Category Archives: Word

The entertaining deck-building card game Paperback: The Game [$3.99] just got much better after its latest update because it now has asynchronous multiplayer mode, which I know many in our forums have been waiting for. The new mode has a fun twist: if your opponent drops out because of your amazing skills, an AI player steps in so you can continue playing. If you haven't read our review of the game, Paperback is a deck-building game in the vein of something like Ascencion, and you'll be picking various cards (some of them with special powers) to form words. The game is all about pulp novels and a fight between writers, and it's a theme that really makes the game stand out and will definitely please book lovers...

Zach Gage's Typeshift [Free] is a very clever take on word games, and I've quite enjoyed playing it. If you haven't played the game, you should first check out our review of it before reading the rest of this article. In a recent blog post, Gage talked about the game's design process and how he went about adjusting the game's difficulty curve. While the mechanic of sliding letters back and forth on a digital combination lock remained the same throughout the design process, everything else was designed and iterated upon repeatedly. He wanted a puzzle game where as you worked your way through it, the puzzle got easier to solve, which is apparently a common feature in crossword puzzles. However, in early iterations of the game the puzzles didn't seem to get any easier no matter how many words a player had solved...




Developer Zach Gage has a knack for putting together simple, accessible games that you can play for hours on end. He's been involved in a number of high-profile iOS games, but one of his earlier hits was the word game SpellTower [$2.99]. That was one of those games that seemed to transcend the usual crowd that played mobile games, appearing on the devices of the most unlikely of people. And why not? Word games play well with a large audience for a variety of reasons, and SpellTower was a very good one. Gage is back at the genre with TypeShift [Free] , but I can't help but feel this is aimed at a very different sort of player. It's an attractive game with an enjoyable primary mechanic, but there are a few things that keep it from reaching the heights of Gage's previous tower...

'TypeShift' by Zach Gage Now Available

March 18th, 2017 10:16 AM EDT by Carter Dotson in Games, News, Release, Word
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Zach Gage's newest word game, TypeShift [Free], is out now on the App Store. As the myriad teasers made clear, this a game about arranging letters to form words. In particular, you are given puzzles where you have to form words of a certain letter of numbers. Each letter's column has a particular set of letters, and your goal in the primary puzzles is to form enough words with these letters to mark them all off the board. There is a basse set of words used to form the puzzle, but there are alternate words to find as well. ..

The App Store has an abundance of clever puzzle and word games that are perfect for the immediacy and portability that mobile gaming presents. However, very few are executed as well as SpellTower [$2.99] - in a similar vein to his reinvention of chess and card games in Really Bad Chess [Free] and Sage Solitaire [Free] respectively, Zach Gage's take on the word game was deceptively complex, and hooked us enough to warrant both a five star review and a honourable mention for our 2011 Game of the Year award. While five years may have come and gone without any major additions to the title, SpellTower has today received its landmark 4.0 update with number of major additions, including Merriam-Webster dictionary support, a brand new 'Zen Mode', and fully-functioning online multiplayer...

It’s no secret around these parts that I have a great fondness for deck building card games. It also may come as a shock to you, me being a writer on a website and all, but I am rather fond of the fine art of word-smithery. Never did I think the two would be joined in such a perfect and holy union as they have been in Tim Fowers’/Fowers Games Inc.’s Paperback: The Game [$3.99]. It’s like the love child of Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer [Free] and Scrabble [$7.99], and while it could use some more meat on its bones, it’s a beautiful little baby...

Ellen's Heads Up [$0.99] has been a huge success, and I don't think I've stood in a line recently and haven't seen one family or another play this word game. It's still in the top 5 games on the App Store and has been there since forever. Add to that all the celebrities that Ellen has playing this game on TV, and it's no wonder it's so huge. The game's latest holiday update lets players try decks for free. More specifically, during Ellen's 12 Days of Giveways, players can try out one of the most popular decks in the game for free. You can't pick which deck you'll try out, but this might be a chance to have fun with words you'll have no idea how to offer any clues...

A few weeks back we wrote that the deck-building word game Paperback [$3.99] was getting a digital version, and that version would be coming out soon. Well, "soon" has arrived since Paperback has just released on the App Store. In the game you play an author trying to finish genre novels like Sci-Fi, Romance, Westerns, and so on. You start with a deck of letter cards, and as you form words, you earn money that you then use to purchase even more powerful letters (in a way like you do what you do in games like Ascension  minus the word-building). Many of the letters have special abilities that get activated when used in a word...

Word games and mobile go together like peanut butter and jam, and like that classic combo, you don't have to look very far to find an example. You get to a point where you have to wonder what more can be done with the genre beyond dressing it up in different themes. AlphaPit [$2.99], the latest game from Word Forward [Free] developer Shane McCafferty, has a few new ideas. For the most part, it builds on the frame work laid down in Word Forward, but there are some unusual design choices that make AlphaPit feel different, if not necessarily better. While I think the developer succeeded in making something that sets itself apart from the very large crowd, the game never truly finds an enjoyable structure to call its own...

You may be familiar with developer Seth Robinson from his super popular mobile MMO/platforming/crafting mashup Growtopia [Free], but way back in August of 2009 he first released a novel little word game/dungeon crawler mashup called Dungeon Scroll [$1.99]. The idea was pretty simple: Form words out of the letters that appear on the board, with the size of each word you make determining the power of your attack on the enemies in the game. It sounds like a pretty normal mobile game nowadays, but nearly 7 years ago this was a really unique idea for an iPhone game. However, besides an update in mid-2012 to fix an iOS-related crash issue, Dungeon Scroll has remained as it was when it released all those years ago. Then this past week a surprise update arrived adding 64-bit and widescreen support to Dungeon Scroll, prompting the resurrection of the game's forum thread and introducing it to an entirely new audience...

'Grayout' Review - How Do I Word?

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Neven Mrgan and James Moore's Grayout [$2.99] is a word game, but in a unique sense that it plays with words in ways you might not necessarily expect. You are Alaine, who is suffering from aphasia, a condition that affects communication, which manifests itself in this game as where you have a whole pile of words to respond to messages from the doctors allegedly treating you. You need to form sentences, and it starts out just from having a bunch of different words that are designed to fool you from their slight differences as to how they play out in the sentence, eventually getting to the point where the words become warped, and you have to piece together sentences going through several layers of aphasia-induced difficulty...

Spryfox News: 'Alphabear' Thanksgiving Event Incoming and New Game 'Bushido Bear' Announced

Spryfox, developers of such adorable bear-based video games as Triple Town [Free] and Alphabear [Free], have just given their fans an update on everything that's currently going on at the studio, including some mobile-related stuff. First off, if you're a fan of their fantastic word game Alphabear, you've got something good to look forward to for Thanksgiving next week. ..

I feel like it's pretty hard for a letter game to distinguish itself at this point in the App Store's life. Much like any long-in-the-tooth genre, new entries are starting to feel far more similar to each other than different. AlphaBear [Free], the latest from Triple Town [Free] developer Spry Fox, looks into the developer's past for inspiration. Panda Poet is a web game that has you making words to create bigger and more numerous pandas than your opponent. It's kind of a word game crossed with Othello, and if I may put on my day job hat for a second here, it's been invaluable as an English study tool for some of the kids I teach. Though it works fine in mobile browsers, it's not available as a native mobile app, and you really do need two human players to get the most out of it. In short, there's room to grow the concept, and that's sort of what AlphaBear does...

King's got their formula down pat by now. First, take a puzzle concept that has shown some success in the past, be it Bejeweled, Peggle [$0.99], Puzzle Bobble, or anything else. If it's not already stage-based, change it so that it is. Then dial up the difficulty gradually, spiking it now and then to tempt players towards buying power-ups. Introduce new levels regularly, new gimmicks almost as often, do the whole thing up in a sharp package, and wait for the money to come in. No one can deny the success they've had at it, to be sure. But apart from Candy Crush Saga [Free]'s follow-up Candy Crush Soda Saga [Free], King's had trouble making their games stick of late. Their major successes, the two Candy Crush games, Farm Heroes Saga [Free], and Pet Rescue Saga [Free], continue to hang on the higher positions of the top grossing charts, but other efforts like Diamond Digger Saga [Free] and Paper Pear Saga [Free] have gone nowhere. My gut tells me there's a pattern here, and that same instinct tells me that King's latest, AlphaBetty Saga [Free], might suffer the same fate...

Imagine you’re in a room by yourself. Every so often someone comes by and slips a piece of paper under the door with Chinese characters on it. You don’t know Chinese yourself, but you do have a book that can help. You simply look up the characters in the book and it’ll tell you what should be said back based on the rules of Chinese language and conversation. You don’t actually understand any of what you’re writing, but the person on the other side of the door is convinced they’re conversing with someone who is fluent. This is John Searle's "Chinese Room" thought experiment, and I was reminded of that while playing Sleep Furiously [$2.99] by Playmation Studios...

'Capitals - Free Word Battle' by NimbleBit Review - Real Game, Really Fun

Capitals [Free] from NimbleBit is their take on a long-running genre: the turn-based multiplayer word game. Thankfully, they manage to deliver a fun and worthwhile take on the genre by making it a simple strategy game that just uses familiar word game mechanics to feel familiar. It's a game that's accessible, but leads to an intense battle between folks. You form words from tiles on a hex grid using Scrabble/Words With Friends [Free] rules, with each tile you play being replaced by another tile. Any tiles you play connected to your color of tile are added to your tiles, and if you capture the enemy capital, you get an extra turn. Wipe out all the enemy territory, and you win!..

'Lettercraft' Review: Think Through the Pressure In a Finely-Tuned, Timed Wordsearch Game

If you loved Loren Brichter’s classic multiplayer word game Letterpress, but for some reason you want a single-player version of it, then Italian developers Marco Torretta and Stefano Figurelli have something to show you: Lettercraft...

'Annoying Cab' Review - Just Plain Annoying

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December 22nd, 2014 11:00 AM EDT by Chris Carter in 3 stars, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Universal, Word
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I've never really had a bad experience with cab rides. Maybe it's because I don't live in a major city and don't take them every week, but as a general rule, when I do take cabs I have nothing major to complain about. At the very least the driver isn't annoying, which is what the typing trainer Annoying Cab [Free] is all about...

'Words for Evil' for iPad Review - Blobs Teach Typing

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October 14th, 2014 9:00 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $1.99, 3 stars, Games, iPad Games, Reviews, Word
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Playing Mario Teaches Typing and Typing of the Dead for the first time were magical experiences for me growing up. I had no real interest in word games outside of the occasional Word Munchers binge, but those two titles took my love for the genre to a whole new level. It wasn't because of typing classes or outside practice that I worked my way up to over 80 words-per-minute in High School, it was due to videogames, and I owe them a great deal. Words for Evil [$1.99 (HD)] is a very similar game that attempts to marry typing gameplay with RPG-like elements, with mixed results...

For millions upon millions of mobile device owners, Zynga's Words With Friends is as important a function of their mobile device as sending text messages or browsing the web. It's basically Scrabble that you can play practically anytime or anywhere with people from across the globe, even when you're pooping. What a world we live in. Today, Zynga has introduced a massive revamp to the game and rebranded it New Words With Friends [Free]. What's new about it? First and foremost is a Solo Play option that lets you square off against an AI opponent even if you don't have an internet connection, something I've been dying for forever...

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