Lexcavator (Adam Parrish)

A cross between boggle and mr. driller. – [Author’s description]

[Download for Windows, Mac and Linux]


  1. This is pretty great. I made the mistake, initially, of choosing the Quest mode, thinking it would be the most interesting, but Arcade mode is definitely the highlight here.

    Unlike Arcade mode, in which the board is constantly rising and the goal is to avoid being pressed against the top of the screen, Quest mode simply scrolls at your own pace (with no lose condition beyond not finding any remaining words to spell? Some of the power ups are almost certainly detrimental instead of useful here). It supplies challenges like “spell 3 six letter words in a row” and “spell a five letter word using tiles that form a straight line.” Unfortunately, as those challenges become trickier to accomplish, it starts feeling like a waiting game, the player idly making words until finally stumbling across a set of letters that will let him/her accomplish the next task. It seems like it would be more fruitful to allow those tasks to be completed while playing the other modes and to create some other system of stakes to make the no-pressure mode interesting enough. But maybe it’s just not for me.

    A couple issues with the mostly excellent Arcade mode: As you progress and the scrolling speed hastens, it becomes physically difficult to drag precisely enough along the word you’d like to spell, especially if you need to drag diagonally. I suppose this adds some potentially healthy challenge, but that sort of test of fine motor-control (and adapting mouse position to match the scroll speed) seems sort of beside the point, barely coming into play at all until things speed up. That said, I’m not sure what would alleviate the issue. I think the game might be improved if spelling a long enough word temporarily slowed the scrolling a touch, but after a certain speed jump spelling long words may currently be too difficult itself to be much help.

    Lastly, polling the server to tell the player which of their words they were the first among all other players to spell is such a nice touch. I wonder why more word games don’t do that. (Obviously it won’t scale well, either over time or over the number of players, but the easy solution would be simply not to show the screen unless a new word has been discovered.)

    • Good analysis; Arcade mode is definitely where it’s at. Feels like it needs some tweaking, yeah, at a certain point the word hunting feels dwarfed by the speed.

  2. This game should be highly recommended. The Time Attack mode is def my favorite.

  3. This plays a LOT like Spell Tower, at least in arcade mode. Unfortunately the mechanic is just a lot more fun on the touch screen.