TouchMyApps » Word http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Wed, 01 Jul 2015 04:01:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.8 SpellTower update adds universal support for the iPhone http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/12/11/spelltower-update-adds-universal-support-for-the-iphone/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/12/11/spelltower-update-adds-universal-support-for-the-iphone/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2011 19:53:43 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=62276 SpellTower, easily the best word game to release for iOS in recent memory, has been updated to add universal support for the iPhone. Previously only available for the iPad, this strategic word game features 4 game modes, eye pleasing visuals, game center leaderboards and achievements for you to see just how expansive your vocabulary really is. Puzzle … Read more]]>

SpellTower, easily the best word game to release for iOS in recent memory, has been updated to add universal support for the iPhone. Previously only available for the iPad, this strategic word game features 4 game modes, eye pleasing visuals, game center leaderboards and achievements for you to see just how expansive your vocabulary really is. Puzzle Mode gives the game a Tetris (or even Drop7) feel to it, where bottom rows are added for every word you make. Once the blocks reach the top, it’s game over. If you’re tired of the likes of Bookworm (Review) or Abca (Review), take a closer look at SpellTower. You’d be hard pressed to find a better word game at the moment on the iDevice. The video trailer below will run you through all the game modes and how they’re played.

SpellTower Zach Gage, SpellTower, – $1.99

Description

- From the creator of critically acclaimed titles Halcyon, Bit Pilot, and Unify -

Find and swipe (or tap!) words in 4 challenging modes. Make long words or use bonus tiles to clear extra letters from the screen!

* WORDS + STRATEGY = AWESOME *
Pick your words wisely! As you work, more tiles rise from the bottom of the screen, and it’ll take all of your lexicological wits and tactical know-how to keep them down. If any of the letters make it to the top row, it’s game over.

* FOUR AMAZING MODES *
- TOWER MODE : No pressure here. Try and get the highest score possible out of 150 letters, eliminating small words to set up 7- and 8-letter blockbusters!

- PUZZLE MODE : Every word you make adds a new row of letters! Strategic word finding at its best.

- EXTREME PUZZLE MODE : Puzzle mode with the minimum word length cranked up. Experts only!

- RUSH MODE : Rows of letters build up over time. Find words as fast as you can, but be careful you don’t back yourself into a corner!

GAME CENTER leader boards and achievements for each mode and highest scoring word!

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Wurd in Review – Way to Improve Your Vocabulary http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/07/07/wurd-in-review-way-to-improve-your-vocabulary/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/07/07/wurd-in-review-way-to-improve-your-vocabulary/#comments Wed, 07 Jul 2010 13:00:08 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=35701 The gameplay in Wurd couldn’t be simpler. You’re shown a word on the screen, and you have to decide whether it’s real or fake; by tapping either the word ‘real’ or the word ‘fake’. No rocket scientists required here. There are two elements to the ‘fakes’; some words are completely made up, whereas others are … Read more]]>

The gameplay in Wurd couldn’t be simpler. You’re shown a word on the screen, and you have to decide whether it’s real or fake; by tapping either the word ‘real’ or the word ‘fake’. No rocket scientists required here. There are two elements to the ‘fakes’; some words are completely made up, whereas others are simply misspellings of actual words. You’ve got to sort these out from the real, correctly spelled words.

You only have three lives. So if you get three words incorrect, it’s Game Over. Therefore the idea of the game is to work your way through as many words as possible without getting any wrong. Dependent on how good your vocabulary and spelling are, you could be going for some time. In fact, if you don’t find this mode challenging enough, have a go at the Marathon mode. In Marathon mode, you’re playing against the clock. If you’re good enough, you’ll also be awarded bonuses, word streaks and other achievements, helping you climb high up that scoreboard.

The achievements and leaderboards are available in the OpenFeint section of the App, so you can see what you’ve yet to unlock, and compare scores with your friends. If you’re a perfectionist, you may find this reason enough to come back and play again and again. If not, you’ll probably get bored pretty easily, even if you consider yourself a wordsmith.

Overall, I felt that Wurd had very limited appeal. I’m a bit of a word geek, so I did find the standard mode quite easy, but even the Marathon mode wasn’t very exciting. The graphics and sound aren’t very inspired, and the gameplay just isn’t that fun. You’re basically saying yes/no to everything, hardly on-the-edge-of-your-seat action. Wurd is OK to keep you entertained for five minutes here and there, but it’s not one that’s going to stay on my iPhone for the long run.

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App Summary
Title: Wurd Developer: Gomu Gomu
Reviewed Ver: 1.3 Min OS Req:
Price: $1.99 App Size: 4.4 MB
  • Easy to pick up and play
  • Compare high scores via OpenFeint
  • Improve your vocabulary
  • Pretty uninspired
  • Little replay value
  • Bit pricey

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Check out more word game reviews right here at TMA:

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WordMesh 1.0 Released for iPhone and iPod touch – A Fresh New Word Game http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/20/wordmesh-1-0-released-for-iphone-and-ipod-touch-a-fresh-new-word-game/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/20/wordmesh-1-0-released-for-iphone-and-ipod-touch-a-fresh-new-word-game/#comments Sat, 20 Mar 2010 19:47:39 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=29756 Nordersoft today released WordMesh 1.0 for iPhone and iPod touch. WordMesh is an absorbing take on the word game genre, where players separate two words that have been meshed together. The words, which float in 3D space, are manipulated by the player and as they clear each level the words get longer and the puzzles get harder. Starting with simple 6-letter puzzles, players score points to gain time. The game progresses until only the best and brave are attempting the huge 16-letter WordMeshes. … Read more]]>

London, UK – Nordersoft today is pleased to announce the release of WordMesh 1.0 for iPhone and iPod touch devices. WordMesh is beautifully rendered in 3D and players simply flick the letters up or down in space to solve the WordMesh, which sounds easy but even with the letters in the right order it’s harder than one would think.

Players work against the clock solving each puzzle in the given number of moves. They must stay focussed to solve the puzzles, whereupon each solution earns them points and time to continue playing. Each level has a target score, which when reached turns the difficulty up a notch. At the end of each level there is a special ‘Sideways Shuffle’ puzzle where some of the letters are swapped sideways – solving this earns the player double points.

The progressive hints system ensures that players will never get stuck but over-reliance on hints will use up their precious time. Taking too many moves to solve a puzzle will even make the words explode!

Progress through each game is logged and the player can review how well they’re doing at any point. They can also review their words to find out the meanings of any they weren’t familiar with. This is a feature that is especially useful for youngsters, who have a huge appetite for learning new words.

Four difficulty levels offer gameplay for all ages and levels and WordMesh is Scoreloop-enabled for social gaming. Players can compare their scores with other gamers worldwide and even challenge them directly.

Game Features:

  • Original puzzle format – easy to learn, hard to master
  • Online high score tables and buddy challenges
  • Great looking 3D rendered graphics
  • Large dictionary with definitions
  • Progressive hints system
  • Four levels of difficulty to suit all abilities and ages
  • Any time quit-and-resume
  • Punchy audio effects with integral volume control
  • Listen to iPod music while playing

“A creative new word game!” – “All in all this game is a lot of fun, and quite addicting! If you’re a big fan of word games like I am I think that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the unique feel that this game has. It’s not every day that you find a game like that.” – David Hayward, AppShouter Review

Device Requirements:
* iPhone and iPod touch
* Requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later
* 8.5MB

Pricing and Availability:
WordMesh 1.0 is $1.99 USD (£1.19, 1.59 Euro) and is available now on the App Store in the Games category.

WordMesh 1.0
Purchase and Download
Full AppShouter Review
Screenshot
App Icon

Located in the UK, Nordersoft was created in 2008 as the publishing identity for the puzzle-logic game Kusari. Nordersoft’s goal is to create original, quality apps for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Copyright (C) 2008-2010 Nordersoft. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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Bookworm in Review: Casual Gaming Classic http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/10/bookworm-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/03/10/bookworm-in-review/#comments Wed, 10 Mar 2010 09:30:04 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=29244 Ask me about word puzzle games for the PC/Mac and I would have to point to Bookworm as the definitive game for the genre. Taking its cue from a popular expression for a book lover, the custodian of the library, Lex the Bookwarm is an adorable cartoony worm with spectacles, keeping watch over a crazy … Read more]]>

Ask me about word puzzle games for the PC/Mac and I would have to point to Bookworm as the definitive game for the genre. Taking its cue from a popular expression for a book lover, the custodian of the library, Lex the Bookwarm is an adorable cartoony worm with spectacles, keeping watch over a crazy assortment of tiled letters that must be formed into words to keep Lex happy. Feel free to discuss this review of Bookworm in our forums.

Bookworm took its sweet time before porting from the PC to the iPhone in mid-2009. In the meantime, a dizzying slew of word games have come out specifically on the iPhone platform – some original and some just variants of Bookworm – making competition quite stiff even for the casual game juggernaut PopCap Games.

There are two game modes – classic and timed; the former ideal for the casual player or newbie while the timed one is for the more experienced Bookworm player. Playing Bookworm is quite simple and easy to learn. Form words from the 7X7 grid of random letters – the minimum is three letters – but if you have a sharp eye and do a little planning, you can form longer words for more points. There’s another good reason for forming the longest words you possibly can – use too many short words in succession and you invite the wrath of the burning tiles. Burning tiles eat the other letters below within seconds. Failure to use them to form words pronto before they hit the bottom and it’s game over for you. At the same time, there are special green and yellow tiles that provide a neat multiplier for racking up more points to advance to the next level. If you run out of words or just panicking, you can shake your iPhone/iPod Touch to shuffle the tiles – at a price, though, since you get more burning tiles as penalty. Form certain words and you get to unlock collections (e.g. animals, food,etc.) – a nice touch to enhance the game’s replay value.

The PC game was likable and incredibly addictive – to an extent, this port delivers largely the same experience but customized for the iDevice. Instead of frantically typing words while beating the burning tiles, words can be tapped successively or traced along a path with the finger and tapping sends them to the library for points. Here’s where I had some problems – the tiles are too small and it’s hard to form words precision. It’s quite a challenge to undo misspelled words, especially when there are burning tiles left and right. The additional step of confirming the word by tapping it before sending it, while necessary, sometimes results in tapping another letter – requiring an undo, and so on.

While the game provides a collection of personal bests, it would be nice to see online scoreboard and social media integration especially since this game enjoys a huge following.

Amid a large and diverse offering of word puzzle games, Bookworm is and will always be a pleasure to play on any platform. Nothing beats this word puzzle classic, and at a friendly price you get tons of replay value and wordsmithing pleasure.

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App Summary
Title: Bookworm Developer: PopCap Games, Inc.
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.2 Min OS Req: 2.2.1
Price: $2.99 App Size: 9.5 MB
  • It’s a classic!
  • Insanely addictive and challenging strategic gameplay
  • Word definitions for educational purposes, bonus words and in-game word collections up the challenge
  • Tiles are rather too small and words are difficult to make especially when in panic mode
  • No online leaderboard and social media integration

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Are you a man (or woman) of many words? If so, check out these other iDevice offerings:

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Fishtropolis in Review – Throw it back and reel in another one. http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/02/09/fishtropolis-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/02/09/fishtropolis-in-review/#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2010 21:00:50 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=27684 Fishtropolis is a word game. You log in to the game (you can have five game slots in total, so if others in your household want to play, they can have their own account) and you’re then presented with a grid of letters, above which is a fish tank. The tank contains the fish corresponding … Read more]]>

Fishtropolis is a word game. You log in to the game (you can have five game slots in total, so if others in your household want to play, they can have their own account) and you’re then presented with a grid of letters, above which is a fish tank. The tank contains the fish corresponding to the particular level you’re on. They swim around as you match words – and that’s about it.

Finding the first couple of words is easy – each level is named after a fish, and the letters used to name the fish are the ones in your grid. For example, the first fish is a white carp. Straight off, you have the words ‘white’ and ‘carp.’ You must then work your way through finding more and more words with a minimum of four letters. Once you’ve earned enough points for a star, the next level is unlocked. This continues for fifteen fish. I admit, I didn’t get that far. I got bored after four.

Naturally, the game is easier when you’re early on in the game, so you’ll be banging out words, left right and centre. Each one is defined for you too – so if you’ve typed in something just because you think it might be a word – you’ll learn what it actually means, too! If you get stuck, though, you can use hints to help you along. Granted, the hints are pretty rubbish, so don’t get your hopes up. If you’re determined to finish the game, you’ll be needing oodles of patience and a decent dictionary.

I’m sorry to say there isn’t much more I can report on this game. You create words, and once you’ve got enough, you’ll unlock the next level. There’s nothing exciting about finding in excess of 2,500 words in Fishtropolis. You’re not racing against the clock, you can’t compete against anyone else – unless they’re logged in as another user on your device – which obviously means you’ll have to play at different times, and the whole experience is just dull. It might pass a few minutes while you’re waiting for an appointment or a bus, but you won’t want to clear time out of your busy schedule to play it.

It just feels like no real enthusiasm has gone into the development of this title. Nothing exciting happens when you unlock new words and levels – no fan fare, no change of scenery, nothing. It’s just… bland. The graphics are disappointing, too, so there’s no saving grace here at all. Now I’m a wordsmith, and I usually enjoy word games – but Fishtropolis just does not do it for me at all. Save your hard-earned cash.

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App Summary
Title: Fishtropolis Developer: NimbleBit
Reviewed Ver: 1.4.1 Min OS Req: 2.2.1
Price: $1.99 App Size: 1.4.1 (iPhone OS 3.0 Tested)
  • Easy to pick up and play
  • Passes the time
  • Dull graphics and sound
  • Uninspiring gameplay
  • No compulsion to keep playing
  • No comparison/competition via Facebook/Twitter/similar

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This review of  Fishtropolis was brought to you by TouchMyApps Contributor Lucy Felthouse. You can find her on Twitter here

Finding the right word game ain’t always easy. Maybe we can help:

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Guess the News in Review – Today’s Headlines can be your Game Today! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/11/30/guess-the-news-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/11/30/guess-the-news-in-review/#comments Mon, 30 Nov 2009 12:06:48 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=23901 We gamers are a fickle flock – on a perpetual quest for a game that that will always be new, exciting and unpredictable to us, yet paradoxically which offers a satisfying conclusion: closure to cap our efforts to conquer it. FingerArts may have found gaming’s proverbial ‘fountain of youth.’ Now, Guess The News comes along, … Read more]]>

Review-games-Guess The News 1

We gamers are a fickle flock – on a perpetual quest for a game that that will always be new, exciting and unpredictable to us, yet paradoxically which offers a satisfying conclusion: closure to cap our efforts to conquer it.

FingerArts may have found gaming’s proverbial ‘fountain of youth.’ Now, Guess The News comes along, giving us a unique word puzzle game which draws upon a vast storehouse of information for its content – news articles!

You need to connect to internet at least once to be able to download news articles so you can play offline. There are a variety of topics to choose from: entertainment, science, technology, global news, odd topics, and the like.

Review-games-Guess The News 2

A puzzle is generated based on the articles, and all you have to do is fill in the missing letters of the news headline. The jumbled letters are highlighted for each word. Drag or tap the letters for the appropriate blanks, taking care to do it when the bull’s eye icon appears over them. Poor timing means misplaced letters and fewer points. You can opt to read the news article that was used before moving on to the next puzzle. Take your time to finish all the saved articles if you like, or you can update the content to reflect newer items. Updating the articles in one section will automatically update all sections.

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There are three levels of difficulty: easy, medium and hard; as well as different game modes: classic and timed. Solving a minimum of five puzzles in each section unlocks achievements. You can also challenge a friend via email to try out the game and beat your score.

How does Guess The News fare with its counterparts? First of all, the inherent unpredictability and endless variety of its content works in its favor, as well as its contextual approach to solving the puzzle. In that sense, it takes word puzzles to a whole new level. Providing the source articles on which the puzzles are based is also a unique component of the game, making it educational and informative. Who says you can’t have fun while reading today’s headlines?The user interface is top-notch – so far I have not encountered issues with downloading news and loading the game itself. I like the graphics, too – crisp and clear with a punch of bright color.

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Gameplay is very easy – it reminds me of Wheel of Fortune – minus the wheel and the vowel buying – but then again, it’s too easy, even on medium and hard levels. Once it determines that you’re stumped, it gently pushes you in the right direction by providing unsolicited hints.

Guess The News could use a bit more sophistication. Throwing in a few twists will make it even more fun and challenging – customizable skins, power ups and obstacles, just to name a few. Seasoned players should also have an option to customize the level of difficulty in the game – turning off the auto-hints, for example. Finally, integration with  an online global leaderboard will definitely build a bigger community of players/news enthusiasts.

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More than just a novelty, Guess the News is a great word puzzle game with a unique concept and an educational component. A steal at $0.99, it offers unlimited game content, informative news and an enjoyable game experience that makes it stand out from the rest. It’s a game for all ages and discriminating game tastes.

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App Summary
Title: Guess The News Developer: FingerArts
Reviewed Ver: 1.5.2 Min OS Req: 2.2.1
Price: $0.99 App Size: 7.1 MB
  • Unique game content
  • Educational and informative
  • Great user interface
  • Great value for money
  • Too easy
  • No variety
  • No online leaderboard integration

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Finding the right word game ain’t always easy. Maybe we can help:

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Lexic in Review – s-u-b-l-i-m-e http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/11/03/lexic-in-review-sublime-word-game/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/11/03/lexic-in-review-sublime-word-game/#comments Tue, 03 Nov 2009 23:40:19 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=22353 Lexic is a perfect game for a group whom I contemn with scorn: word freaks. Nevertheless, Kieffer and Kieffer (or whomever they are) pulled out an early sucker-punch at the App Store gem of a game. The funny thing is that before buying iDevice apps, I cared nothing at all for splelling or wurds; but … Read more]]>

Lexic is a perfect game for a group whom I contemn with scorn: word freaks. Nevertheless, Kieffer and Kieffer (or whomever they are) pulled out an early sucker-punch at the App Store gem of a game. The funny thing is that before buying iDevice apps, I cared nothing at all for splelling or wurds; but since February (and learning how to spell), things have slowly changed for me. Lexic is nothing short of awesome.

In a haystack of awful 1.99$ apps, Lexic is the proverbial needle; not only is its interface bullet-proof — indeed, it is a perfectly concocted mix of eye candy and usability –, but it is full of never-ending content, 4 game-play modes, online leader boards – if you could hope for anything in a word-game, Lexic has it.

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In the tradition of good electronic vocab games, Lexic’s bowels flow with both TWL and SOWPODS for the word freaks on both sides of the Atlantic. There are also a few visual and sound settings to play with, but despite polished visuals, Lexic rocks for a variety of other reasons. Probably the best point in its favour is that it attacks any level and all types of players. For instance, Quest mode will allow you dodge time-limits by imposing its own strict regimen: you must continually diffuse bombs and hard-spots by stringing words together and meeting goals. Cascade will burn your brains my making you find as many words as possible in a small window of time. Blackout like Tetris will have you clearing the board till no letter-tiles are left; and finally, Stasis (as the name suggests) wracks your brains to find every word possible on a static board. Else-wise, Lexic tracks personal stats, boasts an online leader board, and is entrenched in updates from the dev. You can also burn through your own list of iTunes songs while finding that perfect word.

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Speaking of which, if you can drag your finger from point A to point B, you can play Lexic. Depending on mode, words consist of as few as two letters and can be as long as the internal dictionaries can spell. Lexic is fun and while easy to play, easy to setup, and a great crack of a time competing with online leaders, is a challenging, rewarding game.

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Kieffer Brothers’ app is worth every penny of its 1.99$ price tag, and more. In fact, including the hours upon hours playable future Lexic has, I reckon it is one of the best deals at the App Store. And, don’t be surprised by constant updates, tweaks and improvements; the devs are serious about supporting this game.

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App Summary
Title: Lexic (V. 2.0) Developer: Kieffer Bros.
Price: $1.99 App Size: 8.0 MB
  • Great interface
  • 4 challenging and fit-anywhere game modes
  • Many many hours of play
  • Online leaderboards
  • Clever and easy gaming
  • Looking… looking… Sorry Sarge, found nothin’!

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

Review-Games-Lexic-01 Review-Games-Lexic-02 Review-Games-Lexic-03 Review-Games-Lexic-04 Review-Games-Lexic-05 Review-Games-Lexic-06 Review-Games-Lexic-07Read more]]>
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Grabl in Review – A Twist On Classic Word Play http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/27/grabl-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/27/grabl-in-review/#comments Tue, 27 Oct 2009 16:19:23 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=22043 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 … Read more]]>

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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: $2.99 App 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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Dan Deadman vs. Hangman in Review – just a little off the top http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/02/dan-deadman-vs-hangman-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/02/dan-deadman-vs-hangman-in-review/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2009 16:28:32 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=20894 No reason to be terse about ideas2mobile‘s new app: Dan Deadman vs. Hangman, is simply a bust-up, cute, yet subtly dark and violent word game. Yes, you heard right: a violent word game. Dan Deadman is the cute — if I may apply cute to violent and gruesome death — version of that ironic kid’s game: … Read more]]>

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No reason to be terse about ideas2mobile‘s new app: Dan Deadman vs. Hangman, is simply a bust-up, cute, yet subtly dark and violent word game. Yes, you heard right: a violent word game. Dan Deadman is the cute — if I may apply cute to violent and gruesome death — version of that ironic kid’s game: hangman. But, this time, it is dressed up with flashy vector graphics which bloodily cover up a wealth of information.

What was I getting myself into? My guessing vocab is rubbish; word games always stump me, and I suck at guessing games. Dan Deadman promises an electrifying experience for the bad speller, the idiot, and those who cannot find the right word. For all others, it is a gripping experience – at least the first few times.

Just like hangman, you will get a limited number of tries to spell a word which starts out as gaps where letters should go. For instance, the word could be ‘hangman’ and would look like this: _ _ _ _ _ _ _. To guess, just tap a letter at the bottom which you reckon fits into the word. If you are right, it replaces one of the gaps. If not, Dan gets one step closer to death. As always, starting with vowels is a smart move which will make guessing the other letters easier.

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Thought I had this one...

According to ideas2mobile, there are about 2000 words to suss out in 4 languages: Spanish, French, German, and American. Add to that eight categories, and you have a load of chances to die whilst receiving the sort of education your parents dread for their kids. Speaking of which, the scenarios are: electric chair (cue Metallica’s Ride the Lightning), or chopping block (cue MxPx’s Chop Chop). Access to any setting is done via the sprocket icon.

You can also play against another player in the most sinister of scenarios: you choose the word for your partner to spell. No hints, no rules – just mayhem.

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What fans are hoping for — yes, I am a fan — are more death scenarios. The reason? It is simply devastatingly funny watching the hapless Dan face death as you miss-suss out names, places, heroes; I normally wouldn’t say this, but execution has never been so much fun! For the squeamish, there is a helpful hint mode – with over 2000 answers, chances are that your brain cannot wrap around every combination. But, invoking a hint cuts the game short: if you have even the faintest hint of how to spell, it may be hard to lose, and thus, hard to see the gory finishing sequence.

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bastard thought he could fool me

For 99 cents, Dan Deadman delivers a cuttingly excellent spelling rampage. Learn place names, celebrities, and even brush up on a few European languages. But, nothing in this game compares with the excellent vector graphics which simply dazzle. Hapless Dan is almost cute in his innocent plodding towards the chopping block. Sinister spelling. Deathly definitions. Lose-one’s-life-phonics – while I cannot put words to what a great twist on the classic kids game Dan Deadman is, I will leave you to shed a dollar from your pocketbook to find out. And of course, I look forward to more ways to die.

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App Summary
Title: Dan Deadman vs. Hangman(V 1.1) Developer: ideas2mobile
Price: $0.99 App Size: 4.9 MB
  • Great graphics
  • Sadistic fun
  • Lots ‘o categories
  • Price is right
  • imaginative death scenes
  • loads of words to suss out
  • 2 player mode is killer
  • Give us more scenarios

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Finding the right word game ain’t always easy. Maybe we can help:
Boggle in ReviewWordsworth in ReviewWordfu in ReviewThe Enigma Machine in ReviewSTICH’em Words in Review

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Updated: QuickOffice Mobile Office Suite in Review – A Mostly Productive Productivity Suite http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/19/quickoffice-mobile-office-suite-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/19/quickoffice-mobile-office-suite-in-review/#comments Tue, 19 May 2009 15:33:39 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=11111 Join the long list of people waiting for a proper Microsoft Office editing suite. Take a number. Have a seat. And maybe a coffee. Several good options have made appearance at the App Store but none are quite ready to be dubbed true Office Editors. QuickOffice, a suite a suite comprised of Word and Excel … Read more]]>

Join the long list of people waiting for a proper Microsoft Office editing suite. Take a number. Have a seat. And maybe a coffee. Several good options have made appearance at the App Store but none are quite ready to be dubbed true Office Editors.

QuickOffice, a suite a suite comprised of Word and Excel editors, takes charge of a few great features of the iDevice and makes Office editing possible along with file sharing and creation. To attest the fact, this review has entirely been written on my iPod touch.

Take a look at my updated review of Openoffice which looks at the placement of necessary features which were missing in the original release.

Transfering Files
Transferring files to your device is accomplished in a few ways, namely WiFi, email and through iDisk. Since the iDevice works from a sandbox which is designed to protect the device and its contents from intrusion and propogation of malware, QuickOffice has to jump through a few hoops to share and edit files.

There are no sync functions to automaticalliy sync the data of your computer and iPhone, rather you need to transfer files via http mode which can be accessed from your web browser or via mounting the iPhone from the same WiFi connection. It is easy, if not elegant. Simply go to settings in the main window, turn on File Transfers and make note of the ip address which is located at the bottom of the main screen or in settings under file transfers. You can open the contents of you iDevice by either mounting your iPhone from the finder using command-k or inputting the same address into a web browser. If you have a MobileMe account, you can also log into it from the Edit menu on the main page. File transfer speed is fast, responsive and worry-free.

Strangely, neither iWork 2009 file viewing nor GoogleDocs are supported. As a software platform that caters to mobile phones and the iPod Touch, internet connectivity and alternate methods of storage are necessary. QuickOffice for other platforms also supports Microsoft Powerpoint files, but again, the iPhone version is left with a hole where a function used to be. Another omission is the inability to write in Japanese or Chinese and presumably other input methods. This is a hard pebble in the shoe of many iPhone users who need to type in non-latin alphabets.

Security
While a simple editing app like this does not work with encrypted files, it does use a passcode lock to gain access to any documents on you iDevice. It is a step in the right direction, however, the passcode is a mere four-character numeric word. Though unlikely to be stolen, your romance novels and juicy financial spreadsheets are not completely safe from prying eyes. Encrypted files and keys would at least feel much safer and would be great boon to the QuickOffice suite.

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Navigation
From the document selection screen, you can add folders, move files and send attachment email. You can also bin what you don’t want and create new spreadsheets, Word documents or text files. Clicking on the blue carrot next to any file will bring up basic information such as file size, kind, date created and updated and name (which can also be edited) whereas clicking anywhere else in the file row will open the document. Navigation is a breeze from start to finish and the app is never an eyesore.

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QuickWord
QuickOffice ‘supports’ Microsoft Word quite well with a slew of the most used editing functions within Microsoft Word:

  • Copy/Cut/Paste
  • Word and Paragraph selection via double and triple taps
  • Zooming
  • Native text wrap
  • A few often used text formatting functions: bold, italics, font selection and styles
  • Bulleted lists
  • Doc 1997-2003 editing; 2007 DocX viewing
  • Free Update: Edit 2007 .DOCX files, auto-correction (predictive text), auto-cap (first letter)

Use
In practical use, Quickword is efficient and yet highly obtuse. Input is managed from landscape or portrait mode – typing longer documents (such as this one) is quite fast. All-caps words too, are easy to type thanks to a caps lock function. To start typing, either tap the keyboard icon or a space inside the document or text and like Apple’s software features, holding down on a word will allow you to drag the cursor to editable places within the document. Strangely however, rather than a magnifying glass denoting cursor position, the storyboard zooms in as if the workspace were composed of pre-rendered pixels. While this works fairly well in practice, letters do not maintain crisp, resolved edges and scrolling left to right is difficult as the cursor moves the screens extemities. As far as viewing and simple editing, QuickWord is nearly flawless. However, as you will see, there are also many omissions.

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Editing
Native text wrap reformats every document to fit the screen layout of your iDevice and is a blessing. You won’t have to scroll far to the left and to the right just to edit or compose documents. If you are prone to mistype (guilty), Quickoffice has a deep undo/redo pipeline which is full of grace to probably about 10 steps. If, however, you get further from shore, you will have to restore from a backup save of the document. Unfortunately, there is no software anywhere that can account for the silliest of human errors. Spell-check is also missing and while not a deal-breaker, its lack adds to a weighty list of “can’ts” that tangles the user.

Fonts
QuickOffice included some commonly used fonts from 8 point to full 72: Arial, Courier, Georgia, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Trebuchet and Verdana. QuickOffice, in typical Apple fashion, do not give a preview of the font from the font selection menu. This has been a personal beef with nearly every contemporary Apple application – a problem that does not need to have been replicated in a Microsoft Office compatible software suite.

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Paragraphing
Neither paragraph editing, line spacing nor tabbing made it into this version but with many customers clamouring for those features, they surely will come in a future update.

In short, the good points of QuickWord outweigh the omission, but only barely. It is a remarkable app for either viewing or making small edits to Word documents. However, there is still much work to be done with regards to document creation. QuickOffice’s biggest omission, predictive text and auto-correction are said to be addressed in a future update, making QuickWord that much closer to a truly competent word processor. Those features however, should have been included from release and their absence makes little sense in an app that markets itself as an Office suite for mobile phones which above all need shortcuts and software crutches.

QuickSheet

  • The excel editor though simple and lacking uniform features such as cut and paste is perhaps more of an arguably proper standalone app. QuickWord, akin to Windows Wordpad or MacOS’s Text Editor in its simplistic feel and feature set is paled by Microsoft’s Word. Excel-like functions are not included by default in either OS without a separate purchase – a fact that tips the scale in favour of this over-achieving app.
  • Double tapping a cell selects a range
  • Easily change inputs and recalculate
  • Auto-backup
  • Easy switch between worksheets
  • Insert new rows/columns
  • Supports .XLS (1997-2003) editing and .XLSX (2007) viewing.
  • Free Update: Edit 2007 .XLSX files, landscape editing, copy/paste, delete cells, set/remove cell borders, edit font type and size.

Firstly, Quicksheet supports 125 advanced Excel features, if those features are mathematical or text-driven. Its interface is simple and fits very well with the platform, utilising double taps, text boxes and simplified iPhone-specific touch controls such as pinch and zoom. Even landscape mode made its way into QuickSheet, though editing is more advanced in portrait mode.

Excel files import wonderfully and are easy to read from the first page to the last even if your document has many pages. In my testing of the app, I did not try to kill it, but just use it normally as I would at home or at work. What I found is that while nearly flawless as a day-to-day viewer and very simple editor, it is far from being a perfect portable Excel-ready spreadsheet. Though for instance many Excel functions are wonderfully supported, they are much harder and tiring to introduce into any creation or editing work. The interface is sleek and designed well around the iPhone, but the hardware itself is too limited to work well with pages and pages of tables, equations and text. Also, there needs to be more cheats to help the poor user along the way. Excel is full of them and a handful of the most common would be most welcome this side of the iPhone.

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Document compatibility is for the most part, bliss. As long as files are straightforward, they are viewable and editable. The same goes for creation. However, Quicksheets sadly neither creates, views or edits graphs. This is unfortunate as graphs form the backbone of many people’s Excel spreadsheets. Copy and paste have still not made it into a public build and cells cannot be deleted.

Conclusion
While a gallant effort, QuickOffice emerges a little tired and battered from the field. It is obvious in the iPhone world that apps are rushed out of the door in order beat a competitor to market, but in the end, such a strategy hurts app quality. QuickOffice could have been a kiss had it not neglected some finer points of UI design and text input. Of course a spellcheck function and a deeper undo/redo pipeline would be welcome and truly set QuickOffice apart from its mundane older siblings, Wordpad and Text Editor. When those functions finally make it to the App Store, I hope they come in a free update. The lack of useful input for non-Roman alphabets is also disheartening for those of us who use such functions on a daily basis.

That said, the suite works well and in many ways, is better than I expected. WiFi uploading/downloading, saving, renaming and moving are all wonderful and mark the suite as a truly usable portable package. However, if you are a heavy user of Word and Excel, a netbook and OpenOffice is still the cheapest reliable alternative to a full fledged Microsoft Office suite.

In the meantime, QuickOffice earns a Grab from TouchMyApps.

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App Summary
Title: QuickOffice Mobile Office Suite(v 1.2.0) Developer: QuickOffice
Price: $19.99 App Size: 6.9 MB
  • Nice interface
  • Compatible with 1997-2003 Word and Excel
  • Landscape and Portrait Editing
  • File Transfers work well
  • Range of commonly used Editing tools
  • Copy and Paste in Word
  • Great ‘find’ function
  • Where is Spellcheck?
  • Where is Powerpoint?
  • No graphs in Sheets?
  • Chinese and Japanese input still sketchy

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WordsWorth in Review – It’s FUNdamental! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/24/wordsworth-in-review-its-fundamental/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/24/wordsworth-in-review-its-fundamental/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2009 14:24:29 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=10073 WordsWorth, as you may have already deduced is a word game for your iDevice from 99games Online Private Limited. The object of the game is to connect as many letters together as possible, earning points and bonuses to get the highest score you can in the thirty levels provided. The letters are placed on hexagonal … Read more]]>

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WordsWorth, as you may have already deduced is a word game for your iDevice from 99games Online Private Limited. The object of the game is to connect as many letters together as possible, earning points and bonuses to get the highest score you can in the thirty levels provided.

The letters are placed on hexagonal pieces laid side by side in a grid that can range from 4×4 to 7×7. As long as the next piece is touching the last, you are able to move left, right, up, and down to create your words. There are two modes of play to choose from: “Timed” and “Classic.” In timed mode you are given a limited amount of it to reach the score required to advance to the next level. This mode is best selected for those who perform well under pressure and enjoy an additional challenge. Classic mode is for the individual who enjoys a relaxing afternoon sitting around their home (or office) exploring the number of spelling possibilities found on the game board.

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If you find yourself without a word to spell, you have the option of shaking your device to bring in a fresh set of letters. This comes at the expense of a, “timed tile.” This tile will begin to countdown. If you don’t create a word utilizing it before the time runs out, your game is over. You also have a chance to earn bonus tiles. These tiles can improve your game by giving you additional points when creating a word or allowing you to bring in a fresh set of letters without suffering the dreaded timed tile. From time to time you will be given a random piece that can be used as any letter of your choice. You can also get a, “Buzzword” placed at the bottom of the board, which if spelled, will give you a large bonus and go a long way to gaining an even higher overall score.

The controls are simple. Place your finger on the first letter and snake it across the continuing letters until you reach the end. Lift your finger from the board causing the game to score your points, dissolve your letters, and replace them by dropping new ones in from the top. You also have the option of selecting each of the letters one at a time until your word is complete, than select the check mark icon at the bottom of the page and the game will do the rest.

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Graphically the game is fairly basic. The selection screen presents you with a man wearing a top hat, standing in a library holding a stack of books with game options written across their spine. Once you enter the game itself, other than the hexagonal shape of the pieces, they look very similar to the color and design of scrabble pieces with the print and placement of the letter and number values appearing identical. The music is one continuous looping melody that appears to be one minute in length for the duration of the game.

Wordsworth is designed for both the hardcore and casual fan of word games. The option to choose timed or untimed along with the size of the play field goes a long way to put the choice of depth into the players hands. It’s easy enough for a novice to pick up and have a fun experience, yet offers options to a veteran who wants to dig in and challenge them self to continually reach for a the number one position on the leader board.

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It could stand to offer a little more pizzazz in its presentation and some fanfare when you complete a level or get a better than average score would go a long way. Additional music or the option to pull in songs from your ipod would be welcome. The music is nice for a menu, but not an entire game. An option to play with a friend either in the room or online would increase the value exponentially. A weekly, monthly and all-time leader board exists and is nice for comparing your skills, but playing with others is twice the fun or more.

If you’re an avid fan of word games, you will enjoy what WordsWorth has to offer for the length of time it takes you to get through the 30 levels and reach for the top of the all-time charts. A novice will appreciate the ease of the casual mode and options to play using smaller grids. Eventually though, both sides will wish there was a little more to the presentation along with additional choices in music and game play. Until that time, I recommend you give WordsWorth a, “Tap.”

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App Summary
Title: Wordsworth (v1.4) Developer: 99 Games Online Private
Price: $1.99 App Size: 9.6 MB
  • Options available for both a novice and experienced fans of word games.
  • Leader boards to compare your scores with.
  • No option to play against an opponent in the room or online.
  • Simple presentation, could use a little more pizzazz.
  • Short looping music that runs through the entire game, no option to use devices ipod music.

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The Enigma Machine in Review – A Great Mental Workout http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/10/6398/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/10/6398/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2009 16:40:26 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=6398 What do you get when you add a pinch of the classic game “Hang Man”, a dash of the ever popular “Master Mind” and combine it with great graphics and music? The answer is Crude Games LLC latest offering, The Enigma Machine. Hot on the heels of recent popular WWII movies Defiance (starring Daniel Craig … Read more]]>

enigmamachine1What do you get when you add a pinch of the classic game “Hang Man”, a dash of the ever popular “Master Mind” and combine it with great graphics and music? The answer is Crude Games LLC latest offering, The Enigma Machine.

Hot on the heels of recent popular WWII movies Defiance (starring Daniel Craig of James Bond fame) and Valkyrie (Tom Cruise), this game brings you back to 1940, where the Enigma Machine, a cryptography device used by the Nazis was captured by the British. You as an agent of Bletchley Park, site of secret British code breaking activities during World War II, must put all your skills to the test to decipher the KEYWORD stored in the Enigma machine which will assist in defeating the Nazis. Failure to do so will bring disastrous consequences.

enigmamachine5You start off the game by choosing to decipher either a 3, 4 or 5 letter word. Type the letters of the word you have in mind on the “machine” and it will tell you how many letters you have in common with the code word. You then make other guesses, using the information you have to come up with the word. I decided to start off with a 3 letter word. As I input the letters on the quite beautiful Enigma Machine, I could see the rotors of the machine putting each letter into place. Adding to the realism, I could also hear every part of the machine click into place as I type. Full marks to the developers for attempting to  make the game as real and as authentic as possible.

enigmamachine2The Enigma Machine allows you to look back at the previous words which you have guessed and even lets you circle letters which you think are in the code and cross through those you think are not. There is also a setting on the machine itself that lets you turn the letters on the keyboard either red or green so you can see what letters you’ve used and if you think they work or not. This is extremely useful when deciphering 5 letter words. After correctly deciphering the code, you are given a rating based on how many guesses you took. An added feature which I like is that definitions are provided for each of the words being deciphered. It’s like a mini dictionary!

enigmamachine4I find that this game can be quite difficult at times as you are only given the number of letters you have in common with the word and not how many are in the right place. This could be an added function the developers might consider for future versions. Another improvement that could make the game a little more interesting is the addition of a story line where you could bring the war closer to an end after each round of code breaking.

Overall The Enigma Machine is a solid and fun word game that will surely give you a great mental mental workout.

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App Summary
Title: The Enigma Machine (v1.0) Developer: Crude Games, LLC
Price: $1.99 App Size: 6.6 mb
  • Authentic visuals and sound
  • Challenging word puzzler
  • Added Definitions of words
  • Poor rating or scoring system
  • Could be better with an added story line

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