There will come a day when the latest addictive game will come straight to Android and not pass through iOS first. Maybe that day will come this year. But it hasn’t yet. My friends with iPhones have been glued to their screens playing Words With Friends, a Scrabble clone, for quite some time now.
A word addict myself — I’ve logged countless hours on Tile Takedown and Wixel — I’ve been waiting for this game to hit iOS. It finally hit the Market this week, which means that after months of waiting, it is now everyone else who will be waiting for me.
If you’ve played Scrabble, you know the game well enough. You start with seven tiles, and you use them to create words. Each word is worth a different number of points, and there are spots on the board that act as multiplies. Thankfully, this all works right along the lines of Scrabble, so there is no adjustment. If you know one, you know the other.
I haven’t played too too many games yet, so I don’t know if every single rule matches up. For instance, I haven’t gotten a bingo yet (i.e., used all seven tiles at once), so I don’t know if that provides the 50-point bonus. But I presume it does.
I terms of gameplay, I have no complaints. It’s exactly as glorious as my iPhone-toting friends have made it out to be. The Scrabble format lends itself to the touch screen well enough. Maybe not as perfectly as Boggle, but it’s still a nice, easy interface. That it follows the rules of Scrabble makes it that much more addictive.
And now, for the airing of grievances. The between-turns ads get old real fast. I understand that the app is free and that the developer is therefor free to monetize it in any possible way. Why should they spend their time making apps for me if they get nothing in return? Still, there has to be a better way than seeing an ad between every, or every other, turn. Also, I’d love for the option to play the computer. There are certain — certain times that I enjoy playing quick games. Sometimes my friends aren’t around at these… specific times. There’s a play and pass mode where you can simulate two local players, and I suppose that’s fun enough. But I want competition. I want some AI. But I suppose that’s something I’d have to pay for.
Other than that, it’s looking good. I wish I had a little notice before I started a new game with a friend, but yeah, it’s definitely going to fill many, many hours in my day. If you don’t see posts in the next few days, you’ll know why. You can get Words With Friends for free in the Market.