Thanks to Lightwood Games for the review code
Title: Crypto by Powgi
System: Xbox Series X
Release Date: 03/19/2021
Another POWGI game, another similar presentation to others in the series. Not much to say here since it’s extremely identical, though there is a dark mode here, which helps on the eyes when solving the word puzzles and staring at letters for minutes at a time. Even as a native Series X title, it doesn’t really add much extra on that front, and not even quick resume managed to work at all for me: which is really puzzling.
Last time we covered a Powgi game, I noted how they’re all pretty identical in their simplicity: just an assortment of puzzles to solve one by one, with not much to say, and that works exactly the same in Crypto, too, with you choosing from a list of famous people and then solving their quote, with over 100 puzzles to solve in total.
So, what exactly is Crypto, the core game behind this entry? Well thankfully, it isn’t the same thing as the planet-killing energy drainer, but rather a fun word-scramble puzzle where an entire phrase is completely garbled into gibberish: you basically have to match certain letters of the garbled phrase into the correct letters that were used in the real thing, and eventually build your way allllll the way up to proper completion of the phrase.
This can seem beyond overwhelming at first, especially for those who have long phrases to crack, yet there are some fun tricks that break open a wider net, and if you manage to figure these out on your own, then it makes solving a puzzle all the more satisfying. For example, single letter words are usually I or A, and if you find an ‘ in the phrase, then it usually comes before a M, S, or T. If you then use those tricks to reveal full words, the rest of the phrase comes into view, and well, it leads to a fun, casual time!
And this Series X version does a pretty basic, yet effective job of offering these puzzles. They’re easy to control, you have an undo button if you need to use it, and you can save and quit each puzzle anytime you want, so if you got stuck on one, just keep trying them until you find one to solve, before going back to solve them all eventually. This game is very simple, but the simplicity gets the job done, even if it ultimately feels like a digital book of puzzles with no extra depth or modes to it.
In conclusion, this was a pretty fun assortment of word puzzles, and I actually ended up finding Crypto to be the most fun of the POWGI series to date! The nature of finding an opening in a scrambled phrase and fixing the rest from there is just really satisfying for casual play, and it honestly did a bit more to keep me engaged than I thought it would.
The overall package still won’t light the world on fire or anything, but if you’re a fan of crypto puzzles, they’ll play very well here and will give you plenty to solve for the value. And if you’re new like me, you may find this just as fun to get into like I did! Either way, it’s a fun casual puzzler that’ll get you what you seek, and not much more.
I give Crypto by POWGI a 6 out of 10.