Words with Friends
Words with Friends is an extremely popular app on iTunes that can be played between users of the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. It allows people to play a Scrabble type word game where you form words using random letters and try to score big points by placing the letters over boxes that give double or triple points. Given the game’s success on iTunes, it’s no surprise that Words with Friends for Android is now available as a free, but ad-supported game app. Best of all, you can play against iPhone users with your Android phone.
Gameplay (5 out of 5)
Words with Friends looks very much like Scrabble, but the big difference is that you get the same letters, in random order, every time you play. In Scrabble you may or may not get big point letters like Q or Z depending on how the pieces are shuffled together, but with this game you always get them. This does add a bit of strategy to the word game, like knowing when to hold on to a letter U when you haven’t yet gotten a Q yet because most Q words require a U.
The game is played entirely online where you create an account name and then send a game request to a friend with an account name. It then tracks their moves and notifies you once they have taken a turn. A game can go on for days before it is completed, depending on how often the other person gets to play. If you don’t have any friends to play against, you can also randomly connect with another player.
Features (4 out of 5)
The interface to this game is incredibly simple. You have a row of letters across the bottom of the screen, and you just drag them in place on the game board, then submit your word. If your letters don’t form a word, it’ll tell you so and then you can try elsewhere. There are no flashy animations or music, so everything runs very smoothly and the game loads quickly. It also features an instant message area for each game you play.
Other than a point-based system to track score, the game doesn’t maintain any player records so it works entirely on a game by game basis. This keeps things very casual by not posting rankings or records anywhere, and the only score that matters is your current game. As a result, it’s a very fun and easy to play game where you can have any number of opponents going at a time. I’m currently playing about a dozen different friends and family members right now on both my iPod Touch and Samsung Galaxy S.
Annoyances (1 out of 5)
The cross-platform functionality of this game is a little flaky. Some games work just fine with other players no matter which device I am on, and some only seem to work on the iPod Touch. On my Android, I have two friends whose games always show them as beating me, and there is a red X where I can’t view the game progress, like it is stuck. I hope this is just a bug because the game is so new and hopefully it will be fixed in a later update.
Right now, Words with Friends is only available as a free app for Android. The problem with this is that the free app is supported by ads. Every time you play a word, you have to wait for an advertisement screen to load, then tap the screen and either select Download for more information or Skip to go past it. I’m used to playing my paid version on the iPod Touch where there are no ads, and hopefully a paid version will also be made available for Android.
Overall Rating (3 out of 5)
I am very glad to have Words with Friends for Android, but as of right now I feel like the game is more stable on my iPod Touch. If a paid version of this game is released, I will buy it for Android only if they patch some of the cross-platform bugs I’ve run across.
Once you get the game and find that you need help making up words, be sure to check my Words with Friends cheats with full lists of words using tough letters like Q, Z, and J to score big points.
Android Market: Download Words with Friends for Android
(Image credits: Android Market)