Wordulous for the iPhone is a Text Twist-style anagrams game. Six letter tiles are laid out, and you must arrange them into words. The words go up on the “chalkboard,” conveniently slotting into place alphabetically so you can see what words you need. Each game is three minutes long. When you have five or more words, you have the option of loading a new board should you get stuck with the letters you currently have. This is basically a new round in the same game. If you get one of the six-letter words, an option to play a bonus round is unlocked. Correct answers give you points and a time bonus; incorrect answers give you a point and time penalty. There are three game modes: practice, where you just play for fun and no scores are recorded; examination, the competitive version that allows your score to be stored on the phone as well as online; and challenge, in which you can challenge friends via phone or Facebook. Settings include the option to change the chalk and chalkboard color, choosing which dictionary standard to follow, and selecting six or seven letter words.
I am a pretty hardcore word game fan. I have bought or tried nearly 100 iPhone word games, including a number of Text Twist-clones. I believe I tried two or three clones before giving up. Most had such a poor response time that it was virtually pointless to play. Wordulous is a solid game. The response time is quite good. The simple chalkboard graphics are pleasing to the eye without being distracting. The letter tiles are big enough to tap easily. The bonus rounds and ability to select new puzzles mid-game make Wordulous stand out from other Text Twist clones.
The first version of this game is definitely still buggy. While this has only happened to me once (so far), a number of the solutions to one particular round contained letters that were not available (the letters were D I J N N I T, yet several of the “answers” required a B). In addition, the scoring is a little wonky. I wish it would remember your nickname or handle so that you don’t need to type it in at the end of every game. However, I think I have figured out why: the game won’t record high scores with the same name twice.
For example, I only had one score stored so far on the game, under the name Alyse. The next game, I used the same name – Alyse – but the score never showed up, despite the fact that my score was higher. Because of this, the new score was not submitted to the worldwide scoreboard. I am a competitive person – I want my name up there! Additionally, each score you are given is equated to a different profession: artist, soldier, doctor, etc. I have yet to figure out the rhyme or reason behind this. It seems to just pull up a random profession regardless of score.
If you are looking for an action-anagram game, this one is definitely worth the $0.99, but not much more.