Developer: Zynga
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.04
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

It’s perhaps not quite as beguiling as Words With Friends, but the Wheel of Fortune-esque What’s the Phrase is still a very entertaining multiplayer word game to drop in and out of throughout the course of one’s day.

phrase4It’s a simple idea and one that takes seconds to get into. Players compete with a friend or random opponent in order to guess a phrase correctly and quickly. Each player takes it in turns to pick a letter tile, much like in the game of Hangman, before the other player gets their turn. A spinning wheel dictates how many points are gained through a completion with the most points leading to the winner. At its most basic, that’s all anyone needs to know about What’s the Phrase.

Of course, there are minor adjustments to this formula, to keep players on their toes. For instance, the spinning wheel also comes with some negative places to land, such as one that causes the player to go ‘bust’ and lose all their points, or one tile that simply causes them to lose a spin. Power-ups play an important part, too, albeit at the expense of special coins (purchasable through in-app purchases, of course). These power-ups can make quite a difference, adding extra spins or tiles, as well as potentially causing one’s opponent to lose points. It costs coins to pick out vowels, too, so it’s lucky that coin acquisition is fairly generous.

The choice of categories for games is suitably varied, covering everything from popular culture to world events and food. There’s the slightly obtuse and challenging word mashup category too, which mixes things up appropriately. With over 40 themes to choose from, there’s plenty for everyone although, much like with SongPop, many must be unlocked first.

What’s the Phrase ticks all the boxes needed of it. It’s simple to learn and suitably enjoyable to play, even against random opponents. It might not quite have the intellectual longevity of something like Words With Friends, but there’s still fun to be had for a low price.

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