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iPhone Game Review: WordsWorth

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Are you addicted to flash games that play with words? Do you play Scrabble® at every family gathering? Do you do crosswords in your spare time? Do you love looking at words and coming up with various anagrams or their palindromes? If so, then WordsWorth is the perfect iPhone of iPod Touch game for you.

WordsWorth is your typical online flash game, just ported over to your iPhone. Similar to Bookworm, this game is simply a word making game. While it is easy at first, the longer you play, the harder it gets. The game gives you a honeycomb of letters, which you then combine to make words. The longer the word, the more points granted. Plus, like Scrabble®, different letters are worth different points. Create enough words, and score enough points, you move onto the next level. You can grab WordsWorth at the iTunes Application Store for the price of $.99 until 12/28/2008, on the 28th it become $1.99 (there is also a ‘lite’ version for you to try out).

Hey look, a nifty little video
(Note, I am not in this video, this is provided to me by 99games. That said, ‘sue’ is an English word and a name, thus his comment proves nothing.)

Does WordsWorth Sound easy? Well, it really isn’t. You can not always find the words easily (though for those who love Crosswords, or play Bookworm regularly, this should be easy) and they often are too short to get many points. Add to this the fact that you can limit the minimum letters needed which lets you require 5 letter or more for each word words. Plus, there are some ‘timed’ tiles that make you use that specific letter quickly. The game does, however, allow you to ‘shuffle’ the tiles by shaking your iPhone three times or more per level. Though there are some ‘timed’ tiles, it is really more of a low-pressure time wasting game then anything else.

Most applications made for the iPhone really seem forced. The touch controls, and how they are used, never seems that well thought out. Sure, there are exceptions (like Baccarat Pro, Texas Hold’em, and anything else in my Top 10 list) and WordsWorth is one of them. The game lets you input words by either hitting on letter at a time or sweeping through the word. Let me tell you, the later manner is easier. The touch controls are perfect and feel natural to use. The hexagonal letters are the perfect size for my fat fingers to press, and the actual game works well without hitches in this regard. Unlike many applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch, WordsWorth actually seems to be designed with your fingers in mind.

Another nice feature is the option of three different dictionaries. Though all are in English, 99Games is planning on releasing international versions in the near future. Offering three different English dictionaries, WordsWorth is one of the more complete games for the iPhone. For those who know the most obscure words they have the ‘ENABLE’ dictionary, which is maintained and thoroughly researched. For the Scrabble® players in Israel, Thailand, Canada, and the USA, they offer the ‘TWL’ official tournament dictionary. For all other English speaking Scrabble® players, they offer the ‘SOWPODS’ tournament dictionary. With all these dictionaries and words, WordsWorth is the perfect application for the Scrabble® player, the English student, and the author.

I am naturally opposed to any application that I can not download over the air. WordsWorth, with its 11.1MB file size is above the 10MB limit that AT&T imposes on over-the-air application downloads. Normally, if I can only get the application by downloading it from my computer, I don’t think that it is worth my time. Plus, in an industry that thrives on impulse buys, this file size is probably going to limit their sales. Additionally, the music in the background of the game is annoying. Frankly, I have always hated flash game music, and WordsWorth seems to have incorporated it. I really am hoping that a game comes out that allows you to play your iPod music in the background, but for now, just turn off your sound. The last minor con is the fact that there is no online leader board yet. Sure, it is nice to see how well you are doing compared to your previous games, but I want to see that I am kicking the ass of JennyisSexy1992838943 from England. Hopefully this is included soon.

While the size, music, and leader board are all minor issues, there is one major (in my opinion) problem with WordsWorth: the game just is not intense enough. While there are ‘timed’ tiles in the game, it seems far too laid back to be engaging for long periods of time. With Bookworm, their danger tiles have a large sense of urgency to them. In WordsWorth, you have about a minute to conceive of what to do with the tiles, and you never have many to deal with at once. Basically, they are a minor annoyance instead of the large threat that they should be.

While WordsWorth is a fun and addictive game, it is has some flaws. The music, size, and lack of a leader board do cause it to seem not yet ready for the iPhone. Yet the touch control, as well as the dictionaries, give it a polished appearance. This dichotomy of contradictory statements seems to be odd, but it works slightly for WordsWorth. Overall, I feel that there is some work still needed on the game. Thus, I give it 3/5 stars.
99games is planning on reducing the file size, adding online leader boards, and changing the music in the near future. Once they do this I believe the game should be worth 4/5 stars.

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About Robert M. Barga

  • Duke

    WordsWorth has been nominated for the Best App Ever awards under the Word category. You can vote for it here.

  • http://whalertly.blogspot.com Robert M. Barga

    Thanks for the update Duke

  • http://whalertly.blogspot.com Robert M. Barga

    FYI, there is now a lite version of the game

    also, you can turn off the sound, there is a smaller file size, and a time-setting for the falling blocks

    the game now is at 4/5stars

  • http://www.99games.in 99Games

    Thanks for letting the readers know that WordsWorth has been nominated for Best App Ever awards under Word Game category! :)

    Another major update of WordsWorth has just hit the App Store. The game now lets you choose between the old Classic theme and a brand new Glossy theme!
    Choose the look you like and continue to enjoy WordsWorth! :)