Elexi is a word game where the player spells words on a board of lettered tiles, then discards one of the letters used. There is no time limit, scores are based instead on the combination of the length of words as well as the rarity of letters used. There are several modes of play, including simple elimination (until no more words can be spelled) and a more challenging mode where letters are replaced by new letters from a queue if an ever-increasing threshold is met. There are also “express” versions of the game played from a 3×3 board (instead of the 5×5 board used by the “full” game).
Elexi has word lists for six languages (English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, and Italian) and is localized into two additional languages (Japanese and simplified Chinese).
You may recall Lensflare from Election Manager 2016, which turned out to be dramatically more attractive than actually managing an election in 2016, or Tactical Space Command, which still has my favorite turn structure of any game I’ve played. It was, at bottom, turn-based–you could advance time a single tick at will. But very little happened in a turn, and you issued orders more like you would in a real-time RTS. You also had the ability to control the speed at which turns automatically sped past, which was a marvelous way of giving you precise control but still let things happen fast when you didn’t need it. Though there were other aspects of the game which didn’t suit me perfectly, TSC put Lensflare solidly on my radar as a innovative developer to watch.
Anyway, Elexi sounds like it follows the Buyword strategy of adding a complicating layer which makes the strategy of an existing style of word game more challenging. I’m intrigued. Doug sounds like he’s one of the many indie developers with fabulous ideas who’ve been hard done by in the app store economy, though, and so I’m biased–he talks about Elexi much like I talk about Stately Play. I obviously think it’s awesome, but I don’t want to express too much enthusiasm about it to anyone else, because I expect most people won’t care. So I describe this as a vanity project, or a way of learning skills I hope to be able to apply later. I defuse any hope of success other people would recognize, and take joy in doing something I like. It’s not the worst thing to be working for the intrinsic satisfaction of it, and I understand why it’s hard to break into the collective consciousness, but it’s hard to be a person who loves games and not want to see other people who make games for the love of them get recognition, too.
Doug has also put up a blog post, which gives a little window into the frustrations of learning Unity, doing localization, and announces Tactical Space Command 2! And here I thought that digression about TSC was my irrelevant attempt to get more people to design games with that timing arrangement.