What's My Word? [$0.99] is a board game port that language lovers simply must check out. If you've played the original with pen and paper, you know what to expect. If not, you're in for a treat.

The goal is to discover a hidden six- or seven-letter word. To find it, you need to come up with other, shorter guess words and enter them in shifted positions along the board. Each guess is scored by how many letters match the hidden word, and whether or not those letters are in the right place.

The scoring is the tricky part. It's the only thing that will tell you if you're on the right track. Correct letters in the wrong spot give you 250 points. Correct letters in the right spot give you 1000 points. You're given the total for the whole word, so you'll need to compare all of your guesses and find the overlapping letters and other giveaways. On your 11th guess, you'll either get the correct word, or not. It feels like a wordy version of the classic board game Mastermind, if that makes it any clearer.

What's My Word? is quite the strategic game. You can try to cover as much of the alphabet as possible with your guesses, but this might leave you with a lot of possible letters and no sure things. If you instead use similar words to track down correct positioning, you might finish the game with only two or three correct letters. Words that score 0 are extremely helpful since all their letters are eliminated, but then you lose that whole word from your total score. To make things even more complicated, you don't necessarily need to guess the correct word to get a high score. Balancing all these factors makes for an interesting challenge.

Though the game design is sound, the port's mechanics leave a little to be desired. The Game Center achievements pop up inconsistently and at weird times. Also, I found myself heading to pen and paper to solve some of the puzzles. The game includes a scratch pad to note down the letters that you're sure of and those you've eliminated, but I just don't find it interactive enough to work through all the logic. Not a huge deal, but it's hard to play on the go when I'm constantly looking for a pen.

For the price of admission, you get 50 potpourri puzzles, and daily six- and seven-letter challenges. The daily challenges have Game Center leaderboards to rank your score. If you'd like more content, there are already 19 extra word packs available for in-app purchase, at a dollar each or 10 bucks for an all-access pass. Categories for the extra packs include things like sports, video games, and movies. I've enjoyed playing the extra content, but if you put a puzzle down partway through it would sure be nice to see which category it's in when you come back.

Unfortunately, the multiplayer aspect of the original game has pretty much been abandoned. You can challenge friends by sending them words with categories, but there's no overarching competitive play. If you want to play with a friend locally, the best you can do is enlist their help over your shoulder while you struggle through the solo challenges.

All in all, though, What's My Word? is a great little package. It's even Universal. If you like your word games to come with a big dose of strategy and logic, you should definitely check it out.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Peri

    p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Helvetica}
    p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Helvetica; min-height: 16.0px}

    Major rip off! (if I understand what is being offered)

    This IS not primarily supposed to be a solitaire experience but a simultaneous multiplayer competition. Not in this implementation.

    But the worst part about this version is the price rip off. This is simply incredible. It comes with 50 puzzles?!?! You mean 50 WORDS?!?! And it costs $10 more for 19 extra word packs (with however many words that includes).

    When played in real life, it's free! You just need a free download of the form with the simple rules and another person to play with. No limit on the words.

    For $.99 or $1.99, this should have come with a dictionary of words: 1000's of them. It's no more cost to the producer to include an entire dictionary and he has the gall to only include 50 words in the basic game, and I'm guessing only a several hundred for $10. That is a monumental rip.

    • Anonymous

      Eh. It's normally a $20+ boxed game that's been licensed for the app. I'd have a hard time considering something that costs a dollar a rip off, even if they technically could have included more free content.

      • Peri

        On BGG, game sheets FREE. Rules FREE:

        http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/55659/my-word-play-sheet-pdf
        http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/61847/language-independent-sheets

        Cost to IOS developer to add ten of thousands of words to game engine framework: $0.

        Chooses instead to charge: $.99-$10 for a few dozen to a few hundred words. Really cheap but not in a good way. These puzzles are solved quick. Not much game play. Could have been great. Oh, well.

      • Mrsmartiepants

        It cost a dollar you cheap bastard.

      • Mrsmartiepants

        It also has daily puzzles on top of the hundreds you can get for far cheaper than the real boxed board game anyways. Yes you can play it for free if you're a cheapass, so why not just do that if you're so cheap. Leave the iPad games for those of us that don't mind paying for quality.

      • Peri

        Free daily puzzles for a limited time it says.

        Hundreds of words for $10. For $10 it should include 1000's. It wouldn't cost the developer any more, since it's just a word list(s) fit into the preexisting engine. Would give this much more value.

        Also needs to have pass and play multiplayer and wifi/bluetooth multiplayer.

      • Peri

        hehe.

        A dollar is a lot for 50 words. And leave my father out of it.

  • QuickWits

    Sorry... I've tried to put the paper on my phone and teach it the rules but it still won't play the game for me.  Guess it's a good thing I paid the dollar so that it will let me play it.  You see, Peri, you put it correctly in your "free" description that you need another person.  When I'm traveling it's a little rough to ask someone to come up with a seven letter word and sit there to tell me when I've got a letter right and in the right spot.  Maybe I'm just not enough of a "people person" to convince a stranger to do this.

    The dollar is a small price to pay for something to keep my attention for a little while.  I've paid much for than that for a magazine and those are just words... Words... In your world a magazine should be free because it's just words.  Somehow they form all by themselves and... oh, never mind.  I've got to get back to work.  I hope you don't mind that I'm expecting to get paid.  I'd love to work so that you could have life handed to you, but it just doesn't work like that.

    Though I would love to see multiplayer in this.  It could be a lot like Hanging with Friends.  Another game about words that I bought, with money.

  • Nike5507

    hey guys did you try out the new game squibble? It's awesome and has amazing graphics and a superb gameplay. and also the gameplay is physics based. here are the links to the free version and the paid version . it has lot of free levels . check it out here:

    http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/squibble/id424670798?mt=8 http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/squibble-lite/id424673041?mt=8

What's My Word? Reviewed by Nissa Campbell on . Rating: 3.5