detonate a bomb right in the middle and frustrate your competitor just adds to its playability. A decent human being would use those bombs if their opponent blocked their way to the finish line, but any joker who loves a bit of mischief will just blow things up as an agent of chaos. Imagine the beginning of Apocalypse Now on a Scrabble board, and maybe you’ll get my enthusiasm for Lexatron.
Another wonderful aspect to the game is the ability to play more than one game per sitting. Lexatron claims you can engage in up to 25 matches at once, but I’m fine simply at playing a couple of games at a time. During one online session, my competition spent at least five minutes on every word, and that experience would have been mind numbing if I didn’t get the chance to play a completely separate game. Even if I was serving as two players in the pass-and-play game, it definitely made the online experience bearable.
Lexatron doesn’t have a flashy look or doesn’t really shout for attention, and aside from the bomb factor it’s a game that’s pretty basic. Sometimes simple can be good, especially when you’re dealing with the wide, wide world of words.