Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Writer Rumble is a word game like few other. At its heart, it’s a Boggle-esque game where a 5x5 grid of letter tiles can be connected through tiles touching horizontally, vertically, or diagonally to form words of at least three letters each. The hook is that each word does damage to a foe, be it a horde of enemies in its singleplayer “Survive with Words” mode, or its multiplayer “Fight with Words” mode. Oh, and the fighters are pastiches of famous literary authors like Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft, complete with Cthulu!
Now, if you’re expecting to be playing this in singleplayer, prepare to be disappointed. The survival mode is kind of boring, thanks to its glacial pace. Enemies come in at a slow enough pace in the beginning that even when it does ramp up, there’s really not much of a way to stay motivated for when they actually do come in.
Thankfully, it’s very easy to find multiplayer games. The player base should thankfully stay active with the ability to get random challenges while in the app. This is much better than it is in Street Fighter 4 Volt because the challenges can be declined, so they don’t necessarily disrupt the experience any more than they need to.
And the multiplayer mode is where this game really shines. It becomes a frantic experience, one where trying to make words quickly is key. The different characters all boast different tactics. I like to use Jane and make quick initial matches, hoping that the board doesn’t shift, as I save up her 2X and 3X powerups to be unleashed with the long matches that I can figure out. However, she is balanced out by opponents who focus on disrupting the player, like with Agatha who specializes in messing up the opponent’s board. Still, my strategies have led me to a 26–1–1 record. Fear the wondroushippo.
The game at launch is suffering from the kinds of bugs and problems that online games often suffer from: occasional connection issues and crashes have been noted, and a bug that reports draws as losses has also been noticed. The game should be more stable in its local Bluetooth and split-screen iPad multiplayer modes.
Writer Rumble does something really unique with word games, and it does live online multiplayer right, by making it an integral part of the game and making it easy to find matches. And at the end of it all, what other game lets Jane Austen smash her opposition?