Jon Hare is back, and he’s reinventing crosswords for the 21st century!

Jon Hare is a British gaming legend. The games industry veteran has designed and produced over 60 games including titles like Sensible Soccer, Cannon Fodder and WizBall. Now he’s moving into the casual game space with his latest project, Word Explorer. Jon’s been quietly working on Word Explorer for two and a half years and confidently proclaims is the “largest single-player word game ever made, most definitely.”

Word Explorer is essentially a ginormous crossword grid, split into different world regions. You pick a region to start (for example Canada or the Western US) and a mode to play – either easy, where there’s no time limit, or normal where you have to complete puzzles within a decreasing amount of time. Rather than typing in the answers from a clue, you have to solve an anagram, with the letters from parts of the grid that you have already solved already fixed in place. It’s a unique way of making digital crosswords work and a much better experience than any of the current crossword games out there.

The reward for your efforts is an ever expanding photo album of pretty pictures from the region you’ve chosen. In total there are around 2500 photos to collect from over 250 levels, and some are only unlocked by tackling the more difficult challenges or getting bonuses. The words are randomly selected from a 23,000 word dictionary so there’s plenty of replay value. There’s also a multiplayer mode where the exact same grid is loaded for two players and whoever finishes the quickest is declared the winner. Playing through a couple of the Western US levels, the gameplay was addictive and fun and we can’t wait to see the final version.

Word Explorer

Word Explorer

The game’s coming first to iOS, Android and PC then later Mac, Windows 8 and Kindle Fire. There’s no release window as yet, but we’ll keep you updated, so watch this space.