Developer: The Retronyms LLC
Price: free Download on the App Store
Don’t let the name mislead you. Seek ‘n Spell is nothing like your childhood toy, Speak & Spell. In fact, forming words is only a small part of this adventurous, GPS-based scavenger hunt. Who knew a word game could be this invigorating?
Seek ‘n Spell from Retronyms uses the iPhone’s GPS function to guide you and your friends on an outdoor search for letters. After you find some letters, you can submit words for points. Forming words is not the fun part; it’s the hunting process that makes this game exciting.
The first time I played Seek ‘n Spell, it was on my street at midnight, after a couple of drinks with friends. We violated the main rule of Seek ‘n Spell, that you need to play in a wide-open area. My friends and I found ourselves running around in the dark, down side streets and in people’s back yards, whooping and hollering. Though half of the letters were unattainable on the other side of the creek, it was an adventure, that’s for certain. We had a blast.
Seek ‘n Spell requires a significant amount of pre-planning to be successful. First, you need a bunch of friends with iPhones who also have an interest in playing Seek ‘n Spell. Depending on your social circle, this may or may not be an easy task. Then you have to plan to meet in a large open area, like a park, on a nice day (or night).
Seek ‘n Spell is intuitive to use, but it is only as functional as your GPS. The first two times I played Seek ‘n Spell it worked fine, but today when I tried to play with a friend and take some screenshots, the GPS satellites found her iPhone but could not locate mine; you can see there is only one player in the screenshot above. Playing solo just does not provide the same thrill.
Though Seek ‘n Spell offers to find parks near you, it only retrieved the distant City Clerk’s office and mobile home parks for me, even though there are numerous parks by my house. It appears to use the white pages for its park search.
Seek ‘n Spell is an innovative, unique iPhone game. Though $2.99 per player is pricey, Seek ‘n Spell is a brilliant investment if you have daredevil friends with iPhones who like to run around outside. Get ready for an adventure!