'QatQi' - Best Android, iOS apps from 2012

Tools

QatQi

11

QatQi 
(Developed by ZWorkbench)
Available for: iOS 
Released: August 
Price: Free

QatQi scrambles the classic Scrabble formula, introducing a host of fascinating and challenging wrinkles that revolutionize the word game paradigm. The basic conceit is familiar: You build words by placing letters on a grid, with longer words and lesser-used consonants generating higher point totals. But that's where the similarities end. QatQi (pronounced "cat-key") puzzles also stretch across a series of increasingly complex maps, each filled with rooms and corridors complete with special squares that yield bonus points as well as barriers that halt your progression through the game. It's not enough to have an impressive vocabulary--you need to apply your strategic smarts as well.

QatQi also sets itself apart from the post-Scrabble rabble via cutting-edge software design. Artist Kun Chang's striking visuals depict the game levels as a circular calendar, with new challenges for each day and week of the year: Mondays are relatively easy to solve, but each successive day ratchets up the intensity, culminating in punishing Sunday puzzles that can require hours to solve. (All previous levels are archived, too.) QatQi additionally boasts an interactive stats page with metrics for each puzzle, leaderboard comparisons with players from across the globe and a haunting musical score that grows more complex in parallel with the rigors of the game. You could say that QatQi is great, but I prefer to call it "exquisite," if only because the latter rakes in serious QatQi points.