words with friends free

One of my twenty-something nephews hooked me on the app, Words With Friends.  At first, I made fun of him for the name of the game (not that he named it but how lame!) and he agreed, but regardless of the name, it wouldn't be long before I would be laying in bed playing a few rounds before finally tucking in. Then I roped Bruce into the game and we would be side-by-side, playing the game just before lights out.  Eventually another nephew started playing and I would have several games going.  One (or sometimes two) with Bruce at my side, another with a nephew in Alaska and yet another with a different nephew in Indiana.

Since we covered three time zones, someone would send a word while I would be in a meeting or having breakfast and I would reply with my word at lunch or after work and so on. It's like getting a little hello with play time attached.  You reply by playing your turn when you have a few minutes. It's great when maybe no on has anything big to report but you still interact.

The fanaticism wore off after a few weeks and now Bruce and I are back to British Murder Mysteries just before drifting off to sleep, but I still play a round here and there with one of my nephews. Don't get me wrong, the game isn't replacing talking to my nephews, it's just added long distance contact. There's a chat option in the app that we haven't taken much advantage of. The play is enough good scrabble-like fun, musing over the words each player chooses plus it feels like I'm still encouraging educational games and being a good Auntie.

Words with Friends Free is modeled after the game of Scrabble and like its name says, is free.  It's available for Android and iPhone. You can get an upgraded version, also named Words with Friends but without the 'free', for $2.99 which doesn't have an advertisements that pop up after your every move, literally when you finish a word and submit it to play, and is probably worth the few bucks.  The free version features the main aspects of the upgraded version. 

• The game plays as you would expect, like the board game of Scrabble
• You can simultaneously play multiple games with different friends who also have the app whether they use an iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone or even if they use a Droid instead of a Mac device.  You can play a round by taking turns passing the device back and forth. 
• Turn-based design lets you play up to 20 games simultaneously
• Play with your friends or match-make instantly with a random opponent
• It also supports in-game chat messaging if you like to trash talk
• Push notifications tell you when it’s your turn

Electronic Arts made the 'authentic' Scrabble iPhone app for Mattel Inc. which I haven't tried yet, and (at the time of this posting) it also costs $2.99.

So far, I only play with three different people and haven't sought out players through my contacts, Facebook friends and so on.  It's been a family game for me.  Saccharine as it sounds, I like the virtual check in, especially with those who are far away. Like the closing scene of the Walton's, at night I play a turn or two and they play a turn or so back.  "Goodnight John-Boy."  "Goodnight Elizabeth."

1 comment:

Chris said...

I've never played Scrabble or anything like that. I know, hard to believe, isn't it?!

I'm hooked on one game on my iPad: PES2012 SOCCER. It's a blast. I bet I play 3-5 games a day; I've played entire seasons with different teams (I'm currently dominating as the mighty BAYERN MUNICH), won league and club championships (as the magnificent BARCELONA), etc. I think you can play other people online, but I haven't yet.

The first time I scored a goal when I first installed it, I was sitting at the kitchen table with Julia. I jumped up screaming "Gooooal! Goal! Goal! Goal!" and ran laps from the dining room to the living room to the kitchen and back through the dining room, a pack of excited-but-confused dogs at my heels. It was epic.