App Review: Words With Friends

snap20110214 214723 180x300 App Review: Words With FriendsWe all love playing video games on our smartphones. Lots of people also like multiplayer games. Combine that with the concept of scrabble, and you have guaranteed fun. Words With Friends is a popular game on iOS, and has now come to Android! It’s by Zynga, and is tons of fun. But how does the app work? That’s what I am here to find out!

So, let’s start off with the interface. I’m going to have to say that, there are no hints of Android here. This deems like a direct port from the iOS version. All of the controls are the same and you won’t really use the menu button. Everything is on screen. I guess I am just picky, but I personally don’t like this. Even in a game, you have to feel native. “Native” to Android is usually crisp and clean, and should not look like iOS. I really think Zynga should take advantage of the freedom Android offers in design. Sticking to the same thing is boring. In game there is a basic layout. Similar to the iOS version, the most recent played word is on the top and the value is displayed, as well. The score is on the bottom left corner with the username and points displayed. The amount of letter tiles left is under it. The colored slots on the board show you that advertisements will pop up when creating a word that touches it. It gets really annoying, especially considering the fact there is no paid version for Android.

snap20110214 214901 180x300 App Review: Words With Friends

Forced ads are not cool!

The usability, on the other hand, is not that great. I’ve gotten a good amount of hiccups and force closes since I’ve installed it. I’m still not used to the iOS-like feel, so it’s a bit difficult to use at first. The in-game controls are pretty good. On the bottom of the screen, you have four basic options: Pass/Play, recall, swap, and resign. Pass let’s you skip a turn, but if you have letters on the board it will turn into a play button. Recall brings all tiles you are about to play back. Swap lets you get rid of unwanted letters, but you have to sacrifice a turn. Resign, obviously, is to give up and accept defeat!

Moving on to the game itself, it’s freaking awesome. I have been spending my time playing with friends and family. The best part is you can work at your own pace. There is no time limit to how long you have a turn, so no rush. It is a very relaxing and fun game. I can’t say more than, “excellent”! You can even chat with your opponent by tapping the message bubble in the top right corner. The only problem i’ve had with this is it does not jump down to the bottom of the conversation, by default. I have to manually move down to the bottom constantly. Again, I have a problem with the way the conversations looks, but that’s all personal preference. The notifications are my biggest tick. A lot of times I don’t get notifications and to refresh you have to go to the home of the application. There is no refresh button. Something of which I hope gets fixed soon.

Overall, I really liked this game. I think it’s fun and it’s free. The advertisements, iOS-esque looks, and notifications really bothered me, though. I will give it a 3.8/5. They have some major improvements to make. The game itself is wonderful, it’s just that the application sucks.

Pros:

  • Super fun!!!!
  • You can play with friends or random strangers
  • You play at your own pace
  • The ability to chat with the player, in game
  • The words you can use. For example, “Fatso” is an acceptable word.

Cons:

  • Advertisements, advertisements, advertisements!
  • Notification and refresh system
  • Too iOS-y
  • Force closes and stability

Click here to download from the Android Market (Works on both desktops and mobile phones!) : http://market.android.com/details?id=com.zynga.words

3 Comments

Kilo on February 17, 2011 2:33 PM

I would love to see an app review of Wordfeud. There is both a free version and a paid, ad-free version. The only con is that you can’t play with iphone users.

kasrhp on February 17, 2011 4:11 PM

No paid version? With that many ads, I like the choice of paid and free.

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