Cuatro trades flashy bells and whistles for a stark visual style and simple, addictive gameplay.

What do you get when you combine Triple Town with Boggle? If you’re indie developer Lucas Gordon, you come up with Cuatro, an easy-to-play word game that promises to hook fans with straight-up simplicity blended with the challenge of live online leaderboards. The game takes place on a bare-bones grid that slowly fills up with letters, from which you’ll have to pick out four-letter words – not that kind of four-letter word, just words that are made of four letters – clearing them off the grid to make room for more and racking up points as you go.

It sounds easy, and with every four-letter word in the Oxford Dictionary included in the game, there are lots of words to choose from. But as the action continues, trickier letters – I’m guessing J, X, Q and the like – will become more common, while vowels will grow ever more scarce. The challenge is obvious, but Cuatro’s most interesting innovation may be its online leaderboard, which updates while you play, providing on-the-fly “context” to your score.

There’s not much to say about the graphics, as it takes a seriously minimalist approach to presentation, but the music playing in the YouTube preview trailer is light and relaxing – hopefully it’s actually part of the game and not just there for the video. Cuatro looks like it has the potential to be a relaxing, challenging diversion, and I’m really looking forward to giving it a try.


The iOS-exclusive Cuatro comes out on November 30.