This is the other side of our new Comparative Opinions series that David explained yesterday. I will be presenting my experience playing Words With Friends. I had actually started out initially playing the Scrabble imitation on Facebook that got removed due to legal issues. I did not pick up Words With Friends when it initially came out though.
David and I have really enjoyed playing and will keep up a couple of games at the same time. Now I have always liked to play word games so this game is right up my ally. Although doing it in an asynchronous fashion does create a very different experience for playing a word game.
My Experience With Word Games
I grew up playing Scrabble, apparently the right way and I really liked to play games where you got a series of letters and guessed as many words as you can in a limited amount of time. Both of these word games make you think of words on your feet. You either are around other people and are meant to be able to pull the words out of your brain or you have to think really quickly because you’re on a time limit. There is some strategy about how you play the words and what words you choose. Longer words will often be worth more points and in Scrabble it is about where you place the words.
We actually started playing because David’s Mom mentioned that she played. So we took the time to set up our accounts and started playing. We tried the pass and play, but that did not work out so well. The online version of the game works wonderfully. You get notified about when someone else plays and can nudge someone if they have not played in a while. The difference between this and playing in person is the fact that you can take hours to come up with your next move. You can spend so much time to look over the letters and if your brain is not working in one moment you can just wait until you’re thinking better. The other part is that you can test out your plays on the board before you commit them. It gives you the ability to play around with the letters in a different way than you can in person.
One of the things I have found out is that there is a slightly different strategy to Word With Friends than with Scrabble. The big thing is being able to test out plays and the fact that the game will let you know what words will not work. So you can test out what would give you the ultimate number of points and then see if the game will accept that play. The only thing about this is you will end up with words that you would never have thought of, especially some weird two letter combinations. At the same time if the game will accept it then why not play it?
Now another thing I will utilize is to look up words on Google if I think it is a word I have heard of or if I think it is a word, but am not sure. This is a way to kind of look for words or try out combination of letters if you are not positive of something. Now there are also websites that do full on Scrabble Word Finders that let you enter in all the letters you can use and will tell you all possible combinations. I generally do not like using this because it lets the site show you the combinations instead of you thinking of them on your own. It is a strategy that you can use, but I like to at least use the words that I can think of instead of what a site gives me.
So far I am thoroughly enjoying Words With Friends, but I am also winning a lot of my games. At the same time it is a lot fun to play and I keep thinking about where I should play. It is not always about the most points, but about do I open up too much opportunity for the other player. Now sometimes I get inpatient for David to play his turns, but that is where the Challenge mode is a great way to keep your brain moving. They set up the board and you get to play as many words as you can with a set of predetermined letters. Trying to get the highest score possible. It is interesting to think of strategies for how to set up the words to maximize points and your score. It is definitely something that is worth continuing to play.