Smartphone and tablet users are constantly hounded by a barrage of gaming apps, most of which are mediocre at best. These apps pass the time when a person is waiting around at the doctor’s office, but they are usually not that great outside of that. Sleuth is a bit different; it’s a game that actually makes a person think. Part trivia, part Wheel of Fortune, and part Pictionary: Sleuth is a creative and addictive game that is a blast to play.
Sleuth gives out four pictures and has the player try and determine a particular “mystery.” A player is initially shown a category, which include people, movies, places, words, history, television, books, and songs. There are then four tiles that appear on the screen. Each tile slowly reveals a picture that gives hints to what the mystery item might be. Above the tiles the answer is given in a Hangman or Wheel of Fortune-type style. A player must start typing from the beginning of the sequence in order to get the answer correct. The letter will show up green for correct and red for incorrect. After awhile, letters will begin to appear in the answer boxes to give the player a bit of a hint.
There is a timer that counts down, and the quicker a player solves the puzzle, the more points he or she ends up receiving. When the time goes down, the points fall as well. Guessing an incorrect letter will also drop points as well as not getting a puzzle at all. A player’s points carry over, so it’s important to try to solve the mystery as quickly and accurately as possible. Players may use in-app purchasing to buy hunches that reveal letters. However, a player can refer a friend and get free hunches.
Players end up competing against each other from around the world because there is a leader-board for the highest scorers. The top month’s scorer gets a Sleuth t-shirt and the top annual winner will get an iPad.
The game is not one of those apps that someone can “space out” and play. One must really think to do well. Puzzles can range in difficulty depending on the player’s trivia skills. The variety of puzzles also can keep a player on his or her toes, since the categories can range from popular culture to geography. The pacing and scoring of the game make it addicting, since guessing wrong or not getting a puzzle correct will decrease the score. It’s easy to go, “Just one more puzzle,” and end up playing for a lot longer.
The best part about Sleuth is its uniqueness and possibilities for play. It’s different from the typical game app because it relies on a player’s knowledge instead of gaming skill. It is geared more for adults, but it would actually make an interesting app for older children as it reinforces spelling, visual cognition, and common knowledge. The game would also be great for parties and gatherings if used on a larger tablet.
Sleuth is developed by SimWave and is available for Android this week and IOS next week. It is free with ads and $.99 without ads.
Overall, Sleuth is a lot of fun. It’s different, challenging, and has a lot of potential. This one is a must-add to your list of game apps.