Doubtlessly you remember Threes!, the addicting swipe-puzzler which gripped us all and influenced the mega-hit 2048. And hopefully you remember Triple Town, the unique match-three game with cute bears and an abundance of trees. These games were so popular and successful for a reason—they demanded attention and required some real planning. But let's play around with these formulae, shall we? Take the basic movement system from Threes!, throw in the rules and obstacles from Triple Town, and stick the grid in a series of finite levels... voila! The outcome is Letter Monsters, a well thought out and deviously cute combine-three puzzler from 1001.com. Presented with cute, colourful monsters labelled from "A" to "Z", your goal will be to combine sister letters to build your alphabet as far as you can. Three A's will make a B, three B's will make a C, and so on. Immovable obstacles and black holes will provide challenges, but certain special monsters, along with eight essential types of boosters, will help you out and make for some exceptionally fierce strategy. Playable both online with the [arrow] keys and on iOS or Android with the swipe of a finger, Letter Monsters brings a fresh aesthetic and a variety of new quirks to a now-familiar gameplay style.
By dividing the gameplay into a series of separate levels, each with its own grid layout and specific win requirement, Letter Monsters really adds something special to the gameplay it builds off of. Instead of one frustratingly long sequence, the smaller levels allow for bite-sized gameplay during a lunch break or on the bus. For those who do crave the endless play style of past games, Letter Monsters features a thoughtful "continue" option which enables you to see each stage to its absolute end; continuing even becomes necessary to earn more stars and continue through the game. The three-star system and the variety of powerups adds a certain structure and progression to the Threes! formula which many will appreciate. The "booster wallet" is a great addiction akin to the lifelines from Who Wants to be a Millionaire, though be warned that any unused boosters, once taken out of the wallet, will not be saved at the end of a level. The control mechanism is also quite intuitive, though it certainly takes some practice; a swipe that is only slightly too short may result in all of your plans becoming instantly undone. All in all, Letter Monsters is a fun and well put-together experience that can appeal to anyone. The mobile app especially runs smoothly, though some have reported a few hiccups with the browser version. With over sixty levels to play through entirely for free, there's really no better way to practice your A-B-C's.