Micro Review: Words with Friends HD

by: Chuck -
Title - Words With Friends HD
Developer - Newtoy (now Zynga with Friends)
Price - $2.99
Other platforms - iPod

Core concept - Words with Friends has you placing letters on a board to form words. Letters have point values and there are bonus tiles littered around the board that multiply the value of the individual letter or entire word if you place the a letter on the tile. If you’ve played Scrabble you’ve played Words with Friends.

The hook of the game is that you you play multiple games asynchronously with friends, family, and random strangers all around the world. If you’re not that promiscuous in your gaming the game also features a local hot swap mode where you pass the iPad back and forth at the end of each turn.

The company does offer a free, ad-supported version of the game that’s not nearly as polished as the paid version.

What works
  • Excellent user interface makes it easy to get into and play
  • Turn based nature of the game makes it easy to play multiple games at one time
  • Very easy to manage and swap between games
  • The game features an in-game chat mode where you can send messages back and forth to the person you are playing
What doesn't work
  • No option to start a match with a contact right after you finish one. A re-match button would be a fantastic addition
  • It would be nice to have an option to check to see if a word was valid before hitting the submit button. Kind of takes away some of the gameplay but for those that struggle to spell words on occasion it would be a godsend.
  • Contact management is a bit trouble some. The game wants to connect to my social network to setup matches, something I’d like to avoid for now. Would be nice to be able to add contacts automatically when I play someone.
Final verdict -  Definitely worth the $3.00 as the game has nearly flawless gameplay. Could use some smoothing out in the areas around setting up and managing contacts but that’s not really that big of an issue.

ProTip -   Don’t play folks with doctorates in English literature unless you are one. Playing against my sister who has three degrees in literature has proven to be a very humbling experience. To put it in Call of Duty terms my sister is a 10th level prestige and I’m a level one n00b who’s out of ammunition. I’d also like to thank the rest of my family, friends, and industry folk who have taken the time to pile on with the literal verbal ass kicking.
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