Grabl in Review – A Twist On Classic Word Play

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There is definitely no shortage of word puzzle games available at the App Store. However, there are typically only 2 types: building words from letters, and finding words on a board of letters. Today I got to play with Rocketmaker Productions’ Grabl which takes the standard word building game and turns it into the perfect pick up and play title. Read on to see if the result spelled success.

Word puzzles are pretty good casual games. They don’t require you to get too into anything to play and you can pick them up whenever you want. The only downside with some is that they can take awhile to play. Thanks to RocketMaker I’ve found the perfect blend of pick up and play style word game game.

Design-wise this game is fairly standard as word puzzles go. There’s a grid up top and your letter tiles down below. Rather than reinventing the wheel, Rocketmaker took the route of making a nice smooth design and tweaking it to perfection. The first of those tweaks is the ability to change the background of the board. Selecting custom backgrounds from the options menu will allow you to use any photo on your device as the background below the grid which is definitely a lot better than just a plain old solid-colour background.

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The basic structure of the game is to spell as many words as you can in a predefined amount of time which starts pretty much as soon as you start up the game.  The timer starts and you have a fresh set of tiles at the bottom of the board. You use them to spell words on the grid above and whenever you run out or need more just tap the “more please” button and you’ll get them.

One thing that I did find annoying however is that you have to actually tap the button for each tile you need. So if you just put up a 7 letter word that means you gotta tap 7 times to replace those tiles. Normally that wouldn’t be a big issue, however, in this game time is not your friend at all. So having to stop thinking and building words so that you can tap away getting more tiles is quite an annoyance.

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The default time limit in Grabl is 2 minutes, but you can change that to 1,3,5 or “frenzy” mode under the settings menu. Frenzy mode is probably my favorite and the most challenging. You start out with 30 seconds and you earn time based on the words that you spell on the board.

Settings is also where you’ll find the spot to edit your background, which dictionary you want to use and more. You can also check your local and online scores. Those looking to try and get ahead will appreciate the tips available just by tapping the (i) in the corner.

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Spelling words is done in typical drag and drop style. As a helper for some of those odd spellings you’ll notice that when you have an actual word on the board it gets highlighted in yellow. Originally, I thought that it was kind of an unnecessary feature, but it has actually enhanced my game-play. Not having to constantly check spelling means one less thing you have to think about and more time you can spend coming up with words.

Another neat feature is the ability to move the board around. In most games what you see is what you get when it comes to board real estate. Here however, you have as much board as you need. If you want to spell a word and you don’t have enough room, just tap anywhere where there isn’t a letter tile and drag the board in whatever direction you need it to move. This is another great yet simple feature that makes it a lot easier to come up with words because you aren’t worrying about the spaces around the board.

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Lastly and for some, the most important feature: bragging rights. It’s not uncommon now-a-days to be able to email someone from a game telling them about the new game you found and how great you think it is. Grabl however takes it to the next level. Not only can you email your friend telling them about how great the game is and how well you did, you’ve got proof too. When you send the email it attaches a link that displays an image of the board that you just played. I just found that to be so amusing.

In the end I think that Grabl is just great. It’s a nice fast and user friendly change from the typical word puzzle game . If you are a fan of word puzzles, then you will enjoy this game. It’s absolutely addictive and will keep you busy battling your friends to eek out the best score possible.

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App Summary
Title:Grabl (v1.0)Developer:Rocketmaker Productions
Price:$2.99App Size:2.4 MB
  • Giant movable board
  • Customizable backgrounds
  • Fast paced action
  • Local and online leaderboards
  • Method for grabbing tiles wastes time

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Finding the right word game ain’t always easy. Maybe we can help:
Dad Deadman in Review – Boggle in Review — Wordsworth in Review — Wordfu in Review — The Enigma Machine in Review — STICH’em Words in Review

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