Lightwood has joined forced with the POWGI brand once more to release Tic-Tac-Letters by POWGI. It’s out now on Playstation 4, Playstation Vita and the Nintendo Switch. We played the Vita version, which comes with the PS 4 edition as part of a cross-buy.
Tic-Tac-Letters is Lightwood’s least “POWGI-like” game so far, in so much that POWGI stands for Puzzle On Word Games, Inc. This time, words aren’t even part of the puzzles, which are more logic-based and revolve around the basic rules of the classic Tic-Tac-Toe game.
In its most basic form, Tic-Tac-Letters is played with the traditional X’s en O’s and the aim is to place them on a grid where you never create a sequence of three of them in a row. The grid’s a bit bigger than the usual 3×3 format (and increases in size for the harder difficulty levels), but each row and column lists how many X’s and O’s still need to be placed. In that sense, the game feels a bit like a nonogram puzzle.
All puzzles can be solved by just using logic, but handy help functions are available should you get stuck. The first one is the usual (in a Lightwood game) ability to check for errors and fix them, while the second one will highlight the row or column you should be looking at. In rare cases, two columns or rows can be highlighted, indicating that they are in danger of being identical – another rule to the puzzle being that that can’t be the case.
Even at its hardest, Tic-Tac-Letters is a fairly casual experience, and definitely one of the easier POWGI titles when it comes to reaching that platinum trophy. To grab it, you only need to complete 22 specific puzzles out of the 60 that are available, evenly spread across four difficulty levels.
As expected, the game features Lightwood’s signature look and feel. A grid-based view, relaxing music and a friendly dog who treats you to some really good corny jokes and puns at the end of each puzzle. Here’s one: “Don’t you hate it when people answer their own questions? I do!”
If you’re a fan of Lightwood’s previous games, then be aware that this isn’t a traditional POWGI title but rather one that sits in between their POWGI range and their Pic-a-Pix games. The core concept’s very simple and easy to learn, but doesn’t feature the kind of payoff that you get when you complete a nonogram puzzle. Unless you count the sixty jokes you get – and I do.