Words With Friends [2.99 / Free / HD] has dominated the multiplayer word game genre on the app store for a long time, but recently some new competitors have elbowed their way in: Kalimat [$2.99 / Free] and Wordfeud [Free]. We've loved Words With Friends since way back when, but it can't hurt to see what the competition has to offer.

Both games are Scrabble-style word games with asynchronous multiplayer - Kalimat through OpenFeint, and Wordfeud through its own system. Both also have free, ad-supported versions to try (Kalimat's cripples some features). But there are a few things that set these games apart from each other.

Wordfeud beat Words With Friends to Android earlier this year and then made its way to the App Store. It's not pretty, with its muted colors and plain interface, but it's quick. I ran into a few small bugs, but nothing game breaking. Currently, it supports six dictionaries, including Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, and both English tournament dictionaries (TWL and SOWPODS).


Screenshots of Wordfeud

You also have the option of using a randomized board. I've had a good time with randomized games since I've been playing Wordfeud. For example, things get pretty tense when you're trying to keep your opponent from making a word that lands on a clump with two triple-word scores and a double-word score. Meanwhile, the regular board layout is the closest to the traditional Scrabble layout I've seen.

Kalimat, on the other hand, will probably become my new game of choice. It includes Pass & Play (a feature Wordfeud lacks), Open Feint/Game Center achievements and an Arabic dictionary. But what I really love is Remix mode.

Remix mode rewards quick play. If you make your move within one minute of starting your turn, your points triple. Within two minutes, you earn double points and after that, things go back to normal. You can also swap letters once per turn without penalty, and one hidden square on the board awards bonus points.


Screenshots of Kalimat

It's a gimmicky mode, but it can be a lot of fun. Scores inflate like mad. Thanks to a ridiculously lucky move (all seven letters on multiple double-word squares during the first minute of my turn), I managed to get over 1500 points with one word. It was hilarious, but my opponent missed the humor of the situation somehow.

There are two things that keep me from recommending Kalimat wholeheartedly. One is the board layout. It's easy to land on multiple high-scoring squares in a single turn early on, resulting in huge leads even in normal mode. I've also had a lot of difficulty finding random people to play with. I'm not sure whether the problem is the size of the playerbase or the way Kalimat makes matches, but there have been times when I could only find one other player.

Unfortunately, neither game has the missing feature a lot of Scrabble fans are looking for: stat tracking. They both keep track of wins and losses with a list of previous games, just like Words with Friends, but neither keeps a detailed profile with stats. If that isn't a deal breaker, both Wordfeud and Kalimat mix up the Scrabble formula enough to keep things fresh.

TouchArcade Rating

  • professionalbum

    I played Kalimat Lite a few weeks ago and I agree it's a solid title; but there's(at the time that I played it) a SEVERE shortage of online player.  Hopefully this article will change that... 

    • Anonymous

      I hope so! I roped a few local friends into playing with me, but finding online matches is a pain so far.

  • Shadow

     Surprised you missed War of Words for this article. It has a lot more "twists" than those mentioned.

    • Anonymous

      It's a little *too* different, I think. These two are still basically vanilla Scrabble at heart, War of Words swaps up the formula for boards, tiles, gameplay, etc. But it is pretty cool.

      • Shadow

        Makes sense. :)

      • dc

        What about Abble Dabble? 

  • Anonymous

    No mention of Abbledabble? That one comes with lite, SD and HD versions... Also, the ORIGINAL Scrabble by EA is well polished, fun and with FACEBOOK asynchronous play .. Thought perhaps you should mention the original.. since it is actually pretty good and does not pale in comparison with the "recent competition".

  • BloodFidelity

     War of Words is way better than the word games mentioned in this article!

  • http://twitter.com/zincous Zincous

    Yeah War of Words is awesome, my preferred asynchronous multiplayer game right now. People should check it out.

  • Floo

    War of words i scrap

  • Anonymous

    Kalimat needs to fix that hideously garish UI if I'm going to be sitting staring at it for any length of time. Bright pink, orange and red against primary blue? There's no theme there at all!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SGBZOZI67JW2CJDAIBZ2PU7WX4 Jason

     I agree with some of the others here, War of Words is the best!

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  • ME

    Where is Abble Dabble?  I think it is the best one out there.  It has rotating bonus tiles and spell checking right on the board.  Best one by far, suprised it wasn't mentioned. 

  • Someone

    Personally I don't see what the all the fuss about words with friends is. Wordfeud beats it hands down. It's a much cleaner interface, its quicker, the notifcations work properly. 

  • Zorysmom

    My Mom played Choirs on a random board in Word feud and scored 756 points for her first word, anybody do better than that?

  • WordSmith

    Abble Dabble leaderboards show the highest word score as 1430

  • dan

    I just scored 1336 with the word domaine on my first turn with a few triples and doubles and tl's :)