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Zynga Celebrates Five Years of Words With Friends By Making it New

Posted by Ellis Spice on October 10th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Zynga's Words with Friends will be hitting its fifth anniversary very soon, and to celebrate 7.7 billion games played (and many, many uses of the word "qi" over the past 1800ish days), the game has been refreshed into New Words With Friends - now with some much-requested features.

The most requested feature was Solo Play, which now makes its début in the updated version of the app. Solo play allows players to practice without an Internet connection or direct opponent, with the game adjusting to the level of the player to still provide them with a challenge.

Community Matches, meanwhile, allow players to opt-in, search through a series of profile cards, and find themselves potential new opponents to face off against. Profiles are also new, with stats including high score, number of games completed, and average word score now available to show off to both your friends and recent opponents.

New Words With Friends is available now on the App Store and is worth 99 points free to download.

Word Puttz Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Mike Deneen on February 17th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: WORDS WITH PUZZLES
Words games played with friends may not be nearly as popular as they once were, but that didn't stop the makers of You Don't Know Jack from spinning the popular genre, giving it a new outlook on life.
Read The Full Review »

App Store Fifth Anniversary: Top 20 Landmark iOS Games

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on July 9th, 2013
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: Best Racer Ever :: Read Review »

While games may not be the largest percentage of apps in the App Store (non-games lead the way overwhelmingly), they are the most popular single category, with over 151,000 active games in the App Store as of this month, according to 148Apps.biz.

One could argue, and indeed I will, that games are the most transformative type of app in the App Store, bringing a quality of play to iOS devices previously impossible to achieve. As 148Apps staffers have been heard to proclaim, there are over 1.2 billion thumbs waiting to play games on these crafty little devices.

Of course, there have been landmark games since the App Store went live in 2008, titles that create, extend, and improve on the current state of the art. Here then, are the top 20 of those games, as chosen by your App Experts at 148Apps.

Doodle Jump - This one started the jumping game craze, inspiring a host of clones and imitators along the way.
Angry Birds - Need we say more? The grumpy avians have taken over the public consciousness.
Tiny Wings - Not just another bird game, Tiny Wings showed us how one mechanic, brilliantly executed, could take an unknown designer to untold heights.

Candy Crush Saga - Good heavens we still get a lot of invites for this casual, money-printing game.
Clash of Clans - Say what you will about free to play, but this game has gotten it right.
Tiny Tower - Nimblebit hit the jackpot here with a smart combination of tower building and free to play retro gaming.

Temple Run - If anyone deserved to have a huge hit, it's the folks at Imangi Studios, who have been pushing the boundaries of quality gaming from the beginning. This one created the 3D endless runner genre at a breakneck speed!
Puzzles & Dragons - Another free to play darling, this one gets all the elements right to keep players entertained and paying.
Where's My Water? - Disney's breakout hit, with a new IP (intellectual property) and a fiendishly addictive mechanic.

Pocket God - 47 updates later, still going strong and keeping kids of all ages entertained and laughing.
Minecraft Pocket Edition - The surprise PC hit the iPhone like a ton of cube-shaped bricks, letting crafters and miners of all stripe build and explore on the go.
Words with Friends - Scrabble with people you know. What's not to like? This one started the "with friends" genre with a bang.
Draw Something - Super successful, super quick, leading Zynga to buy the developer for a landmark price.

Infinity Blade - This game set the bar high for utter gorgeousness and a fighting mechanic that still sees itself in current games on the App Store, some two and a half years later.
Canabalt - Heard of the endless runner genre? Canabalt started it all with a one-touch game that exploded onto the scene in 2009 and has remained in the collective imagination ever since.
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP - This one proves again and again that the indie spirit can be captured and distributed via mobile, with a game that may never have gotten noticed on the bigger consoles.
Galaxy on Fire 2 - This space exploration and dogfighting game set the standard for utter gorgeousness, as well as finding a way to build a space sim on a tiny mobile device.

Spaceteam - Don't forget to flush the four-stroke plucker! Wait, what? Play this game with a few of your (drinking) friends, and you'll see what multiplayer party games *should* be like.
Real Racing - Still the gold standard for racing games on a mobile platform, the original game hit the starting line in 2011, with sequels upping the ante on visuals, controls, and profitability.
Super Hexagon - If you hate yourself, play this brutally difficult yet strangely compelling arcade game and thank indie developer Terry Cavanaugh in the morning.

Yushino Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Carter Dotson on February 25th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: IT ALL ADDS UP
Yushino turns turn-based multiplayer word games into a numbers game, and it works brilliantly.
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Upwords Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Blake Grundman on January 17th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: VERTICAL VOCABULARY VICTORY
A board game that sticks to what it made it a success, but may fall victim to a lack of audience.
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Why Cheat in Games Like Letterpress With Apps Like Lettercheat?

Posted by Carter Dotson on November 29th, 2012

The modern era of asynchronous multiplayer has led to not only people playing more word games, but more people flagrantly cheating at them. After all, it’s a lot easier to cheat at something when the opponent can be physically far away, or someone completely unknown. There’s no immediate repercussions. So while Scrabble clones like Words With Friends have allowed for a cottage industry of cheating apps to rise up, to turn the tide in the favor of those who wish to win by any means necessary.

The cheats are quickly evolving beyond just looking up Scrabble words online, though: they’re starting to exploit this sufficiently advanced technology that we carry around in our pockets. One Words With Friends hack for jailbroken devices actually hijacked the game to make any word playable. And one App Store app for iOS original word game Letterpress makes cheating almost too easy.

Lettercheat doesn’t do anything as malicious as hijacking a game’s rules, but it does use an impressive technological trick for unscrupulous purposes: it recognizes the game board based on a screenshot, and analyzes the letters on the board to find the best words to be played. It can even find, when available, moves that will end the game instantaneously. But the developers, who ask only for $0.99 after getting to try 2 games of cheating (piggybacking off of Letterpress’ business model), also promise something else: the ability to “Smurf” a game board by turning it all blue in the game’s default theme. Even the avatar carries this theme.

But why? Why intentionally release an app that is designed to break a competitive multiplayer game like this?

Loren Brichter, creator of Letterpress, doesn’t know. “I don’t get it. But it’s an inherent human problem, you can solve it technically or legally — capitalism promises that where there’s a want there’s a product. Maybe it’s a by-product of the competitive primordial brain overwhelming the reason why you’re competing in the first place (to have fun).”

The Lettercheat creators did not respond to a direct email as of press time, but did share their reasoning on their website and in a blog post. They say that “Lettercheat is meant to be a companion app to the Letterpress game. We’re hoping that the app can help you develop strategy skills and better understand how to win. Plus it’s a lot of fun to see an entirely blue board.”

While there will be some that use this as a fun tool, there will be those who use it to try and win, and such a tool seems difficult to conquer. And because this is a multiplayer game, there doesn’t seem to be the kind of “victimless crime” aspect and moral imperative that some players of the recent My Little Pony game have claimed as why they use a hack that reduces or eliminates the cost for expensive items in the game. However, that game is primarily a singleplayer experience, and Letterpress is meant for fun with other players, though there’s no global leaderboard for those mastering the game. If this cheat allows people to have fun with the game, and if it’s used responsibly, what harm is there?

There isn’t really a good solution for these kinds of cheats, at least from a technical perspective, either for creators or players. But there is a human one, as Loren Brichter suggests: “play with friends you trust not to cheat.”

GoSum Review

By Angela LaFollette on August 8th, 2012
GoSum is an addicting board game puzzler that is like Scrabble but with numbers.
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Quizboard Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Angela LaFollette on June 20th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: SMART
Quizboard is a trivia board game designed for players who enjoy competing against friends and random opponents.
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Social Board Gaming For Free From MindFeud

Posted by Jennifer Allen on May 15th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Bored of Words with Friends? Maybe it's time to try something a little different such as MindFeud.

MindFeud is a game in which players must lay a number of tiles down in the correct formation so that there are no duplicates and they each match with the nearest tile in some way, such as all blue tiles together or all circles in the same row. It's easy to learn but as with many board games, it's challenging to master.

MindFeud offers a single player mode through the robot opponent AI called ADAMA, as well as the ability to play against friends or strangers through the social features available. Real time chat has been included to make this side of play more compelling.

It's simple yet addictive fun regardless of who you play against. Even better, it's free to play and an universal app for added convenience.

MindFeud is out now.

Letterbox Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Sinan Kubba on April 17th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: WORTH A TUMBLE
3D rotatable wordsearch. Like Fez but with words.
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Dabble Review

By Sinan Kubba on April 3rd, 2012
Fun but ultimately fleeting letter rearrangement game.
Read The Full Review »

Competitive Word Gaming From Words Play And A Giveaway!

Posted by Jennifer Allen on December 21st, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

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!

Word Finder for Scrabble, Word With Friends, Etc Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on December 8th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: USEFUL
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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Social Roleplay Gaming With SpellCraft School Of Magic Coming Soon

Posted by Jennifer Allen on October 31st, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

I've no doubt that the prospect of a spellcasting form of Words With Friends is an exciting one to any sane iOS gamer. That's just part of what SpellCraft School of Magic is hoping to offer upon its release next month.

Gamers play a young apprentice wizard at the multiverse's most prestigious magical university in this free to play, in-app purchase supported game. The young wizard must save their teachers from the dungeons beneath the school by nursing magical plants, brewing powerful spells and doing battle with numerous monsters using strategy and cunning. It's going to be a potent mix of Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons with a great combination of social and roleplay gaming.

40 spells in all will be offered to help players up against over 100 different monsters. Combining card gaming tropes and other causal friendly concepts sounds like a pretty cool idea so far.

We'll be sure to keep you up on the latest on this exciting title. For now, check out the teaser trailer and screenshots below.

Wooords Review

By Sinan Kubba on July 29th, 2011
Wooords, with its quirky presentation, easy-to-understand mechanics, and fast-paced play, is going to consume the lives of word puzzle lovers the world over.
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