We are all feeling the financial pinch! Blue Plate Special is a weekly review of bargain apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Nothing over $.99.
Scramble is the fast fun game of finding words in a jumbled grid. Compete with friends and play live with fellow word game fans.
The iPhone has proven to be a great gaming platform especially for puzzle games. I am a fan of word games like scrabble and text twist. Way back when we used to actually play board games (like physical games, not on a screen!), I liked to play boggle. You remember it! Letter covered dice are shaken up and fall into a grid then each player forms as many words as possible while the sand timer drained. Well this is the same experience, just on the iPhone.
The gameplay is simple. Drag a finger to each letter that spell a word that is three letters or more. Move quickly as the 2:00 timer will not seem like a very long time. Basically any letter that can be reached from the current letter is usable. Building words with more letters will earn trophies. The game has a huge vocabulary so each game has many possible words. So far, my games have not produced close to half of the possible words.
The gameplay is simple and addictive, but the fun does not stop there. Several options allow for multi-player games. The easiest is to just play online. From what I can gather, a large number of users are given identical boards and the high scores are posted at the bottom of the screen. In my short time the best rank was 52nd for a game. There is also an option to play the game, then pass it to a friend and they will play an identical board and the scores will be compared. The neatest option is to challenge friends.
Each user is given a serial number that can be shared with other iPhones and used to add them as a friend. My wife and I entered our numbers and were able to add each other to the friend list. It did take a few minutes to get it sorted out. After adding our names in our profiles, we could actually send game challenges. The games are not played live, but are added to a game queue. Choose a pending game and play then compare scores. As you can see in the screen shot I did beat my wife on our first game. (Probably will not happen again!) I chose to receive push notifications but have not seen one yet, when a challenge is made. This option has proven to be a fun way to compete with other users and really made the game worth downloading.
Word Scramble 2 is a free game and available here in the app store. The game options can use some polishing, but actually are pretty amazing considering it is free. Go get this one and add a friend or too and try a challenge. It is actually quite fun. I promise you will also probably learn some words you never knew existed!
What I like: The gameplay is fun and I can challenge my wife to a game at any time.
What needs improvement: Adding and challenging friends is clunky at first and takes some figuring out before it works.