Words with Friends review

Reviews Damien McFerran 15:32, 3 Mar 2011

We review Words with Friends, a Scrabble-like game for Android

Rating: 
4.5

When you consider how many words are relentlessly rammed down our throats on a daily basis, you’d think we’d want to spend our leisure time avoiding them completely. They fill our computer screens, mobile phone displays and newspaper pages, causing many of us to suffer from information overload. However, Words with Friends is categorical proof that not all text is troublesome – in fact, this is one of the most maddeningly addictive games we’ve played in years.

Words with Friends is essentially an online version of the board game Scrabble. The objective is to spell words on a grid-like board, and each new word you make has to link in with a previously-created one.

Each letter you place has a score, with the more tricky examples (Z, Q, Y, etc) offering more points. Factor in special locations on the board which double and even triple the amount of points you get from each placement, and you’ve got a challenging score-based gameplay system which encourages you to use your noggin to cook up the most elaborate words.

This alone would be enough to ensure some interest from prospective players, but as the title suggests, Words with Friends isn’t a solo experience. It has to be played online with other people, and it’s this element which makes it a must-have download.

When you fire up the application for the first time you’re instructed to select a username which is used to indentify you in matches. You can choose to either play against a random stranger, find another player via their username or email someone on your Googlemail contact list with a link to the app so they can download it (if they haven’t already) and participate in a match.

Although Words with Friends requires a net connection to function, the games aren’t strictly in real-time. You move is communicated to your rival and they can respond whenever they see fit. This could be seconds, minutes or hours. While this might seem like a bit of a drag, it’s actually what makes Words with Friends so compelling.

Specifications

Reviewed On Google Nexus S
Typical Price Free
Platform Android
Developer Newtoy
Website https://market.android.com/details?id=com.zynga.words
Longevity
5
Graphics
3.5
Gameplay
4.5
Category Word game
Publisher Zynga

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