SpellTower+ Modernizes Early, Hit iPhone Word Game

All the good stuff from the original, re-made for modern devices

What: SpellTower+, a remade-for-modern-devices hit word search/strategy game, is available now.

How: You can download SpellTower+ for your iOS device from the App Store

Why Do You Care: Most of us play games on our iPhones; a large chunk of those who do play word and other “casual” games. This one is worth your time.

SpellTower+ on an iPhone next to a coffee mug on a table
Original Image: Unsplash

Developer Zach Gage hated word games, so he decided to create one that he might enjoy. This was back in 2011 during the early, heady days of the App Store, when it seemed like everyone was making money developing apps and games for Apple’s relatively new devices.

Now he’s re-made the game for modern devices.

I made the original SpellTower because I hated word games.

 “I’d made a prototype that I found boring, but my friends who loved word games couldn’t stop playing it,” Gage told me via email. “So I developed it into SpellTower, attempting to make a game that bridged the divide between what my friends liked about word games and what I didn’t.”

The game took off in the App Store, becoming one of those bona fide hits that seemed to be the norm back in those days, pulling in over a million downloads in a short time after release.

SpellTower is the game that put me on the map, and was what allowed me to quit my side-jobs and focus full-time on making video-games,” said Gage.

Still, that was almost a decade ago in real time, on devices that seem incredibly dated now.

“The first iPhones it ran on had a 3.5 inch screen and 320 x 480 resolution!” he told me. “I literally did a double-take at that ... when I looked it up.”

The changing resolutions, speed improvements, and all the lessons Gage has learned as a game developer since then made the original SpellTower game (still available in the App Store) feel a bit dated.

“This seemed like the right time to finally go back and take a look at what I’d done so long ago, what worked and what didn't, what kinds of features people had been asking for, and what kinds of things would bring me back to the game,” Gage said.

The result, SpellTower+, is a game that will feel familiar to long-time players while appealing to those who haven’t given it a try. Gage built the new iteration from scratch with his friend Jack Schlesinger, and they’re pretty excited to share it with everyone.

Gage mentioned that, as the original game’s developer, people tell him all sorts of stories about it.

“With SpellTower I heard about grandmas playing the game every morning to keep their minds sharp, parents playing it with their kids, expectant mothers playing it to get through morning sickness, and countless sightings of strangers playing it on subways, planes — even elevators.”

Developing games helped Gage feel like he was making the world a better place, one player at a time.

“I got into games because I wanted to connect with people in a positive way,” Gage told me. “I wanted to help people think critically and come away with more than they came with. Games felt like a way to do this on a huge scale. But the stories I heard from SpellTower players taught me that games do so much more for people than I ever expected.”

Whether you’re a fan of word games or not, you owe it to yourself to grab a copy of SpellTower+ right now. It’s free to download, and has plenty of wordy fun to keep you occupied on your modern iPhone or iPad.