Developer: Jawfish Games
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.2.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

With no chance of amazing with its fairly plain visuals, and offering a very simple concept, Jawfish Words still manages to beguile and tempt word game fans. It’s certainly managed to make my spare time fly by.

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Kind of like Boggle, players are required to find as many words as possible amongst a grid of letters, all within a strict time limit. Pivotally, players are competing against other players from around the world, vying for success and extra experience points and credits.

It’s all very simple to set up. Players simply choose from one of many different tournaments, each offering a different number of competitors, then get to work. It’s possible to use a few select power-ups to help matters, such as one that provides players with three words to find, a bonus that gives extra time, or one that seeks out a particularly long word for the player to put together.

Alongside that, each game is marked on numerous different objectives. Extra praise is always given for having the highest score, but bonuses can also come from finding the most 4 letter words, using every letter on the screen at least once, or by finding plenty of diagonal words. It’s fun to pursue different objectives, and keeps one wanting to go back for more.

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Of course, there’s a catch to all this. While Jawfish Words is free to play, an energy style credit system can slow down progress. 10 credits must be spent in order to join a tournament, with these credits also used to buy power-ups. They might recharge gradually over time, but I genuinely felt the urge to pay up to carry on playing. It’s a simple idea, but one that taps into that instant gratification part of any gamer’s brain. Watching experience trickle in, and the level up bar increase, helps things all the more.

Never overcomplicating matters, Jawfish Words is always an easy title to dive into for a spare minute here or there throughout the day. I never found a problem joining a game, so it clearly has a bustling community to entertain gamers. Just try to resist buying too many credits with real money, ok? Believe me, it’s tempting.

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