Version Reviewed: 1.4
Graphics / Sound [rating:3.5/5]
Game Controls [rating:5/5]
iPhone Integration [rating:4/5]
User Interface [rating:5/5]
Re-use / Replay Value [rating:5/5]
I first saw WordsWorth at Macworld Expo where 99Games was showing a demo to everyone who would look. I was instantly impressed by the quality of it and the Chess program they were also showing. I don't expect word games to be too compelling, but WordsWorth finds a way to make word finding more exciting. Aggressive app improvements by 99Games have also kept the game from getting stale.
WordsWorth, it's name derived from the English butler character that serves as the game's mascot, at it's core is a typical word-finding game, modeled after the paper version where you would circle letters comprising a word from a grid of letters. In WordsWorth, you drag your finger across the letter tiles to link them together to form a word. Once the word is accepted by the game's dictionary, the tiles disappear and are replaced by the tiles above, Tetris style, with new letters falling into place at the top. Completing a word gives you an amount of points depending on the length and some other word factors I'm not entirely sure about. After attaining a certain amount of points, you proceed to the next level until you can no longer make any words.
The game is made more interesting with the incorporation of "special action" tiles. These include tiles that give you extra points when incorporated into a word, "wildcard" tiles that can be used as any letter, and "timed" tiles that have to be used within a certain amount of time or else the game ends. There is also a "scramble" feature which allows you to shake the iPhone to remix the tiles in case you can't find a word. Doing so usually activates one or more "timed" tiles as a penalty. You start out with 3 shuffles and can accumulate up to 5 by progressing to the next level. Once the game has ended, your score is added to the "Wall Of WOW". The 1.4 version, just released, has added a Global Leader-board to the score section, allowing players to share their scores via the internet with other players of the game.
Recently, the game has added a Timed game mode which challenges the player to get the highest score in a given amount of time. Making it to the next level before the time runs out adds additional time. I think this has been one of the best added features since it gives you an option to play a quick game, and it's more exciting. Any unfinished game can be paused and resumed at a later time. My only real complaint of the game is that the background music and sound effects get very repetitive and annoying, but fortunately you can turn them off and listen to your own music, which does not subtract from the gameplay. The preferences also add a number of game options to offer further challenges, including changing the grid size, minimum word length, and choosing from 3 available dictionaries used by most classic word games.
The well done graphics, game options, and constant feature updates makes this a word game that will keep you entertained and challenged for quite a while.
There is also a LITE version which is limited to 3 levels.