Jon Hare, the legendary games designer responsible for classics such as Sensible Soccer and Cannon Fodder, has released his first original game in 20 years. Word Explorer is available from tomorrow, 3 April, as a free download for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch from AppyNation.
It's a cross between a crossword puzzle library, board game and Countdown as the clues all relate to anagrams. There are over 25,000 words to decipher and the main game gives you grids to fill, in crossword fashion, and short clues that hint at each word.
The overall theme is a journey around the world and to buy flights to separate destinations - which contain new word grids - you need to either win coins by answering word clues correctly or buy them through the in-app purchase store. You can also buy extra hints and other items for real cash, but the main game is free-to-play.
Some of the word clues will be photographic, taken from around the world. By answering them correctly, you can collect the pictures, giving you another goal other than basic play. There is also online multiplayer through Game Center, with world rankings and leaderboards, so you can challenge friends and other players globally.
"My plan with Word Explorer was to create a game that brought crosswords into the 21st Century," said Hare. "It is the culmination of many years of work by an amazingly talented team, and it's great to finally unleash it on the world."
Jon Hare was also responsible for bringing Speedball 2 to mobile devices three years ago.