Words with Friends by Zynga has fast become one of the most played mobile games since its release in 2009. What was originally destined to be a game for the few vocabulary savants who need to play a mobile version of Scrabble has now been played by everyone from seniors to children. If you have refused to join the legions of wordsmiths, perhaps today is the day that you succumb to the allure of a wider vocabulary. One of the main reasons it has grown into a behemoth of a game is that it can be found on a wide range of devices. Find Words with Friends by searching the marketplace on your Android or iOS powered device; play on Facebook, on your Amazon Kindle Fire, or your Barnes & Noble Nook.
Words with Friends is a simple multiplayer game where players take turns placing letter tiles on the board. Players are randomly given seven letters to start the game. You start by placing your first letter over the star in the center of the board. Each letter is associated with a different point total, which can be found in the corner of the tile. Littered throughout the board are bonus squares that can help you earn additional points; these tiles include TL (triple letter), DL (Double letter), DW (Double word) and TW (Triple Word). Though having the largest vocabulary and having the best spelling skills helps, it is all about tile placement. Place your letters with the highest point total on top of the bonus tiles, and watch your points skyrocket. There are 104 tiles to be given out before a game is over; of course, a player can always resign early and suffer the agony of defeat. Essentially, if you have ever played Scrabble, you already know how this game works.
Zynga has done a great job of making Words with Friends available to so many players. As mentioned earlier, this game can be played on virtually any mobile device, regardless of where your loyalties lie. The impressive feature of this franchise is that the same game can be played on any device against any device. This cross functionality allows players to stay engaged, no matter where they are.
Words with Friends allows players to sign-in via Twitter or Facebook on any of the aforementioned devices. This option allows players to compete and find new games with their friends. Each player can have up to twenty simultaneous games at one time. No longer does a player have to create a username and send out notifications to friends and family. Once synced up, you might be surprised to find that you’re the only one not playing. Once you have started a game with your friend, be sure to talk plenty of trash. Zynga has incorporated a chat feature where players can chat in real-time, because nothing is better than a gloating text of “Boom” after a 100-point word.
Furthermore, Zynga allows the mobile wordsmith to decide which version of the game works best for them. Words with Friends has an ad-supported version of the game that’s available for free; however, they also offer a low-price version with no ads. Normally, after each turn is completed, an advertisement pops up for a few seconds. If advertisements aren’t for you, feel free to purchase the game for a one-time fee.
The game itself is great, but like all games, there are a few areas that need improvement. The biggest critique of the game is that I almost never win. On a more serious note, the only real issue is when opponents have completed a turn, iOS devices take a few minutes to send an alert. Most players want to know when to play as soon as possible, so a faster alert system would have made this a much stronger game. Finally, the game does not auto-rotate so that players can view the game in landscape mode. While it is a minor issue for most players, the developers could easily perfect this game by allowing players to view the board in a landscape mode by enabling this feature.
Overall, Words with Friends is a must-play game. This game is especially addicting when playing with friends and family. Zynga has done a great job incorporating all your social networking contacts into the game to make sure you have plenty of people to play with (and trash-talk). Be sure to check it out on your iPod Touch, iPhone, Android Phone, E-Readers and your Tablets alike. I give this game 9 out of 10 tiles swapped.
This review is based off a retail copy of the iOS version of Words With Friends by Zynga