My good friend Dan Baggett introduced me to a new iPhone/iPod Application called “Words With Friends” by NewToy, Inc. which is a game very much like Scrabble. It’s a crossword game using tiles except I’m sure to legally not infringe upon Scrabble’s copyright, all the spots for Double and Triple letter scores and Double and Triple word scores are in different spots than a traditional Scrabble board. Also the board doesn’t seem to have as many squares as a regular Scrabble board. I’ve not been a big enthusiast of Scrabble so I don’t know if the number of tiles and point values on the tiles are the same or not.
The game can only be a two player game and allows for two ways to play, it can be played on one iPhone or iPod Touch through “Pass and Play” mode or it can be remotely played with someone on another device in what is described as “asynchronous” online game play or “correspondence” play where the players play the game at their convenience, they do not have to be playing the game at the same time in order to play. There are several options on how to play with someone remotely, you can create a game to play with someone on your contact list (I’m not sure how this one works but I would imagine it sends that person an invitation to download the application.) Next, you can search for specific players by user name, which has been how I’ve played with my friends, you just enter their chosen user name and it establishes a game with that person. Lastly, you can also start a game with a random person as well by allowing the application to find you an opponent.
The nice thing about the application is that even though its a two player game, you can play with as many people as you want to at the same time. You can have multiple games being played simultaneously, so that you’re not tied up waiting for one of your opponents to respond before you can play another game with another person. I’ve built up to seven simultaneous games with friends, and co-workers and have not used the start a game option with a random player or someone on my contact list. I’ve established games with each opponent via entering their user name. Game play is rather easy, you build a word with your tiles and hit send and if the word is a legal word for the game, it will then go to your opponent for them to respond.
In a way its very amusing that I’m now playing a Scrabble like game as my father loved to play Scrabble both my brother and I learned quickly that neither one of us wanted to play Scrabble with our father. It’s not that our father cheated or anything like that, but he was no fun to play Scrabble with. But at the suggestion of a friend, I’m more than happy to play. The game has been fun to play. It’s even been considered one of the best apps released in all of 2009. Probably my favorite individual match has been one with my friend Dan where the board started with a rude word and just kept going from there.
Words With Friends comes in two varieties in Apple’s App Store, a paid version and a free version. The free version shows advertisements between plays where the paid version does not. I opted for the paid version since it was only $2.99. I certainly feel like I’ve gotten more than $3 worth of entertainment value out of the application. Click here to access the paid versions, click here to access the free version and start having some word building fun, then tell your iPhone/iPod Touch buddies to download it as well to start playing with friends.