Gnomes are usually rude, ignorant, creepy little garden-gobblers. But when they’re not scaring the wits out of innocent Argentinians or puking up rainbows on your begonias, they sometimes perform good works.

For instance, Retrodigio crafted Gnomium PE (that’s “Pocket Edition”), an educational puzzle / word game. Now the blighters can help you learn as repentance for disrespecting your birdbath last spring.

Gnomium is a cross between Scrabble and Tetris. You form word-clusters by swapping and sliding irregularly-shaped pieces around the game board, collecting valuable ore and coins as you do so.

Gnomium also features tons of power-ups — most of which are hat-based, because we’re talking gnomes, here. A gnome without a pointy hat is gnothing. There’s also a Gnome-Cam that lets you snap pictures of the worlds you build, including any ad-libs that may spring from your word wizardry.┬áThe game is free-to-play, though a single in-app purchase grants you a larger grid and does away with the credit system.

Gnomium is coming to iOS on January 13. Until that date, continue to be wary of forest spirits. Even the ones that ride foxes and call themselves David.