Developers: Zach Gage and Jack Schlesinger
Publishers: Zach Gage, Noodlecake
Google Play / iOS / Steam

Reviewed on Android (Google Play)
Hours Played So Far: Countless

Quick Impression: Cleverly designed and infinitely playable, this puzzle game will twist your brain into pretzels on a daily basis.

Just like millions of others, I developed a Wordle addiction in late 2021 and have been playing ever since. Wordle is good fun but it’s such a brief experience. I spend a couple minutes cracking the code and that’s it until tomorrow (or midnight, if I’m experiencing particularly intense cravings). Sometimes I want more words! More dopamine! What’s a Wordle-addict to do?

Enter Knotwords. Yes, it is a word game. No, it is not a Wordle-like. It is, however, jolly good fun!

The interface is clean and intuitive

Knotwords plays like a cross between Scrabble and Sudoku. The game presents you with a grid that’s divided into sections, each featuring a number of letters. Your goal is to arrange the letters in each section and completely fill the entire grid with real words.

The twist is that most words span multiple sections, so you’ll need to experiment and carefully consider which letters you want to place where. Maybe you want to use that “a” to spell “apt,” but then later you realize that you need it elsewhere to make another word. Back to the drawing board it is, then. The game rewards experimentation and mistakes serve as only minor setbacks. Hints are available, but will either count against a monthly cap or add a penalty to your time, depending on which mode you’re playing.

Hell is Sundays

The business model is extremely generous. Players on iOS and Android can play the Daily Mini and Daily Classic, as well as 10 puzzles from the monthly puzzle book, for free. (No ads, either!) For many, this should be enough to satiate that nagging craving for a few more word puzzles. But if not, you can subscribe for a year to access the rest of the puzzles, or make a one-time payment to unlock them permanently. The full game offers an extra daily puzzle every day and even more monthly puzzles, as well as access to the full puzzle archive.

Daily Mini puzzles are tiny, and once you’re familiar with them you’ll be able to knock them out in a minute or two. The Daily Classic puzzles, on the other hand, grow progressively larger as the week goes on: The Monday Classic is scarcely larger than a Mini, while the Sunday puzzle is a sprawling epic of Homeric proportions that might take you upwards of an hour to piece together. Truth be told, I haven’t even dipped my toes into the Tricky pool yet, but I could see myself taking the plunge soon.

I still haven’t figured out what this fella’s deal is

At the moment, my Mini and Classic streaks are both closing in on the two-month mark. How long will they grow? Only time will tell. Should I tire of Knotwords, I could always take a look into developer Zach Gage’s back catalog (which unfortunately is only partially available on Android). Knotwords today, Spelltower tomorrow? Sounds like a word-tastic combo.