I hated Scrabble when I was a child. I even hated Scrabble Junior. I just didn’t get the point of it, and I certainly didn’t have a large enough vocabulary to make much of an attempt at winning. It’s amazing how tastes change as you grow up, though, because I’m addicted to a Scrabble-a-like game on the iPhone at the minute: Words With Friends (iTunes link).
Words With Friends is, essentially, Scrabble under a different name, albeit with a different board layout and letter scores. What I like about it, though, is that it’s possible to play opponents online. No more sitting down to play an entire game in one go… take your turn and your opponent will be informed it’s their go. If you want to take a while to think about your move, you can do that. I was introduced to Words With Friends by one of our local radio DJs, Barry Snedden, and it’s great to be able to play online against him.
You’ll need to create a username to play online games, and usually give that username to your friends so they can create a session with you. But what if you don’t have any friends online? Well, you can play a game against a random opponent or, if you’re up for some (gasp) real life interaction, you can play your turn and pass the phone to your opponent in the imaginatively named “Pass and Play” mode.
One real advantage to playing Words With Friends on a computer is that there’s very little arguing over whether something is a word or not. Now, I’ll admit to occasionally trying random combinations of letters or words I’ve just made up and being very surprised when they’re accepted by the game. However, I put that down to it having a larger dictionary than my vocabulary. Many of my words are still rejected out of hand though!
Words With Friends is surprisingly good fun. It’s great to challenge your friends to pitch their linguistic skill against yours and, just once in a while, you’ll pull out a cracker of a word that will stun even yourself.