Friday, May 1, 2009
Ravel. ($0.99, version 1.0.0)
Ravel is a word game akin Wheel of Fortune. You are presented with a saying, a name, a thing, something composed of one or more words. Your goal is to guess what it is. It's just you and the blanks.
When you start the app you get to a title screen from which you can start a game, go to options, or get some help. The help is extremely detailed and offers an overview, goes over controls, lets you know how to put letters in the blanks, goes over the different hint and tool options available, and gives you a few hints which are actually really helpful.
Options include the option to turn the sound on or off, an option to clear all game data, and credits. Sounds are turned off by default. This is the first app I've encountered that has it set up like that. Neither negative nor positive, just different. Sounds includes both music and sound effects. There's different beeping sounds when you choose menu options and paper rustling sounds along with a transition from screen to screen that includes sheets of paper falling all over the screen and then disappearing. There's different tapping noises during the actual game and an upbeat sound when you beat a board. There's no music during the actual game, just around the different non-game screens. The main screen also shows highest level and cash obtained.
There's a lot of options to help you along. You start each new game with $10 and when you beat a board you earn money. You can use this money to buy hints. There's three kinds of hints. Lockdown shows you which letters are in the correct spot. You can also pick a letter and it'll let you know where it goes. The third hint shows you what letter goes in a particular spot.
There's also free tools to use. Clear removes all letters from the board. If you had previously selected Lockdown, the letters that were in the correct spot stay there. Shuffle fills up all blank spots with letters. Pass lets you skip the puzzle, but can only be used three times.
The game says it ends when you go broke, but I haven't found a way to go broke yet. If you don't have enough money left for hints you simple can't select them. You pretty much play until you run out of passes and hints and give up the current board and go back to the main menu.
The game screen includes the Hints button, the Tools button, the current level, your cash, and an option to exit to the main menu. Exiting ends the current game. Pressing Home and then restarting the app saves your current game. It's not essential but it would be great to have an option to have the option of a new game or of resuming your previous game from the main menu, and having the exit button save your current progress.
The game boasts over 600 puzzles and no repeats, and so far I haven't seen any questions repeated. For a dollar this is well worth it for fans of words and/or puzzles.