App of the Week #3: Words With Friends

Welcome to another instalment of King Loaf’s App of the Week, sadly delayed by a lovely dose of tonsillitis and general Winter/cripplingly cold Spring suffering. Get comfortable and curl up by the fire, as this week, we take a brief look at the massively popular Words With Friends. An app that most likely needs no review or attention, Words boasts an impressive user base of literally millions upon millions. The sheer success and popularity of the game has resulted in multi-platform availability, with apps for download on the iOS and Android markets and expansion recently including a Words Facebook app. Let’s hop on board with the world domination machine that is Zynga, and delve into the universe of Words with Friends.

[pullquote_right]You can actually play up to 20 games at once if your thirst for lexical satisfaction is truly unquenchable[/pullquote_right]


Simply put, the app is just Scrabble played online against other human players (or “Friends”, if you’re kidding yourself). What’s great is that the app offers the luxury of time control; once you’ve started a game, you don’t have to play a move for hours, or even days. It fulfils the ultimate use of modern smartphones; killing time every now and then. Pick up the app, throw down a couple of words and come back to it later when your opponent has taken the time out of their empty, unproductive day to do exactly the same. If you so wish, you can actually play up to 20 games at once if your thirst for lexical satisfaction is truly unquenchable. With handy integration with Facebook and Twitter, finding people that you actually know to play with shouldn’t be too difficult, but if perhaps your friends don’t have the same kind of game interests as you do, the app will partner you up with a stranger who is also looking for a quick Scrabble match (it really is just Scrabble – you’d think there would have been some lawsuits flying backwards and forwards by now, but apparently not). There’s a chat screen if you feel compelled to brag to your opponent about that amazing word you just thought of (and totally didn’t get from an anagram solver), but it would have been nice to see some integration of Apple’s Game Centre. Whilst it’s now unfeasible, as the Words guys have their own registration process, being able to grab friends from Game Centre would make the process of playing with your mates just a little bit easier. At least they didn’t use Open Feint.

The most popular version of the app is the free download (surprise surprise); but there is a version available for £1.99. The only difference between “premium” version and its free counterpart is the absence of ads. We don’t feel the price tag justifies the occasional pop-up of an advertisement, so hang on to your cash and enjoy exactly the same experience.


The concept behind the game has struck such success that Zynga have pretty much copied and pasted the template of the game and changed the core of the app; why not check out Chess With Friends, Hanging With Friends (not as macabre as it sounds) and Scramble With Friends. Why not? Because it’s really all just the same mediocre “thankgodthisisfreeorelseIwouldprobablybemad” kind of experience, so seriously, don’t waste your money. However, it’s definitely worth the 30 seconds it’ll take you to download. See you on the Scrabble Words With Friends board. 

Words With Friends
 Free or £1.99 (as of 29/01/12)
Available for: iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads running iOS 3.0 or later
Category: Games
Size: 15.1MB


Sam Hardy

Sam Hardy is a writer for KingLoaf and music journalism site AltSounds.