While this week has been filled with news and reviews of fast paced games, I've always had a weakness for word games on the iPhone, even though I'm fairly terrible at them. Here are three recently released or recently updated word games that are all worth checking out--
Guess the News [99¢ / Free] - Surprisingly enough, the news is good for more than material to auto-tune. Guess the News pulls news stories down from various RSS feeds, and turns them in to puzzles to be solved. You're given a brief description of the article, then need to guess the headline from the pile of letter tiles on the game board. Puzzles are broken out in to several categories such as health, sports, and even "odd stories". For instance, I recently played a few games in the technology category that had me guessing the titles of Engadget posts. Guess the News features three difficulty levels which control how much of the headline is already completed at the start of each puzzle, and with the dynamic content fetching provides infinite replay value.
Word Spin [$1.99] - As seen in the above trailer, this game has two parts to it, the first stage amounts to rotating and positioning the various wheels loaded with letters to line up as many words as possible. You then tap the top of the screen to lock the wheels in place, then find every word you possibly can as you rotate the locked set of word wheels searching for valid words. Once you get good enough, you can compete both against friends by sending email challenges where they will play against your exact configuration of the word wheels or by submitting your score to the global online leaderboard. The gameplay mechanic is solid and provides an interesting spin (See what I did there?) on the word hunting game formula.
Words With Friends [$2.99 / Free] - Everyone who owns an iPhone or iPod Touch should have either the free or paid version of this game on their device. Words With Friends takes the game of Literati (a variant of Scrabble) and adds excellent asynchronous online multiplayer with recently added push notifications that alert you when it's your turn in any of your active games. The free version is ad supported, but otherwise fully featured, and according to a recent presentation by the developers at GDC Austin, Words With Friends and Chess With Friends [$2.99 / Free] has 50,000 active users daily.
I've had numerous Words With Friends games going for months now with nearly every friend of mine who owns an iPhone, a clever in-game search function will search the Words With Friends player database for friends of yours you want to start a game with, and if the game can't find them it will offer to send them an email invitation. Everything about the game is implemented so amazingly well that you owe it to yourself to at least try the free version if you're even remotely interested in word games, especially with the recent update adding push notifications. If you need people to play with, stop by the Words With Friends thread on our forums.