Posts Tagged scrabble
Over one million apps have made their way onto the App Store during its five years of existence. A million. That’s a pretty miraculous number when you think about it. However it’s not the amount of apps we have to pick from that I find so fascinating, but rather just how much things have changed since 2008. Pickings were comparatively slim at first, and many developers were just starting to dip a toe in the waters of Apple’s new smartphone.
On top of that, the technology itself has changed tremendously in a relatively small amount of time. It makes me wonder if anyone from 2008 would even recognize current iOS devices, and by extension the App Store. Would a newer Apple initiate have any idea what they were looking at if they somehow managed to take a trip to five years ago? I think it warrants a look at how the hardware, the App Store, and the apps contained within it have evolved.
2008 – The Beginning of the Beginning
The App Store’s first year was a rough but promising one. The iPhone 3G rolled out to coincide with Apple’s new software venue and the original iPhone was still viable. The iPod touch was also present and accounted for, while the second generation appeared closer to the end of the year. Even at this point many developers were eager to push these early iOS devices to their limits, to make them more than just a phone or an .mp3 player with a fancy screen.
Handy apps like Pandora Radio, Last.FM, Facebook, and Yelp were to be expected, but that didn’t make them any less impressive to have on a handheld platform. Others such as the intuitive personal organizer Evernote, the eerily accurate song-identifying app Shazam, eWallet’s convenient and secure account password management, and MLB At Bat with its extensive baseball coverage further capitalized on the particulars of the hardware and its general portability. Of course there were also some pretty unnecessary options out there, too. Flashlight kind of served a purpose but was also fairly pointless. It wasn’t as bad as stuff like More Cowbell!, though.
At the same time, the games available on the App Store were beginning to show people that “mobile” didn’t have to equal “mediocre.” Sure there were a few simple ports of the odd classic such as Ms. PAC-MAN, Vay, and Scrabble, but there were also some impressive iOS renditions of popular console games like Super Monkey Ball coming out. Potential mobile gamers also had a few really special titles such as Galcon and Fieldrunners to tide them over. When all was said and done there were over 7,500 apps on the App Store by the end of the year, with more being added every day.
2009 – Moving Right Along
The following year saw even more impressive releases as Apple’s digital marketplace began to expand. The second generation of iPod Touch was the bright and shiny new toy at the time, but it was followed shortly by the iPhone 3GS in June while the latest and greatest third generation Touch closed out the year in September. It all meant better processors, better CPUs, more advanced operating systems, and so on. All stuff that developers needed to acclimate to, but also stuff that meant they could push their boundaries even further. There was no loss of steam when it came to content, either: the App Store finished off 2009 with well over 100,000 apps available.
Many of the basic smartphone necessities were covered, but there was room for so much more. Especially while the technology was improving. Plenty of people used their iPhones as phones, sure, but with the addition of Skype they were able to enjoy the added functionality of instant messaging and voice chat without cutting into their data plans (so long as a wifi connection was present). Big companies were really starting to take notice as well. That same year Starbucks and many other big businesses threw their virtual hats into the ring with their own apps designed to make life a little bit easier for their iOS-using customers. Practicality was also becoming an even bigger focus. The Kindle app gave iOS users a practical e-reading option, and Dropbox was there being Dropbox. By which I mean “an awesome and super-convenient way to transfer files between multiple platforms.” And this same level of refinement could be seen creeping into the games as well.
So many of the App Store’s most notable games and franchises came out around this time. It was almost a mobile rennaisence of a sort. This was the year Real Racing first blew mobile gamers’ minds, even causing some of them to question the legitimacy of in-game video footage until they were able to see the finished product for themselves. Zenonia was just a fledgling action RPG at the time, and while a lot of people liked it I doubt they knew just how many sequels it would spawn. The same goes for Pocket God, although with updates rather than multiple releases. Flight Control began to eat away at peoples’ free time, Angry Birds and Doodle Jump hit it big (like, super big), and Myst and The Sims 3 further displayed the potential for major releases on mobile platforms. Oh, and Canabalt almost single-handedly invented and popularized a genre.
A lot of people enjoy Scrabble. Like a lot. But while the current official iOS rendition is doing okay, it’s been in need of a little tweaking for a while. Well the time for tweaking is nigh.
The list of changes includes a much-improved user interface that not only looks nice but makes setting up matches and finding friends a lot easier. In fact, it makes the act of setting up a game into about as painless a process as I’ve seen yet. The chat features have also been updated, and even include some pretty wacky emoticons. There’s also a rather handy new feature that will allow players to see what other words they might have made with their letters after (emphasis on after) their turn is submitted, which should help to even out the playing field a little for the less spell-savvy while still keeping things fair during multiplayer matches.
However, the most exciting change by far has got to be the cross-platform integration. The Facebook rendition is already available, but once the iOS and Android updates are ready to roll out players will be able to get their spell on across all three platforms. This means PC/Mac users can play against iOS/Android users, and that one user’s account can span multiple devices. So one could play a few rounds on their mobile device, then come home and continue the game on the computer via Facebook. Effectively, just about anyone will be able to play Scrabble with just about anyone else just about anywhere.
Scrabble is already available and is free, but these changes won’t hit until sometime this summer. Do any of these changes have you current players excited? Then chime in below!
There’s a plentiful supply of Scrabble type games on the App Store with the most popular varieties being Scrabble itself and Words With Friends. Today marks the launch of a new word game much like the aforementioned twosome, keen to make its mark on the multiplayer word construction world.
Words Play is that game. Providing an attractive and playful exterior with smiley, cartoon faces guiding the player and a colorful board, Words Play certainly has the potential to be a big hit.
The word game concept we all know and love is there. Players take turns to create words from 7 tiles then place them on the board. The board has a variety of special places that provide double or triple point scores for respective letters or even the whole word. Bonus points are given for creating a word with all the available letters on the rack. Rather usefully, there’s the addition of an in-app dictionary so that players who don’t recognize a word, can just tap on the selection and learn a bit about the term.
Words Play offers a selection of modes. There’s the head to head mode for players who want to play against a friend who’s sitting near them. Then there’s the online multiplayer functionality via the title’s Game Center support. The player can choose to be automatically matched with a random opponent or they can hook up with a friend on their Game Center friends list. For the anti social gamer, there’s also the prospect of competing against the adaptive AI player for the additional price of a $0.99 in-app purchase.
Words Play is a neat little package that’s no doubt sounding pretty appealing right now to words games fans. So readers will be excited to hear that we have 20 promo codes to give away! All you have to do is check in on our Twitter account where we’ll be giving away codes shortly. Obviously, you’re already following us but if not, we’re @148apps.
Enjoy the fun!
Who can resist a word game? I know I can’t which is exactly why I immediately checked out BetterLetter.
BetterLetter is a very simple word game but that’s often all that’s needed for a potent and enjoyable title. Available for free, it’s a game all about adding letters and forming increasingly more complex words from the line up. Pitting the player against another human player or with the AI, each player takes turns in adding letters in their efforts to create the longest word possible and gain the most points.
It’s a simple idea and one that I’m sure I’ve played before as a pen and paper game, but a great way to pass the time. The dictionary included with the game is pretty comprehensive coming up with all manners of words that I didn’t even know existed. Curse my average vocabulary.
BetterLetter also provides themes soon, in order to inspire creativity. These will include a Christmas theme as well as a Breakfast theme amongst others.
BetterLetter is available now for the grand price of nothing. Players can also pay out $0.99 to remove the ads that support the free version, and they can buy a Science Fiction theme for the same price.
An app ideal for those who want help with their word games and don't mind playing loose with the rules.
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Money, it’s a gas; grab that cash with both hands and make a stash!
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Released: 2008-07-11 :: Category: Games
Some game genres have had a rough time in their induction into the App Store (like action hack n’ slashes), but a few genres seem like they’ve been waiting for devices like the iPhone and iPad. Case in point? Word games work out perfectly with iOS. This week, we’ll showcase our Favorite Four word games.
Released ages ago in App Store years, Crosswords is the one word game to rule them all. At the high price point of $9.99, it’s a tough one to buy. We eventually just took the plunge about a year ago and the app has been well worth the cost. The reason it’s worth such a steep price (for an app) is that it’s the last crossword-related purchase anyone will ever need to make. The app is updated from a ton of free sources as well as some paid ones that require subscription info, like the New York Times. We will never run out of crossword puzzles. Our queue is a little backed up currently at 787 puzzles (and we’re not even using all of the free sources, just our favorites!). In our homescreen folder titled “Favorite Games,” Crosswords is the first app.
Released: 2008-07-11 :: Category: Games
Words with Friends
It was obvious that a Scrabble-type game had to make the cut for this Favorite Four, but choosing between Scrabble and Words with Friends was quite difficult. We decided on Words with Friends simply because more of our friends play it (it’s cross-platform). While Scrabble would seem to provide more real-life friends to play with (by linking it with the Facebook Scrabble app), it’s simply easier to play with people we know via Words with Friends.
War of the Words (iPad only)
This app is a hidden gem. The app was released last year and still hasn’t had enough ratings for the App Store to display an average rating. We’re hoping that we might change things for the better with this post. War of the Words includes something that more iPad games should: players sitting across from one another. In War of the Words, when a player forms a words, the letter blocks go over to the other player. Whoever fills the other player’s side of the screen first wins. It’s a simple concept but provides some fast-paced wordy fun.
Wheel of Fortune
We can’t leave out one of the most popular word-based game shows: The Wheel of Fortune apps are great. There are plenty of puzzles to solve and the graphics are impressive on the iPad version. Give them a try!
As the year winds down and we look ahead to the next decade it’s time for all those wonderful end-of-year lists we all get so excited about. Today we have some exciting news, as Apple has detailed all the top paid and free apps for the iPhone and iPad, as well as the top grossing apps on each platform. Here’s the full rundown, for your edification.
Top 10 Free iPhone Apps
2. Angry Birds Lite
3. Words With Friends Free
5. Tap Tap Revenge 3
6. The Weather Channel®
7. Paper Toss
9. ROCK BAND FREE
10. Talking Tom Cat
Top 10 Grossing iPhone Apps
REad even MORE lists after the jump.
Continue reading Apple Lists 2010 Top Apps »
Newtoy Inc has been picking up some great press of late for its brilliant Words With Friends game, including our four star review. The popular multiplayer app is reminiscent of a word-based board game you may know (that rhymes with dabble) and is now available for the iPad as Words With Friends HD.
The biggest print title in Dallas, Texas, D Magazine, recently featured Words With Friends and its creators, fellow Texans Paul and David Bettner, as its cover feature and is now launching its own Words With Friends celebrity tournament. With 64 places available, the tournament is open to all and will include D Magazine staff, the Bettner brothers and even Dallas Cowboys’ Martellus Bennet among the players. According to Newtoy, Words With Friends is popular with members of both the Cowboys and Texas Rangers.
For your chance to play, click here and sign up before June 1.
Update 5/8: Wow! What a great response. Over 300 of you joined us in playing Words With Friends. Of the 20+ games I’ve got going, I’m losing most of them. No big surprise there! As mentioned below, we picked a winner, emailed them and once they respond we’ll send them the $15 iTunes gift card. Check back later for another Weekend Fun post about another multiplayer game and a $15 iTunes gift card winner.
Last week, we kicked off our Weekend Fun series with We Rule. 99 of you joined us to build our kingdoms to new levels. We’ve announced the winner of last weekends $15 iTunes gift card on that page and emailed the winner. This week, it’s time to step it up a notch and start to exercise our vocabularies a little.
Words With Friends is our Weekend Fun contest for this week. If you aren’t familiar with Words With Friends, it’s a multiplayer Scrabble type game. What makes it work so well on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad (with HD version), is that you play it at your own pace. Once you play your move, the control passes to the other player who will play at their own pace.
Want to play Words With Friends? The cheapest way is to download the free version (link below), set up an account, and get started. From there you can initiate a game with someone you know, or have the game pick a random player for you. If you are looking for opponents, please add your username in the comments below and I’m sure someone will be more than happy to challenge you! Feel free to challenge me if you feel like winning (jeff148apps) — I have about a 3rd grade vocabulary. (and yes, vocabulary is the largest word I know how to spell)
We’ll pick a random player to win a $15 iTunes gift card (for the US iTunes Store) — all you have to do to win is leave your Words With Friends id (not email address) in the comments below.
Good luck, and happy wordsmithing!
Released: 2009-07-19 :: Category: Games
Phew! It’s been a busy week. We’ve had two good sequels to two amazing games, as well as quite a few peculiar titles that piqued my interests. To top things off, we even have an iPhone app that’s meant to work alongside its new iPad brother! Here’s a quick sampling from this week’s new releases. As always, our Friday Five doesn’t represent all of the fantastic new apps that have hit the App Store in the past few days, so feel free to chime in with your own suggestions.
Bounce On 2
The sequel to one of the App Store’s first great platformers, Bounce On 2 is another fun romp through a 2D land populated by enemies, obstacles, platforms, and power-ups. Taking on the role of a red rubber ball, you have to roll and jump through the levels, many of which contain creative twists. You’ll find tons of new features: Plus+ integration, gravity switches, brand-new power-ups, and even the option to use touch controls. If you’re a fan of old-school platformers, be sure to check out Bounce On 2.
Released: 2010-03-29 :: Category: Games
Zenonia, Zenonia…I think it’s safe to say that Zenonia was also a “first-of” title, though this time I’d call it the first good RPG in the App Store. Zenonia 2 improves upon the original in almost every way, and features a similarly epic storyline, fun real-time battles, and tons of quests and abilities. Plus, it now features four different characters, each with their own storyline and character class, and the new Hard and Hell modes are also slated to come in a future update. The resulting game is fast-paced and deeply satisfying. Zenonia 2 is a great RPG, and once again raises the bar in the App Store.
Released: 2010-03-29 :: Category: Games
In celebration of National Poetry Month, Poetry Everywhere with Garrison Keillor (pbs.org/poetry) is bringing its free poetry performances back to TV, the Internet, and now the iPhone. On TV, the project airs short poetry performances during unexpected moments in public television—personally, I think it’s a really cool idea. Now, you can download the free app and have access to numerous poetry readings. Poetry probably isn’t something that most of us think about every day, which makes the opportunity to carry around a bit of poetry in your pocket all the more valuable.
Released: 2010-04-01 :: Category: Education
We’ve all seen match-3 games before—you know, Bejeweled and its ilk—but Babo Crash brings some fresh new twists to the table. It’s fast-paced, frantic, and features tons of crazy power-ups, which in turn create ridiculous chains of multipliers. It doesn’t hurt that graphics are awesome, either. If you think you’re tired of match-3’s, don’t let that deter you. Babo Crash is incredibly high-tempo, which makes it a great departure from the ordinary lethargy of Bejeweled.
Released: 2010-03-29 :: Category: Games :: Action
Scrabble Tile Rack
I had to include this one, even though it won’t be of use for most of us, just because it’s a fantastic idea. Meant to work alongside the iPad’s Scrabble app, the tile rack app allows you to play a true multiplayer game on the iPad without revealing your letters to your opponent. You use the iPad as your game board, and then your letters appear on your iPhone, safe from others’ prying eyes. You can then “flick” them onto the board to have them appear on the iPad’s screen. I know, I know—hardly anyone has an iPad yet, right? Still, it’s a really cool idea, and I’m dying to see how close to the “real game” this will bring Scrabble’s app. Can you tell that I’m a Scrabble fanatic?
Words With Friends is streamlined and elegant, and the user pool is just as speedy as the app itself. This is a must-have for Scrabble fans. It might lack features, but the Push notifications and the speed of the app itself make it my new Scrabble app of choice.
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Moxie is a must-buy for any word game fan...period. It's a brilliant, incredibly original game that's simultaneously deceptively challenging and incredibly addicting, and it's won a permanent spot on my home page.
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For a long time now, I’ve been using the Lexulous app exclusively for my online Scrabble games. Why? Well, even if it had less features, Lexulous was just easier to use.
With Scrabble’s newest update, I decided to give the official EA app another shot. The menus are vastly improved: though some things still don’t make sense, it’s a lot easier to jump into a game. The game’s speed has apparently been given a small jolt, too, and you can now use your own music. But what had me most excited was the promise of “push notifications.”
Okay, EA, for the love of god: are you trying to torment me? These so-called “notifications” don’t exist, as far as I can tell. They certainly aren’t push notifications. And yet, despite this, I receive occasional “tips” telling me to turn Push Notifications on in the Settings app. I’ve checked. There’s no option to do so. I don’t think I’m the only one, either: the current version is being bombarded with angry 1-star reviews in the App Store. I’ve tried restarting my iPod and reinstalling the app; nothing changes in my Settings menu.
I’m not sure if EA submitted the wrong app version or if maybe there’s a bug on certain devices. (I’m running a 2G iPod Touch with 8GB of storage.) But either way, this is strange. Shame on you, EA. I got excited over nothing at all.