App Profile: Words With Friends

By | January 21, 2010

Words With Friends
Category: Games
Last Updated: November 1st, 2009
Current Version: 3.0.4
Size: 2.7 MB
Price: Free ($2.99 For Ads-Free Version)

Words With Friends is quite possibly the most addicting and fun online game I have yet to play on the iPhone. Easily the hands-down best word game for the iPhone and iPod Touch, Words is a must-have for any fan of word games. Although there is still room for improvement, as I will touch on later, this game takes the classic board game of Scrabble, of which I am also a huge fan, and mixes things up a bit to presumably avoid getting sued. Essentially, the rules are exactly the same as Scrabble, but the double and triple letter and word tiles are rearranged and some of the letters have different values. There is of course an offline mode allowing you to hand your phone back and forth and play with a friend, but where the application really shines is the online play. If you have friends with an iPhone you can send an invite to them through your contacts list (It searches your contacts’ emails to see if they have a matching email on record with a game account) or you can enter their Words username. If you don’t have friends who can play or are just looking for a challenge, you can also have the game automatically search for an opponent and assign you to someone random. Games can be played at a very quick pace or sometimes you only end up making a move every once in a while and the game can stretch over days. For those slower-paced games, it even uses push notifications to alert you when it’s your turn, if you so desire. Don’t worry, though, if an opponent takes too long to play they will automatically forfeit after several days of inactivity. If you’re as hooked as I am and get impatient waiting for an opponent to play, you can also play multiple games at once, up to 20 simultaneous games – a number which makes my brain hurt.

To be fair to an otherwise incredible game, I will be touching on the improvements that I briefly mentioned earlier. First and foremost would simply be an option to mute the game’s sounds without completely silencing your phone. Aside from that, any other improvements would simply make an already great game even better. For starters, some sort of statistic tracking would be fantastic. Even if it isn’t something along the lines of a global leaderboard, just seeing some local stats such as your own win/loss ratio, your best scoring word, and other similar stats would be fantastic. It would also be nice to have a published word list or for them to simply just use the TWL that is accepted by clubs and tournaments across the country. It would also be nice to see the potential score of your word as you are placing down the letters and maybe highlight the placed letters in red if they do not form a valid word. Last, but certainly not least, would be the ability to more easily rearrange your letters when it is your turn and allowing you to move them and test placement while you are waiting for the other player to make their move.

Aside from the improvements I just mentioned, some of which are hopefully already being worked on by the developers, this game is absolutely fantastic. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch and are looking for a good time sink, install the Word With Friends. You will not be disappointed.