Monday, March 21, 2011

words with friends
by goose egg

Newtoy, Inc

Progress: NA 
As a life long Scrabble aficionado, I was immediately excited about playing Words with Friends (Words) on my brand new iPhone 4. You can download a free version that is riddled with advertisements or spend $2.99 to get the Ad Free version. I am not a fan of paying for apps and I have no problem bypassing the advertisement that displays following each turn.

Words, a variation of Scrabble, is a delightfully fun and addictive word game that you can play with friends or strangers. Games can last an hour or 3 weeks - players can make a move anytime they want. I currently have 6 games going right now, all friends and family. It's actually a great way to feel connected while playing a game you both enjoy. Words is my basically alternative to Facebook (since I have yet to join), it even has a built in chat feature for competitive game messaging or friendly banter. The interface is basically a Scrabble-like board, very colorful with a simple, clear graphics.

Playing a high scoring word is quite satisfying and one of the reasons I think this game is so addictive. If you use all your 7 tiles, you don't get the 50 point bonus you enjoy when you use all your letters in Scrabble. I was disappointed when I noticed that after my first 7 letter word but there are more opportunities to earn double or triple points playing Words as opposed to Scrabble. And, I have to say my highest Words score is higher than my highest Scrabble score.

I can honestly say that I have never experienced any bugs or glitches when I play Words. That said, it would be remiss of me if I did not share with you that I have heard that the free version can be buggy. I have heard that some users experience issues with delays in the game play, problems receiving notifications that it's your turn and even games suddenly ending for no apparent reason.

One of the things I love about Words is that you will expand your vocabulary by seeing others play words you never thought would pass. Also, if you play an invalid word, you simply get a prompt that says: "Sorry that is not an acceptable word" and you can keep trying until you submit a valid word. Sometimes, if I really want to use a certain letter in a certain space, I will try all possible combinations to guess and submit many invalid word before I will find one that will pass. This is very different from Scrabble, because when you play a word and someone challenges it, if it doesn't pass you lose a turn!

I highly recommend this game to anyone with an iPhone or Android. It's still gaining popularity and I believe they will release it to other platforms, such as Blackberry and Windows phones.

Grade: A
If you think Words with Friends is too easy, try your hand at Chess with Friends. Stay tuned for my upcoming review of Chess!

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