Wordplay in Review – The Fast and Furious (Word Edition)

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Word games are one of my favorite genres to play on the iPhone. They can be enjoyed minutes at a time and you get to learn new words along the way. That’s why when I came across Wordplay, a new word puzzler by Pixelchemy, I was quite anxious to give it a test drive.  Once I started learning the ins and outs and actually playing the game, I found elements of its gameplay and design to be inspired by the likes of  Scrabble and Trism, but only much faster. In fact, Wordplay is probably one of the fastest paced and action packed word game I have played in a long time.

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Wordplay is an exciting new word puzzler that is sure to have you voicing your frustration.

By sliding the letters around your goal is to spell out the bonus word to move onto the new level. But why the rush? Why not prolong each level by seeing how many words you can find, or choose to spell the bonus word one letter at a time.

Spell multiple words in a row to chain for bonus multipliers for that mega high score.

Wordplay is essentially made up of blocks of multicolored letters that a user can slide vertically and horizontally to form words.  In each level, there is a bonus word that players must spell out in order to advance to the next one. Players also have the option of spelling words that start with each letter of the bonus word. For example, if your bonus word is “Sands”, you can form words (minimum 5 letters) that start with ‘S’, ‘A’, ‘N’, ‘D’ and ‘S’ to complete the level.

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To make things more interesting and challenging, a timer will ensure that your eyes are constantly scanning the board for letters and a quick sliding finger to bring your words together. As if the timer weren’t enough, random letters will be tagged with bombs that you must defuse before time runs out by using these letters to form words. If either the bomb or level timer reaches zero, its game over.

Besides just bombs, Wordplay offers plenty of ‘bonus’ letters that will spice up the gameplay:

Blank: Choose any letter you like.
Joker: Randomly changes, spell quickly!
Clocks: Gives you more time to think.
Locks: Stops you sliding that row or column.
Freeze: Disables the multi row & column sliding on some levels!
Lightning: Blasts all letters in the line, use to disable bombs and locks!

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Well designed alphabet wheel. Choose any letter you like to complete a word

One other aspect that makes Wordplay stand out from the rest of the pack is the ‘Trism’ effect. By simply rotating  your iPhone/iPod Touch, your letters will also rotate to face the new direction of play. Being able to match letters in landscape mode definitely creates a new perspective for the game. This feature not only adds an aesthetic element to Wordplay, but it actually helps players in later levels when locks are littered around the board that prevent rows/columns from sliding.

It is also worth mentioning in this 1.1 update, players now have the option of turning off the timer to make things a little less hectic. While having both bombs and level timer on can be fun and frantic, the difficulty may be too much for casual players. For a more relaxed game pace, turning off bombs (under options) as well will allow players to enjoy the game without constantly feeling pressured by a ‘clock’. Having the option to turn them on/off undoubtedly gives Wordplay two different styles of play.

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Landscape Sweetness

As fun as Wordplay can be, I find one issue in particular that can cause frustration amongst players, especially if playing against the clock or with bombs turned on. As an example, say you want to spell ‘lived’ to complete the level. So you slide letters together and you just moved ‘e’ at the end of ‘liv’.  Just as ‘e’ falls into place, the game submits the word ‘Olive’ because (without me realizing) the letter ‘O’ was above my ‘L’. As a result of this, all those letters intended for the bonus word ‘lived’ are now gone and its back to square one. This can become quite frustrating if the clock is on and precious time is being wasted. Thankfully, this is not something that happens every time you attempt to place words together.

Bottom Line: Wordplay is a fun fast paced word game that will thrill fans of word puzzlers. With the option of turning off both the timer and bombs, even casual fans can enjoy the game at their very own pace. For the low price of $0.99, Wordplay is a great deal and one of the more addictive word games available at the App Store.

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App Summary
Title:WordplayDeveloper:Pixelchemy
Price:$0.99App Size:5.5 mb
  • Two styles of play. Fast paced with timer/bomb on or simply take your sweet time (off)
  • Lots of bonus tiles
  • Ability to rotate board and letters
  • Graphics are simple but nicely done
  • Words are unintentionally submitted at times
  • Game gets very difficult with both timer and bombs ‘on’
  • The multi column/row sliding and numerous locks in later levels make it difficult to form words
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  • http://www.pixelchemy.com Chris

    The newest version 1.2 (full) allows you to disable the timers and bombs.

    It has also changed from auto-spelling to double tap once you’ve lined up your word. You can turn the auto back on in the options if you like!

    Enjoy.

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