Letters and Numbers, available for Android phones and tablets through the Google Play store, will be instantly recognisable to UK gamers. It is essentially Countdown, which is a popular game show where contestants race against the clock to form words from groups of vowels and consonants and complete sums.
It is widely known as a thrilling test of word and math skill, and Letters and Numbers is a perfect mobile conversion of the game. There is an actual official Countdown game app, but in my opinion this is better. First of all, it is free to download and it also has two player, online play which the official app strangely lacks.
I also feel that the interface and flow, which is simpler in design from the official app, is actually faster and more intuitive here. The app is free, as I have said, but ad-supported and if you want to remove the ads it is still half the price of the official app, so I really can’t see any reason not to pick this one unless you are more of a fan of the official theming, as this plays a better game.
So, what you get here is a single player mode, which puts you through seven rounds which alternate between the word and maths games, culminating in a conundrum in the final round. The word round ask you to pick nine random letters, from either the vowel or consonant pile, and you then have 30 seconds to make as many words, of 3 letters and above, as you can. At the end of each word round you are given a list of the words you found, and the game asks you which one you want to pick (the more letters the better), and it then checks your chosen word is in the dictionary. Getting an eight or nine letter word is quite the achievement.
The maths round asks you to pick six sets of either large or small random numbers, and then gives you a random number that you must get closest to using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to achieve. The closer you get, the higher the score. The final round is a conundrum that you only get one shot at solving.
The two player mode is online and uses Google Play to find an opponent and is a welcome addition, as it could add a lot of replay value to the game. The included achievements and leaderboards are another excellent bonus and again add a lot of new goals to the game. There is also a practice mode where you can try out the different games in isolation.
The game works really well, but I really wish there was a pass and play local multiplayer mode, and possibly a score attack mode for each of the individual sections. However, what is already here is pretty generous for a free game, and overall, if you are looking for a new words and numbers game with a bit of a thrilling edge, then the ticking clock of Letters and Numbers might just provide it.