Wuggle in Review – Pimp ’em words


Texas Wuggle’s precursor is a word game based on familiar slide-to-play mechanics and 4J Studios’ penchant for touching. Wuggling isn’t a word commonly used by iDevicers, but according to 4J Studios (and some personal investigation), it means: the playful arranging of letters. The great part is that Wuggle doesn’t require the biggest thinking cap, just a capable pointing digit, a place to sit, and as you will see, patience.

Just like Texas Wuggle, you will use your index finger all the time. But, in Wuggle, letter tiles replace poker cards, and your goal is to make words from the mess. Scoring is typically word game-esque and will have you arranging the longest real-words possible, balancing possibilities with multipliers for the best score. And, depending on the mode, you will have a time limit to help your noggin get ticking. Just as in Texas Wuggle, there are bombs, and they are used in exactly the same way – to replace a unit which you don’t like. All you have to do is double-tap a tile, then a bomb, and a replacement will fit in. Bombs are limited, however, and time is short, so use them only when really necessary.


I want to explain the game modes. There is GP, where you play with a tile limit, and survivor, where you play with a time limit. Apart from that, Wuggle revolves around the same platform of word construction. The problem isn’t game type, it is the frustratingly horrid and sticky physics. As I mentioned above, Wuggle is a slide-to-play game: if you see a word, drag its letters together and to enter the word into the game, slide your finger in the direction of the proper spelling. Sounds easy right? Well, yes and no. Moving pieces around is generally problem-free, but issues arise as soon as you try to spell.

The slightest of mistakes and Wuggle will interpret your intended, ‘slop’ as ‘lop’, or while moving letters into a more convenient spot, you might touch one or two unintentionally. Wuggle is full of so many unintentional user errors, that it becomes an exercise in problem avoidance than a game. 4J Studios’s tutorial mentions that you need to be careful, but the warning comes off a bit like it is the user’s fault. The game’s mechanics – which demand that you slide letters together to create words – is the error-forcer. In Texas Wuggle, there were fewer units on the screen at once, and though mistakes could be made, it fit the bill – after all, Texas Wuggle is a puzzle twist on poker and isn’t meant to be a serious gambler. Wuggle hasn’t anything to fall back on, and unfortunately, what could be its strongest suit (unique object interaction), is its largest liability.


Fortunately, it is only 99 cents, and for the most part, is fun. If tile physics can be fixed, Wuggle will be a good, fun, word-game. But, it still offers so little in comparison to benchmark titles which are only one dollar more. Lexic for instance has similar bonuses, a perfect interface, and great game-play 4J Studios need to re-read the book they wrote when creating Texas Wuggle – if they can apply as much uniqueness lower the number of errors, and maybe add a nice online leader-board, Wuggle will shine. As it is, this word-game falls precariously near the lower edge of Tap.


App Summary
Title:Wuggle (v1.0)Developer:4J Studios
Price:$0.99App Size:8.8 MB
  • Nice looking interface
  • Eye-catching visuals
  • Good idea
  • Taciturn menu system
  • Horrid play physics which force errors


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