Lexcavator


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LexcavatorJohnBLexcavator is a wonderfully chirpy word-based puzzle game by Adam Parrish that combines elements of Dig Dug with spelling games like Bookworm. Your goal is to bash away letter tiles by spelling out words, clearing the way so the protagonist can hop further down the level. It requires a lot of careful thinking to prevent capturing yourself in a corner, so enter only if your vocabulary and tactical skills are up for a challenge!

You control a cute little @ as the main character in Lexcavator, moving with the [arrow] or [AD] keys and jumping with [W] or [up]. Use the mouse to click on letter tiles and spell words. The minimum length is three letters, but naturally your goal will be to snake your word chain around as wildly as you can. When you make a valid word, those tiles disappear, clearing space for @ to move around. Green tiles drop power-ups when cleared, adding a nice bit of oomph to the game with abilities like blast, erode, and alchemize. Be careful, though, as power-ups can leave you stranded if you don't use them carefully (just like everything else in the game!).

There's a careful sort of strategy involved with this curious hybrid game. On the one hand, you want to spell impressive words so you feel like a smarty pants. On the other, digging down is just as important as the words themselves, so you have to keep in mind the blocks that will be cleared with each word and where @ can move after each match. It's an unusual balance you have to strike between wild word creation and platform gaming, but it's one that works wonders once it finally clicks.

Lexcavator features a short tutorial to introduce the game's basics, as well as three modes of play that include time trials, arcade, and the timer-free quest mode which offers a series of challenging tasks you must complete in order to progress. There's something for just about every type of gamer, and its premise is just unusual enough that even casual fans of puzzle or word games should give it a shot!

(Note: Lexcavator is available as a pay what you want game, which includes paying nothing. If you really enjoy it, no one will be sad if you help the developer out by chipping in a coin or two!)

WindowsWindows:
Download the free full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the free full version

LinuxLinux:
Download the free full version

8 Comments

Does anyone know how to install this on Linux? After unpacking it, I tried "sudo ./run_lexcavator.sh" but I just got "command not found."

I'm running Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid.

Thanks.

Reply

So it occurred to me that it would be like "Start Fight Run" where all I had to do was double-click on "Start Fight Run.sh" -- So I double-clicked on "run_lexcavator.sh" and all that did was open it in gedit. Meh.

Reply
atparrish May 20, 2012 10:25 AM

Try typing "bash run_lexcavator.sh"

Reply

Thanks, atparrish! That worked.

Reply

When quest mode comes down to hoping to see "The Matrix" (a 9-letter word packed in a 3x3 square), the fun stops.

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Cerulean: I agree (from about 5 levels behind you). The quest mode rather quickly degenerates into making long, narrow shafts down while you hope for the RNG to serve up the proper configuration of "ers" or "ings" so you can make a long word. This has the elements of a great game (I loved the 8-bit throwback music and the nethack aesthetic), but every word game needs to somehow deal with the fact that most random combinations of letters suck. Boggle and Scrabble each came up with their own solution, but I don't think this game does.

Reply
billyswong May 21, 2012 10:56 AM

Ubuntu 10.04 here.

I set the .sh file with Properties>Permissions>Allow executing file as program.

Afterwards, double-clicking the .sh file icon works.

Reply

@billyswong

Ah! Thanks!

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