QatQi is like Scrabble with fewer letters and a much more pressing size constraint. The unique word puzzle game from ZWorkBench gives you a small handful of letters, each with its own value, and sets you in front of a small board and tells you "Go forth! Spell!" The catch is you must use all of the letters in order to pass the stage (some children don't have the luxury of wasting letters, you know), forcing frequent use of the undo button when you can't seem to get it just right. If you're both lucky and possess an unusually lush vocabulary, you might just find yourself on QatQi's high score board!
The main constricting factors in QatQi are the limited letter availability and the awkward shapes of the board. When you place a letter you can only put subsequent letters on adjacent spaces, meaning you often need to work backwards or from the inside-out. You'll often find yourself spelled into a corner, as well, and QatQi doesn't give you too many options to rearrange the board. It takes a lot of strategy to cram a few dozen tiles into a grid that is barely larger than that, but that's what the undo button is for! You have a generous number of takebacks that automatically refill from time to time, but in case you're stuck, there's always the option of nabbing extras via in-app purchases.
QatQi works on a weekly puzzle basis, unleashing new boards and letter arrangements for each day of the week, slowly increasing in difficulty until you give up and go read the dictionary on Sunday. Previous puzzles are available in the wheel-like main menu screen, but you'll have to unlock them first! The game keeps track of a ton of stats, as well, making you feel sort of like a word puzzle science experiment banging around in the test chamber with letter blocks in your hand. But it all adds to the long term appeal of the game, encouraging you to keep spelling week after week, just to see what happens next.
QatQi provides more than enough in terms of gameplay and challenge to keep you coming back for more. It fits along just fine with the best word games on the mobile market, including Letterpress, Puzzlejuice, and W.E.L.D.E.R.. Now if only there were more two letter English words that involved the letter J...
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on an iPad. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.