“Playing Scrabble alone in the dark may be miserable in real life, but QatQi makes it a smart and satisfying endeavor.”Free
While many of the best word-construction titles reward the long game in letter and board usage, the end rarely seems in sight once you start piecing together individual terms. In QatQi, very little is actually in sight on the game board, though the final result must be a constant consideration. Given a random array of tiles from a larger stockpile and a single empty space amidst total darkness, you’ll begin crafting words – which in turn illuminates nearby sections of the map while amplifying your score.
Similar to a rogue-like role-playing game, it’s unclear what kinds of hazards or perks lie ahead, be they sudden walls or barriers, or even score-boosting coins. QatQi’s deliberate pace thus rewards both steady exploration of the available space and prudent letter placement, because every single tile must be used to complete each of the 365 included puzzles.
Easier boards span only a room or two with wide paths and a small sum of tiles, while the more extreme examples might be as large as over 100 letters across numerous spaces connected by constricting routes. It’s not uncommon to find yourself left with a few spare tiles and nowhere to place them, but the free game is pretty generous with complementary undo moves, with more sold through IAP for strategy buffs trying to maximize their scores.
As a strictly single-player affair, QatQi succeeds in drawing your complete attention, rather than serving up individual turns to play in spare moments. The minimalist, black-heavy aesthetic has a nicely serene beauty to it, but what’s most appreciated are the sensations of maximizing each available area, experimenting with word layouts, and vaulting up both the local and national leaderboards. QatQi’s puzzle-a-day approach can be tackled in bunches, if desired, but stringing these challenges out as suggested should yield a pretty satisfying year of solitary wordplay.