Too busy to read a lengthy review of this game? No problem. Here’s the 22-word version: Word Monaco can best be described as a cross between Klondike, the popular solitaire card game, and Scrabble. And we like it.

What’s that? You need a little more depth? No worries. Pull up a chair and read on for our 544-word review:

Imagine playing a relaxing game of Klondike Solitaire, but instead of creating columns with descending numbers (such as a 9 of Hearts on top of a 10 of Clubs), you’re spelling words with linked letters, such as D-R-E-S-S or O-U-T-R-U-N.

Such is the premise behind Word Monaco, a fun and challenging new word game with rules similar to Scrabble: use up as many cards (tiles) as you can and create words that will yield the highest points. Instead of flipping new cards from a pile, players create new words by simply moving the cards from one column to another.

Oh, and the name of the game simply refers to the fact you’re traveling throughout parts of Monaco – such as Larvotto Beach or the Royalty Café casino – and you’re treated to attractive backgrounds and music that ties into this theme.

Players can also add letters onto existing words to create longer ones; not only will this give you more points, but it’ll help with your goal to flip over all the cards and make as many columns with words as possible. To stick with the above examples, players can add the E and S cards or the E and R cards onto the word D-R-E-S-S to spell D-R-E-S-S-E-S or D-R-E-S-S-E-R, respectively. Similarly, you will likely have to separate completed words to win each level, so you can take the R-U-N cards from the word O-U-T-R-U-N and place it elsewhere on the board.

It should be noted you don’t need to spell complete words to free up more tiles. For instance, you can start a column with letters such as T-H as there are many words that begin with T-H. You won’t, however, be able to place H-H together as no words start with those letters together. Got it?

When a word is made, a green diamond will appear at the top of the column. Players get bonus points for clearing a level with diamonds on top of each column, but it’s not necessary to advance to the next stage.

Joker cards will soon appear, which can be used as any letter in the alphabet. So, placing the joker after the letters S-N-O will be allowed, as it spells the word S-N-O-B or S-N-O-W. Other power-up cards will also surface, including special vowel and consonant privileges and 2X, 5X and 10X bonus multipliers.

What’s the best word I created, you ask? Well, if you insist: the 100-point P-A-N-O-R-A-M-A-S, which prompted a female voice to yell “Ya!” This was fun.

As players progress throughout the game – and enjoy their tour of the French Riviera at the same time – new challenges pop up such as reducing the number of available columns from seven to six. Or, the minimum number of points needed to complete the level may jump up, making advancement more difficult.

Word Monaco is a highly re-playable game since the letters appear in random order, but it’s too bad there is only one game mode. Many other casual games offer two or three modes, each with new rules, graphics or other goodies to keep things fresh.

Even still, this game is perfect for word game nuts looking for a new twist on an old favorite. Give it a S-P-I-N by downloading the free playable demo.

C-I-A-O!