Some of you probably know that I’m a word game fanatic. Sadly, sorting through the App Store can often be quite the hassle. I've been fortunate to discover quite a few gems, though, and I thought that I'd share my six favorite word games for the iPod Touch/iPhone. You probably have favorites of your own; feel free to share them in the comments! (I'm not doing any of that start-with-the-last-one nonsense, either; the first game on my list is really the one I love the most!)
This one was pretty much a given. Mother of all word games, Scrabble is still going strong. I have a few bones to pick with EA’s app (see the mysterious Push notifications), but it’s still an excellent one. Facebook Connect provides online games, but Pass ‘n’ Play gives you local multiplayer and there’s a built-in AI for solo games as well. There's something about this classic game that just takes the cake.
As an alternative, you can always consider Lexulous, my favorite Scrabble clone. It lacks single-player modes or even local multi-player, but the online community is sometimes more active. It also features eight-tile racks with bingo bonuses available for both 7- and 8-letter words. It's also much more lightweight than the Scrabble app, which is a boon if you're trying to save your battery.
Moxie is a sort of word-solitaire, and by that I don’t just mean that it’s a solo game. The board is composed of three rows of five spaces each, and you can place letters anywhere on the board; points are given for forming a word, and lost if you "break" a word. It rewards strategic thinking and pondering instead of lightning-quick actions. Moxie’s gameplay is hard to describe in full, but let’s just say that it’s refreshing, unique, and by far the most original word game I've played in years. This is definitely a gem worth seeing.
For a more action-packed word game, Word Fu from ngmoco is definitely great. This fast-paced game has you forming words from the letters you roll. The kung-fu theme (complete with cheesy sound effects) will bring a smile to anyone’s face. Just be warned…addiction is a very serious danger. Better still: it's free, and comes with ngmoco:)'s Plus+ network! Go ahead: challenge me! My Plus+ username is bonniee. (Our review is linked to the paid version of the app without the Plus+ network, but it's the same game regardless.)
4. Word Ace
Mash an anagram game with Texas Hold'em, and you have Word Ace. It's intuitive and easy to pick up, but make sure that you don't go broke: you only get 1,000 free chips per day! However, the game is centered around online multiplayer, so you'll need an internet connection to really enjoy this one. On the bright side, it's multi-platform (for both the Palm Pre and iPhone OS) so there are usually enough players for you to compete with.
From Nimblebit, Textropolis is a play-as-you-feel-like-it anagram game. There are no time limits, no stress. Given the letters in a city name, you must use them to form words. As you form more words, additional cities are unlocked. While it's simple and doesn't come close to Moxie's originality, it's still worth a look. Plus, Textropolis is perfect for sneaking some fun during class or at the office (just don't tell my teachers).
6. Word Flow
Describing word flow is hard. On the surface, it’s a typical word-finding game, but there’s an almost Rubik’s Cube-like element to the way the letters move. You see, the columns and the rows both slide. This introduces a novel element that is easy to understand, but extremely difficult to master; the twist should entertain fans of the regular word-hunt genre.
That’s it for now, folks! These six games should be more than enough to keep any word fan hooked for endless hours, but I certainly haven't tried every game in the store...so suggest some more!