Price: $ .99
Are you addicted to word game iPhone apps? Or maybe you’re the world’s biggest fan of Boggle, and want something similar on the go? If so, then look no further: Dekko iPhone app, by developer Betz Software, is a unique word game that will tickle your letter associating funny bone with word matching and beautiful artwork. Don’t turn that dial for our full review of this indie gem!
Gameplay and Concept
The idea that rests at the heart of Dekko is certainly nothing new. You collect individual letters to spell words, much like the aforementioned Boggle. The longer the word, the bigger the score. Letters themselves are laid out in rows across the level, and the way in which they’re obtained is just too fun to say—you’ll have to drive a gecko. Tilt the iPhone to send Nigel, the game’s amphibious protagonist, around the level and into letters. When you’ve collected a word, pop the green check mark and receive your score. Collect enough points, and you’ll be shipped off to the next level for even more alphabetizing fun.
The gameplay offered in Dekko is oodles of fun, and the developers have added several more features to further enhance the joy the app gives. Collecting medals (which are given for scoring high) earns you upgrades, adding elements like increased speed, a two times bonus, etc. These are great ways to keep a fairly repetitive gameplay mechanic fresh, and they also add a carrot-on-a-stick element to the app. However, I do wish the controls were more fluid. Tilting the screen was often hit or miss, as Nigel drives like a tank. Merely swapping to touch controls—instead of tilt—would be an immediate improvement, and would prevent accidentally acquiring the wrong letters.
Design and Layout
Dekko’s biggest boon is its absolutely gorgeous artwork. The developers hand-crafted each level out of real objects, and then scanned them (more or less) into the app. The result is a superbly pastel game world that’s relaxing and engaging at the same time. The in-game interface keeps the buttons along the side, leaving the focus on the excellent design. As stated, though, improved controls would be greatly appreciated. Similarly, the menus can be confusing: The app uses a family manor metaphor for its menus that’s engaging, but not particularly easy to navigate.
Dekko is at the evergreen dollar spot in the App Store, making it a tremendous value—especially considering the labor that’s been put into level design. The gameplay is fun and will please both word gamers and casual gamers alike. Though the controls could be improved, as well as the menus, the product offered here is first-rate, and a gem in every sense of the word. Dekko earns a four-star rating and our hearty recommendation.
Dekko iPhone app requires iOS 4.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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