TypeShift Review: Brain-melting Word Games

The Good

Substantial challenge without feeling impossible.

Learn new words and expand your vocabulary.

Easy to make the ads disappear.

The Bad

Never enough puzzles!

Hopefully there'll be more bundle opportunities as more puzzle packs are released.

The ads are a poor match for a beautiful game (but makes the upgrade worth it!).


Zach Gage has done it again! TypeShift is the type of challenging, mind-bending and vocabulary expanding word game that helps demonstrate why Gage has developed a reputation as one of the strongest mobile game developers around. Likely to captivate both word puzzle connoisseurs and crossword fans alike, TypeShift is one of the best twists on the word game genre in recent years.

The game seems simple enough. All you’ve got to do is move columns of letters up and down to create a new word across the middle row. In order to complete the puzzle you’ve got to use each letter at least once, but letters can be used multiple times within a particular puzzle. However, both the arrangement of the letters and your inability to control the number of letters used in each word can make the game particularly difficult.

Once you get down to the last few letters it can feel almost impossible to figure out how they’ll work together in the ways being demanded of you. Approach TypeShift like a Boggle-style game and you won’t find yourself getting very far. There’s no sneaking by on the back of a bunch of three and four letter words here. It’s a different and deeper type of thinking that’s needed to get through TypeShift.

TypeShift Gameplay

If you can really get the hang of the game – and if you stick with it, you will –  you’ll likely feel smarter. At the very least, your vocabulary will inevitably become larger and more impressive. It’s the kind of word game you’ll want to play with a dictionary on hand. Now that you know ‘fluor’ is a word, it’d be a shame to never use it.

After speeding through a bunch of three-word puzzles and learning a bunch of new five-letter words, it’s easy to start feeling a little bit cocky. Before trying to re-enter the real world, give the daily puzzle a try. A seven-letter brain-melter, it’s likely to knock the descendants of Merriam and Webster down a few pegs. Conquer it and you’re fully justified in breaking out into a happy dance on the bus.

TypeShift Daily Puzzle

TypeShift is a good looking mobile game. The layout of the screen is clean as opposed to cluttered. While the background music isn’t anything particularly impressive, the letters are easy to read against the background of the letter boxes. It’s details like letter coloring and font choice which can often feel overlooked among the growing legions of puzzle games, and the attention to detail displayed in TypeShift helps make it great as opposed to merely good.

TypeShift Puzzle Packs

TypeShift is a free-to-play game which can easily be upgraded to something that feels more like a premium experience through in-app purchases. There are plenty of free puzzles available at all difficulty levels to keep you busy for a while, but the purchase of a puzzle pack or bundle doesn’t just let you spend more time with TypeShift (and trust us, you’ll want to), it also removes ads from the game. And the better you get at TypeShift, the bigger a deal this will be.

A purchase also allows you the option to have a closer look at your stats and gives you the option to change your theme. Whether you’re looking forward to an uninterrupted playing experience or a look that better reflects your personality it’ll be money well spent.

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