Knotwords mixes together ideas from crosswords, sudoku and plenty of other puzzles you might find in the pages of a newspaper. With those various threads it creates a compulsive, engagingly logical experience that’s going to have you coming back for more time and time again.
At first glance the game looks like a traditional crossword – but then you notice there are no clues. Instead the gridded levels are broken up into smaller boxes, and you’re told which letters need to be placed within those sections. But not the order they need to go in.
With these little parcels of information, you start putting letters into the grid. You can go back and change them whenever you like, figuring out which combinations go where and which need to be separated. The challenges take a handful of minutes to complete, but there’s a pleasant mental tustle going on all the while.
Sometimes you’ll think you’ve found the solution, only for it all to come unstuck when you reach other parts of the board. There are words that fit, but only one correct outcome for each board. Figuring out where you’ve gone wrong is all part of the fun.
There’s a huge chunk of content here for free, and more to unlock with a subscription or a one-off payment. You get daily and monthly puzzles for nothing, and this is likely to be a game you dip into, rather than ploughing through in a single sitting.
There’s an elegance to Knotwords that puts it in the hallowed company of the likes of Wordle. In fact, if anything, it’s a far deeper experience than that most recent of word-based phenomena.
Those little moments of success, that affirm that your brain can still figure things out,
make this is the sort of game that’s going to stick around on your phone for a good long while. And you’re going to enjoy every challenge it throws at you.