★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.
  • Publisher: Smithsoft
  • Genre: Word
  • Device: Universal
  • Size: 35.9 MB
  • Version: 1.3
  • Price: Free
  • Average User Rating:
    Not enough votes.
App description: Step 1: Unscramble words. Step 2: Defend your town. Taking word games to a new level, this free brain teasing game will challenge your mind and your senses. Use your skills and help Pandora defend cities of classic books by unscrambling words and defeating monsters.

With 80 levels of fun - the challenge has been set.

What the critics had to say:

Logophiles, rejoice - Pandora's Books is here to meet your literary gaming needs!
This unique game takes classic literature and adds monsters and yes, its as awesome as it sounds! - - Amy Turnbull. Gameskinny

"As much action game as spelling bee, and it manages that as something fresh." - Harry Slater, Pocket Gamer
"Certainly looks like it offers a little more than just a typical word game." - Emily Sowden, Pocket Gamer

Pandora's Books features:
* Over 1000 words to solve over 80 levels
* CHALLENGE yourself with fast paced, brain teasing mayhem. Easy and fun to play. Difficult to master.
* COLLECT unscrambled words to reveal quotes from the book. Collect all the quotes!
* GET clues by defeating monsters
* USE clues to help solve the words from classic books
* GAIN access to many classics such as War of the Worlds, 'Wuthering Heights', 'Hound of the Baskervilles' and 'At the Mountains of Madness'
* SOUNDTRACK and full-color scenes with each book
* BEAT your friends on the Facebook leaderboard
* SHARE your experience with your friends

So, discover and explore magical words, characters and places from timeless classics and download Pandora's Books for FREE today.

Website: Pandorasbooks.co
Community Page: https://plus.google.com/communities/111223528676751826569
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pandorasbooksthegame/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/pandoras_books
Press Kit: http://smithsoft.online/press/pandoras_books/

NOTE: The content featured in Pandora's Books is not designed or intended as a downloadable e-book. It is a series of quote extracts from classic books where you will be able to unscramble words.

Smithsoft's comments:

Hey everyone!!

We’re SUPER excited to announce that Pandora’s Books is now available to download from the App Store!!

It’s free to play so if anagrams are your jam, feel free to have a go, if not, feel free to have a go anyway :P

A special thankyou to all our testers who helped get us to where we are now <3

And of course wanna thank you guys for all the support we've gotten here at Touch Arcade

Give us feedback or share the love on Facebook or Twitter

08-23-2016, 12:59 AM
Joined: Mar 2016
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 30
Review ...

Just thought we'd share a little review we got for Pandora's Books in case you were wondering if this was the game for you.


Check us out on Facebook and Twitter!

09-18-2016, 02:24 AM
Joined: Mar 2016
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 30
Update for Pandora's Books Coming Soon! (29/09/16)

Hey guys!

Just wanted to share our latest update for Pandoras Books with you guys here on Touch Arcade!


Clues Tutorial - Pandora helps you get started with a couple of clues
Quote Completion - Now you can see all the new words you solved in your last playthrough
Improved Social Share - Share screenshots of quotes AND your score with friends

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter!

Last edited by Smithsoft; 09-19-2016 at 07:32 PM.
09-19-2016, 02:30 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 3,139
Don't listen to what that other guy was saying. Every released game should have one thread only, in this iPhone and iPad games section. When updates or other news is happening, simply post about it in that existing thread. Easy peasy!

I've consolidated everything back into this thread and deleted your guys' convo about where to post.

Fondle me on Twitter:@JaredTA
09-19-2016, 07:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 30
Originally Posted by Boardumb View Post
Don't listen to what that other guy was saying. Every released game should have one thread only, in this iPhone and iPad games section. When updates or other news is happening, simply post about it in that existing thread. Easy peasy!

I've consolidated everything back into this thread and deleted your guys' convo about where to post.
Ah! Thankyou for your help!

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter!
09-21-2016, 03:54 AM
Aww, this is super cute. I particularly like the determined look on Pandora's face when you start the level.

I wonder how tricky kids will find this? Not only are the words not cued in any way that I can see, but the game only accepts one correct word per anagram. I made BEGIN, for example, and it didn't accept it because it wanted BEING. Since there was nothing on-screen to indicate why one word would be considered correct and the other would not (a sentence with a blank in it, for example), that seemed a little unfair.

Some of these words are tough!
09-21-2016, 04:37 AM
Joined: Apr 2015
Location: Australia
Posts: 10
Hi Georgina,

Thanks for the great feedback. I'm the developer & designer of the game.

There's two issues we've struggled with: we intended the game for adults with a "cute and funny but dark" visual style. But what we wound up with artistically didn't communicate that; and some elements of the outer game loops didn't make it in to the cut-off for shipping making the connection between quotes from the classic book and the game obscure. The latter is something mentioned in this PocketGamer review: http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/iPhon...ew.asp?c=71072

Like other games e.g. WordBrain where there is a specific target word you must find, communicating this to the player via gameplay is very hard. No-one reads tutorials or pop-up messages. We're addressing this in our next update where the book quotes you're trying to complete appear on the victory screen. We also plan to remove "being" & other words with multiple solutions on level 1 so players can see how this works before they get frustrated.

The "for kids" thing is frustrating. Other games for adults have cute kid characters but somehow there's a "Dora the Explorer" vibe that wound up in the visual style, and the games name is probably not the best either. The word "books" seeems to instantly evoke "educational" and while I hope the game would be valuable culturally, it's primarily meant to be fun.

We're working incredibly hard on a tiny budget to fix these things.
09-21-2016, 11:13 PM
Hi, Sarah! Thanks for the response.

After playing some more, I have some additional thoughts, if you're interested. One new and one tied into what we already discussed.

The difficulty level is very choppy. One moment I'm making THAT, the next, I'm making LIONESSES. I get the impression the final word of each level is meant to be a 'boss word', but the ramping up doesn't feel smooth to me. Each level goes from really easy -> oh, this is a nice challenge -> ooh, so hard! in the space of a minute or so. And the hard words are really damn hard. I'm not the best at anagrams, to be sure, but I still wonder how many people could make a word out of ASNLIREGI in twenty seconds without some kind of context.

It took me three plays of level 5 just to work out what that word was. (And I suspect Americans might have even more trouble.)

Also, let's talk about LIONESSES a moment. I solved a nine-letter anagram in about ten seconds, but the game rejected my answer because it wanted NOISELESS. That's just frustrating. I'm okay with an anagram game wanting a specific word (like WordBrain) or an anagram game having a timer (like Four Letters), but having both feels as though the game is punishing me for not reading its mind.

I really do feel context clues are the key here. I know you mentioned putting them on the victory screen, but I'd rather see them in the game itself. Just a sentence fragment with a _____ in the middle would make such a difference.

Best wishes with your game.
09-22-2016, 12:37 AM
Joined: Apr 2015
Location: Australia
Posts: 10
This is great feedback Georgina, and also thank you so much for playing; and taking the time out to give us your thoughts. It is so great to hear this!

You're right about the difficulty - it is quite challenging. Horribly so sometimes!

The choppiness you mention is not something I had thought about and its the first time I've heard that exact feedback. Very interesting. Part of it might be that because the letters are not scrambled to some predetermined puzzle, but randomized and sometimes the resulting scramble is quite close to, or more suggestive of the correct word, and other times not so much.


Do you feel like the boss monster with its long word and the minion monsters with their shorter words should be distinguished more somehow? Should the words just be all of uniform length do you think? We could try that - it might seem odd that the boss can do so much damage but be easily defeated with the same number of letters as a minion.

Will have to put our thinking caps on. :-)

Regarding the broader difficulty - players are intended to use the clues liberally while playing. The mechanic is to get clues by playing the easier levels, and use them to solve a single letter to get the words "shape" so you have "N________" and know that it can't be LIONESSES.

Also the quote is meant to be there to provide context. You get a head start by reading that to see what words you can solve up front with the surrounding text. Then there's a memory aspect as you go into the game.

To balance the difficulty we provide the clues. Players are intended to use them like bombs - a two-handed approach with solving manually and using the clues as needed.

In some games the clues are "a cheat" - but here we intend, by giving a largish number of clues every time you win a level - that players will use them like you do when you solve a cross word by having a few key letters solved.

I'm not sure what we need to do to make it clearer that the clues are there to be used, and used liberally. I've watched during manual play testing and we are facing a problem where players do not seem to engage with the clues.

We have addressed this partly in our latest update where we have Pandora give players 3 free clues right at the beginning. The hope is that players will start using them. After that prompt.

In general we've tuned the game so that you should be able to balance clue usage and have plenty to get through all levels. We'll give this new update - which takes a lot to get out the door - a chance to marinate and see if the clues help.

Last edited by sarah_jane_smith; 09-22-2016 at 12:42 AM. Reason: Clarifying the difficulty issue
09-22-2016, 02:51 AM
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 251
Never been one for word games or anagrams but as the dev is active here thought I'd try this, expecting to delete in 10 seconds. Then I saw the opening paragraph from War of the Worlds and realised this is something different. Now I see how the game works I'm hooked already. Knowing the book so well (mainly from the Jeff Wayne LP) makes it easier of course. What makes this interesting is the combination of deciphering the anagrams from context, combined with memorising the words and quickly rearranging the letters. And what great books to follow: Wuthering Heights, Hounds of the Baskervilles, and Mountains of Madness. Classics of English and American literature. Couldn't have chosen them better myself! Not sure how relevant the shooting aspect is; too busy looking at the words to notice what's going on there, but I guess it adds a bit of fun.

Last edited by Stronsay; 09-22-2016 at 05:18 AM. Reason: literary mistake