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Words with friends is the highly addictive game for the iPad or iPhone. It connects through facebook and is basically Scrabble. I was asked to play a while ago from my best friend but after getting really addicted to Scrabulous on facebook a few years ago I declined! After getting the iPad last week and scouring iTunes for suitable apps, I found this. I didn’t realise at the time it was the game that my friend had asked me to play – until it asked me to log in through facebook!
The game as I mentioned is practically scrabble. You begin a game by placing the first word with one letter touching the star in the centre of the board, and then each consecutive go must be placed so at least one tile is sharing the existing word on the board, and can only be placed either vertically or horizontally.
It doesn’t take too long to get to know how to get larger scores, by doubling the values of tiles placed on a DL space, or TL to triple the letter. A handy one is using an ‘S’ to finish off one word (which you will get the points of), and then using the S to start another word going in another direction. This is a good one if the new word is placed on a DW (double word points), or TL/DL on a particular high scoring letter. Even if you can make a long word, it is worth making sure you cannot strategically use fewer letters but gain a higher score somewhere else. Also, 35 points are awarded when a player uses all 7 tiles in one move.
The game ends when there are no tiles left to play (it handily tells you how many tiles are left in the game), or when a player passes their turn 3 times in a row. The opposing player to the one that has played all their tiles, has the value of the remaining tiles deducted from the score and a winner is announced. You then have the option to play a new player or start a new game with the player you have just finished a game with. The game will automatically give you a little nudge when it is your turn so you don't need to keep checking. This good be a positive or a negative, as I will be reading my kindle on an evening in bed when a notification will push through at the top of the screen telling me it is my turn against x player!
I must point out that it is highly addictive and the option to play against strangers by selecting ‘create’ and then ‘random opponent’ is far too easy. I have played a few games now with a guy in Ohio (you have the option to chat). You can also play against your facebook friends and once you have selected ‘create’ and then ‘facebook friends’ it will show you all of your facebook friends who play Words With Friends. Me and my husband rather geekily sit playing against each other on an evening, or whenever the opportunity to take a quick move arises (some games take days to complete). He plays on his iPhone, and me on the iPad (although I really don’t know how he even sees the board on his phone – it’s tiny!).
The option to shuffle letters is handy as you may see a word that you couldn’t see before. The thing that I find most frustrating with this game is that it doesn’t give you a win rating or score. I have played about 30 games now over the last week or so (you can play around 20 games at once), but it doesn’t give me a percentage win/lose rate, which is quite frustrating as I have only lost 3 games! This would be really handy for me when I was choosing to play against facebook friends as it gives you more of a challenge knowing how good (or bad!) friends are at the game.
All in all a really fun (and free) app which is highly addictive. The game is free but it does flash up a quick add for other apps after every other turn. The option to buy would stop these ads but it doesn’t annoy me enough that I feel the need to pay for the app.