Let’s just get this out of the way quickly. Word Ace is my new favorite game, and is the best game currently available for the Palm Pre. OK…I know saying that any game is better than other games on the Palm Pre may not be much of a compliment…but this really is a fantastic game.
Word Ace is a combination of Texas Hold’Em and Scrabble. Like Texas Hold ‘Em, you will be dealt two cards, followed by five shared community cards. Your job is to use those seven cards to make the best possible hand. The twist here is that the cards are not numerically based. Instead, each card bears a letter. Like Scrabble, different letters are worth points. Most are worth a single point, but some letters (such as X or J) will score a whopping 8 points. Your job is to create a word of up to seven letters which will maximize the number of points you are awarded. Score the most points and you will win the hand. Be sure to go for those bigger words, not only will they score more points, but you will also score a bonus for making words of 5, 6, or 7 letters.
As you might expect, each hand consists of several distinct betting rounds. During each round of betting, you can call by matching another player’s bet, fold out of the hand, or raise the bet. I will say, though, that I was not impressed by the betting system in place in this game. Like Apple’s Texas Hold’Em for the iPhone, it uses a dial, which you spin to set the amount of your bet. This is a terribly imprecise method of setting your bet, and frequently resulted in bets along the lines of $107 instead of an even $100.
Once all of the betting has concluded and the final cards have been dealt, it is time to assemble your word. You only have a limited amount of time in which to lock in your word. At the end of that time, the highest scoring word will win the hand.
Be careful, though. If your word is not in the computer’s fairly extensive dictionary, then you will be revealed as a failure and lose the hand.
Another cool thing you can do is connect with other people online, to create a community of Word Ace “friends”. Once you have connected with other people, you can create your own invitation-only tables, ensuring that only your friends are able to take your Word Ace “money”. Of course, if you prefer not to play live online, you can always select practice mode and play against computerized opponents. This is a great way to brush up on your skills, without laying your Internet account on the line.
This game is absolutely fantastic, and a real creative twist on one of the most popular games around these days. Plus, as a former English major, I loved the vocabulary building aspect of this game. Like I said, by far this is the best game available for the Pre today. I any of you are playing, keep an eye out for me (username: lawyerboy) and make sure to hit me up with a friend request.