Summary Words with Friends is a great word game from Zynga but misses the mark a bit with game stability and the amount of ads.
Description Type: Casual word game
Game Time: Varies
Developer or Designer: Zynga
Highly addictive for wordsmiths
Helps to build a player’s personal lexicon
Can play multiple games at a time
Super spammy: an ad plays after each move
Has a lot of glitches, particularly with ads
Multiple games can get overwhelming
Words with Friends is a Scrabble clone built by Facebook giant Zynga, makers of Mafia Wars and Farmville. In Words with Friends, two players battle it out on a word board. Players are provided seven tiles at a time, each with letters on them that are assigned a point value, which they use to create words on the board. Words are made vertically or horizontally but cannot be made diagonally.
Strategy and Competition
The Words with Friends board is covered with double letter, triple letter, double word and triple word bonus markers. A letter placed on a double of triple letter marker will have that tile’s score doubled or tripled while any tile placed on a double or triple word marker will double or triple the value of the entire word played. Long words that land tiles on multiple multipliers can garner huge scores.
Another strategy is to create multiple words by matching up letters as shown below. This is a great way to score large!
Bumps, Bugs and Spam
With over five million ‘Likes’ on Facebook, there is no doubt that Words with Friends has caught on but it still has some improvements to make. I realise that games need a way to make money and Words with Friends has chosen ads as their way of monetization, however, they have taken ads a little too far. Words with Friends currently has a top ad which is usually for other Zynga games, three bottom ads for Zynga games and a sidebar ad on the left. What puts Words with Friends ads over the top is that there is another ad that pops up after a move has been completed. To make things worse, many of these ads are video ads that can last thirty seconds or longer. Unfortunately many of these video ads don’t even load correctly. Players often sit looking at a load screen for 30 seconds until finally the non-responsive ad closes and the player can make another move.
Words with Friends is a lot of fun and educational but a few improvements would go a long way.