Version Reviewed: 1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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Zynga has produced a line of popular “with Friends” games that are cloned versions of popular board and word games with online multiplayer. They’ve create popular Words with Friends, Chess with Friends, Hanging with Friends, and now Scramble with Friends. Scramble with Friends is similar to the board game Boggle. Despite Zynga’s familiar ploy to sell in-game currencies, Scramble with Friends has become one of my favorite iOS word games.
For those not familiar with Boggle or Scramble, the goal of the game is to rack up as many points as possible by chaining words together from a four-by-four grid of random letters. Each player gets a chance at the same game board in three different rounds. The winner has the most points after three rounds. The first round is basic with no multipliers. The second round has a double word and double letter tiles (similar to Scrabble and Words with Friends). And the final round has a triple word and triple letter tiles. Power-ups are also available for each round. The freeze power-up freezes time for a short duration. The inspiration power-up shows the player three random available words (which sometimes leads to some game-changing points). And the scramble power-up changes the perspective of the board to give the player a different angle.
As previously mentioned, Zynga has applied their typical tactic of charging for in-game currency. The way currency in this game works deals
with a recharging supply of tokens. It costs one token to play a round of Scramble. Players get a free power-up each round but are charged an additional token for an extra power-up. Obviously, we aren’t going to play against our friends without that extra power-up. So each round basically costs two tokens. Upon downloading the app, the player starts with 15 tokens. In the paid version, the tokens recharge at a rate of one every ten minutes. It’s one token every twenty minutes in the free version. Of course, more tokens can be purchased in bulk starting from $0.99 for 16 tokens to $24.99 for 500 tokens. I play quite often with the paid, ad-free version and it’s six tokens per hour. I’ve never felt the urge to pay for more tokens.
Despite the token system limiting gameplay, Scramble with Friends is in a three-way tie between Words with Friends and Crosswords as my favorite iOS word game. Anyone who enjoys this game should get the paid version for the quicker token regeneration. I frequently ran out with the free version. Grab it at $0.99 while it’s on sale.