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--

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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.

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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.

  • Adams Immersive

    Words With Friends has been my most-launched game (maybe not highest time-played) for weeks—and I never played Scrabble before! Push notification works even in the free version, and makes it really easy to keep up with games. I play about 10 at a time now, but most go hours between turns (some go days) with only a few playing near realtime. It accommodates whatever pace you both want to play at. (And have time for!)

    P.S. Buried in some closet I have a physical toy/game like Word Spin. It was pretty cool—you’d take off an end cap, shuffle the rings and put them back on, then turn it like a Rubik’s Cube to set up the game. I don’t recall whether the rules were similar, but I know I had fun with it. (It was a stick about 3x as long, so it could make more words. Dark blue with yellow letters. Anyone remember it?)

  • Adams Immersive

    Words With Friends has been my most-launched game (maybe not highest time-played) for weeks—and I never played Scrabble before! Push notification works even in the free version, and makes it really easy to keep up with games. I play about 10 at a time now, but most go hours between turns (some go days) with only a few playing near realtime. It accommodates whatever pace you both want to play at. (And have time for!)

    P.S. Buried in some closet I have a physical toy/game like Word Spin. It was pretty cool—you’d take off an end cap, shuffle the rings and put them back on, then turn it like a Rubik’s Cube to set up the game. I don’t recall whether the rules were similar, but I know I had fun with it. (It was a stick about 3x as long, so it could make more words. Dark blue with yellow letters. Anyone remember it?)

  • http://www.iphonelife.com/ Menneisyys

    Tested the free version of Words With Friends. It seems to be much better playable than the free version of Chess With Friends - the ads shown after every single move can really quickly get into one's nerves (I've shot a multiplayer demo video of it, should you be interested: youtube.com/watch?v=C-cltqp1qe0 )

  • http://www.iphonelife.com/ Menneisyys

    Tested the free version of Words With Friends. It seems to be much better playable than the free version of Chess With Friends - the ads shown after every single move can really quickly get into one's nerves (I've shot a multiplayer demo video of it, should you be interested: youtube.com/watch?v=C-cltqp1qe0 )

  • http://fingerarts.com/ Isabella

    Eli,

    Thank you choosing to write about Guess the News. We are thrilled to have been noticed by Touch Arcade (we are a fan, you know :).

    We are continuing to improve the game and are adding a social 'duel aspect' as I am writing this comment.

    We are happy to know that you have a soft spot for word based games!
    Isabella (and the team at Finger Arts)

  • david

    I give: How do you enable push notifications for the free version of Words with Friends? It doesn't seem to have a settings section in the app, nor in the "Settings" iPhone app, where other apps often have their settings?

    I've been playing this game for months and have never got to use the push notifications, which I would love!

  • http://fingerarts.com/ Isabella

    Eli,

    Thank you choosing to write about Guess the News. We are thrilled to have been noticed by Touch Arcade (we are a fan, you know :).

    We are continuing to improve the game and are adding a social 'duel aspect' as I am writing this comment.

    We are happy to know that you have a soft spot for word based games!
    Isabella (and the team at Finger Arts)

  • david

    I give: How do you enable push notifications for the free version of Words with Friends? It doesn't seem to have a settings section in the app, nor in the "Settings" iPhone app, where other apps often have their settings?

    I've been playing this game for months and have never got to use the push notifications, which I would love!

  • david

    DISREGARD MY LAST POST. I didn't realize the app had been updated just a few days ago. The new version has push. Oh Happy Day!

  • david

    DISREGARD MY LAST POST. I didn't realize the app had been updated just a few days ago. The new version has push. Oh Happy Day!

  • http://www.monicadickey.com Monica Dickey

    Cool! Thanks for these. I really love word games, especially ones that allow some sort of multiplayer component. Maybe it's because I'm a vocabulary and spelling showoff, but I can't help it :P

  • http://www.monicadickey.com Monica Dickey

    Cool! Thanks for these. I really love word games, especially ones that allow some sort of multiplayer component. Maybe it's because I'm a vocabulary and spelling showoff, but I can't help it :P

  • nooooddy

    Yeah, I love Words With Friends (free). Been using it for months to have regular scrabble battles with friends. I agree that the devs have made a sound game and push notifications make it even better.

    I would say Words With Friends and Baseball Superstars 2010 are my most consistently played games on the iPhone. I seem to get bored of every other game, but those two keep my coming back.

  • nooooddy

    Yeah, I love Words With Friends (free). Been using it for months to have regular scrabble battles with friends. I agree that the devs have made a sound game and push notifications make it even better.

    I would say Words With Friends and Baseball Superstars 2010 are my most consistently played games on the iPhone. I seem to get bored of every other game, but those two keep my coming back.

  • Tracey

    I have the original Word Spin and love the new iPhone game. I got it for my iPod touch and it's addictive once you realize how many words you miss or challenge someone for their high score. Definitely recommend it - especially if you have an elementary school aged child that commandeers your iPod.

  • Tracey

    I have the original Word Spin and love the new iPhone game. I got it for my iPod touch and it's addictive once you realize how many words you miss or challenge someone for their high score. Definitely recommend it - especially if you have an elementary school aged child that commandeers your iPod.

  • Jacki C

    'Word Score' is another great word game. Exciting game and excitement keeps rising as you start entering new levels.

  • Jacki C

    'Word Score' is another great word game. Exciting game and excitement keeps rising as you start entering new levels.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EBWVJWO5LKYCG4NS3XRAVCXBRA Word

    Its a great game..Just like me I get addicted with the game words with friends..I always play that on my phone during my past time. Instead of watching TV..I use the ANAGRAMMER to give me hint in times I'm having trouble.