In War of Words, you take control of a character to battle other characters by using your knowledge of word crafting. You are given a game board with a series of rising letters that are randomly generated. You control a yellow cursor that focuses on a specific letter. Use the left thumbstick or the D-pad to move the cursor. Use the A button to select a letter. Once you select a letter, it will be added to the end of the current word. Continue selecting letters until you arrive at a valid word and then press X to confirm the word. The letter tiles will be removed from the board and any tiles above them will compact downward.
To back up one character to undo your last selection, press the B button. To cancel a word spelling and clear the current word, press the LS (left shoulder) button.
You can accelerate the rising rate of the tiles by pressing the RT (right trigger) button. Holding this button down more will cause the rising to get faster.
To cast a spell, use the right thumbstick to select a spell to cast and then press the Y button. Read more about spells in the “Spell Casting” section.
When in combat, each word you spell will award you some “word score” that adds to your word score meter. When you fill this meter up, you will automatically strike your opponent with an attack that will cause some damage to them. The longer and more complicated a word is that you spell, the more score you obtain and the faster you will fill your meter (and thusly defeat your foe).
Word score is calculated by three things:
1) The length of the word determines bonus. Spelling words over 6 letters in length will give you bonus. The longer a word, the more bonus score you will obtain.
2) The rarity of the letters determines each letters’ score. X and Z are rare letters and therefore are worth much more than S, R, L, or the vowels. Each letter has its own score depending on its rarity. For example, GREAT and PIZZA are two five-letter words but PIZZA is worth much more (25 points vs. 6 points) because it contains rarer letters. Q is typically the hardest letter to use due to the fact that it must also be followed by a U (the rarest vowel).
3) Score multiplier bonuses can be found on the game board that double or triple an entire word’s score. You cannot combine score multipliers, so using two 3x multipliers will only give 3x the score, not 9x.
Word Scoring By Letter:
A,E,I,O,U,L,N,R,S,T = 1 point each
D,G = 2 points
B,C,M,P = 3 points
F,H,Y = 4 points
V,W = 5 points
K = 6 points
J,X = 8 points
Z,Q = 10 points
3-5 letters = 0 points
6 letters = 1 point
7 letters = 2 points
8 letters = 3 points
9 letters = 5 points
10 letters = 8 points
11 letters = 12 points
12 letters = 17 points
13 letters = 23 points
14 letters = 30 points
15 letters = 39 points
If your health reaches 0 at any point in combat, your character will die and it’s game over! You will be able to revert to your last saved game at that point. If your opponent’s health reaches 0, you win the encounter!
If any of your letter tiles touches the flaming foul line at the top, you will foul and lose a large portion of your HP. If your HP is low, this will surely cause certain death! If you do foul, the foul line will retract (if it can) and you will also lose half of the letter tiles on your board and whatever word you were crafting.
War of Words has a nearly 170,000 word dictionary; however this does not encompass all English words. As a general rule of thumb, proper nouns and names are not available (including names of people and countries). Slang, contractions, and one and two letter words are also not available. Whenever there may be a regional spelling difference (e.g. Color vs Colour), the U.S. regional spelling is used.
Your character will build up certain stats throughout your career. Each one of them can be influenced by gear you may have equipped and they ultimately determine the strength of your character in combat:
LVL – this number determines how high of a character you are. The higher the number, the better your base stats. In War of Words, characters start at level 1 and can reach a maximum level of 50.
EXP – this is your experience earned since the last level up. Earn experience by winning quests, winning random encounters, opening treasure chests, or solving tavern puzzles. Each character level will require some amount of EXP to obtain it.
NEXT EXP – the amount of EXP required to level up to the next level. Once EXP is equal to this value, you will level up.
HP – health points – the amount of health you currently have and how much you can max out at. HP increases with each character level. If the current health reaches 0, it’s game over. HP can be replenished by resting at Taverns, using healing potions, eating food, or by certain spells in combat.
MP – magic points – the amount of magic you currently have and how much you can max out at. MP is the resource used to cast spells. It regenerates over time.
ATT – attack points – the amount of damage you deal in an attack. Weapons greatly influence this stat.
DEF – defense points – the amount of protection you have when being attacked. Armor and Accessories influence this stat.
INT – intelligence points – the amount of skill you have at magical spell attacks. This primarily determines MP regeneration rate but can also be used to determine how effective certain spell casts are.
LCK – luck points – measures how lucky you are. A higher value will increase the likelihood of certain events such as guarding attacks.
GOLD – the unit of currency in the world of Lexica. Obtain gold by winning encounters, opening chests, solving tavern puzzles, and matching gold bonus letter tiles in combat. Gold can be used to buy useful equipment and items at stores.
You may equip up to three pieces of equipment in combat.
Hand – this equipment slot allows you to equip a weapon to boost ATT. Some weapons can boost other stats too.
Body – this equipment slot allows you to equip body armor to boost DEF. Some armor can boost other stats too.
Accessory – this equipment slot is a generic slot for equipping things like rings, amulets, foot gear, and head gear. These items can boost almost any stat.
To equip items, press the Start button while on the map. Navigate to the Equip menu item on your character sheet and press A. On the equip screen, select the equipment slot you wish to alter. Then select the equipment from the inventory list beneath it. You can select “[None]” to unequip that slot.
You can also earn and use shields during battle. By making complicated words, you can fill the shield meter up to gain up to a maximum of five shields. To use a shield, press the RB button (right shoulder) to raise it for five seconds. Each shield is one use only. You have an extremely good chance of guarding an attack during this time or at least lessening the attack’s effect. Simple words will not increase your shield meter no matter how many you craft.
As you progress in character level, you will learn new spells. Spells do some specific offensive or defensive action within combat. For example, the Spear Thrust spell will create a spear that will destroy the tallest column of letters on your game board. Other spells will do something against your opponent to tip the game in your favor. Knowledge of spell casting is very important to winning against higher level enemies.
To cast a spell, highlight the spell you wish to cast using the right thumbstick, then press Y. If you cannot cast the spell because you lack sufficient MP, it will be disabled and you will not be able to cast it. Some spells have a “cool down” period where you must wait a specific amount of time to be able to cast it again.
All spells have an MP cost associated with them. You can also only equip & carry into battle up to 6 spells. To manage or learn about spells, press Start while on the map and select Spells from the menu on your character sheet. You can only change spells while on the map.
Besides equipment, you can also carry items that you find or purchase along your journey. These are things such as healing potions that can replenish vital HP or MP. Other items are not useful in combat but may be useful elsewhere.
To use an item, press the Start button and navigate to the Use Item menu choice on the character sheet. Select the item from your inventory that you wish to use. Note that some items are not usable in combat or usable at all.
Like equipment, you can carry a maximum of up to 9 of the same item.
The world of Lexica is available to you on the map. All of the map locations that are available to travel to are noted on the map as well as the routes in between each. To travel to a location, use the left thumbstick to move the map cursor to the location you wish to travel to then press A to travel there. Traveling can sometimes be dangerous, however, and you may be attacked by a random enemy. You can choose to fight the enemy (to gain experience and other goods) or flee the fight. It is possible that you will incur damage even if you flee.
Pressing A on the location you currently are in will open the location menu. On this menu you can do the following actions if possible:
Quests – this will present all available quests that are pending at this location. A Quest is an encounter against a specific foe with an accompanying storyline that unfolds as you progress in your journey. Completed quests are also shown on this screen.
Visit Tavern – taverns allow you to stay & rest for a small fee. This will replenish your HP and MP. If puzzles are available, you can also play a mini-game.
Visit Store – stores allow you to buy & sell items. You can typically sell back any item that you have in your inventory (except for equipped gear). Certain stores will carry different kinds of gear.
Look for Chests – if there are treasure chests available at this location, this option will open the chest mini-game.
While on the map, you can press Start to open your Character Management screens. On the main screen, you can view your stats and select from the possible sub-screens:
EQUIP – this option will open the equipment management screen allowing to change your equipment.
SPELLS – this option will open the Spells Management screen allowing you to change & read about your currently equipped spells. Only six spells can be equipped during an encounter. You cannot change which six spells you carry into battle unless you are on the map screen.
USE ITEM – this will allow you to browse your item inventory and use healing potions and other items.
HELP & OPTIONS – allows you to set game options and read game instructions.
FLEE – (Combat Only) – allows you to flee an encounter. There is a possibility you will incur damage by fleeing, but you will not die.
SAVE & QUIT – (Map Only) – saves the current game for your Xbox LIVE gamer profile and returns to the title screen.
The Look for Chests menu option at a map location will open the chest mini-game for a discovered chest at the location. Chests are filled with gold and gear and will also give you valuable experience. There’s just one problem…they are locked.
To unlock a chest, you must guess the secret password that will open it. You are presented with a cipher of some random letters. Within the random letters, you must choose the correct letters that will create the secret password. You are also given some hints that will help you figure out which letters to choose. The controls to work the cipher board are the same as in normal combat gameplay. Press X to confirm your chosen word and see if it unlocks the chest. If you are unable to solve the riddle, press the Start button to bring up a menu and choose Return to Map to quit.
When you visit a tavern, you might have the option to play a tavern puzzle. Tavern puzzles present a grid of letter tiles and challenge you to make words from those letters. The objective is to beat the presented score by making enough words. Completing the puzzle will earn you experience and gold.
If you come to a point where the puzzle is not solvable, the game will end and you will return to the map screen.
Note about XBox LIVE Indie Games
Indie games require that the gamer be connected at all times to the XBox LIVE service via the Internet.