The original Scramble With Friends is something I still find myself dipping in and out of, so you can imagine the tingle of excitement that crept across my cerebral cortex when I learned of something called New Scramble With Friends.
Best Thing Ever? Worst Thing Ever? To be honest, I have no idea what the heck Zynga is playing at; it’s all very confusing.
"What puts the ‘New’ in New Scramble With Friends?" is probably the first question that springs to mind, and the answer is, er, “Not a whole lot, buddy.”
The headline features (if we can call them that) are threefold. Firstly, we’ve got a lovely makeover, with New Scramble With Friends adopting lots of blue.
There are also some new Daily Challenges, and at this point you’d definitely be forgiven for thinking: ‘Why not just release an update?’ I… don’t know.
Finally, how about some spanking new player stats? Now it’s no secret that I like a good stat, but I have a couple of issues with New Scramble With Friends.
Firstly, there’s a screenshot on the App Store (right) that shows direct comparisons between pairs of players, so I can see - among other things - how many times I’ve destroyed a particular friend, and what our longest and highest scoring words are.
That’s all well and good, but that particular functionality appears to be absent from New Scramble With Friends, unless I’m missing something obvious (which is entirely possible, to be fair).
What we do have is a bizarre series of charts including recent opponents, and showing who has the longest winning streak, who has won the most games, who has racked up the most words per minute…
Though it neglects to actually quantify those things. Yeah, I can see who has the longest winning streak, but what is it? What am I trying to beat?
Anyway! Moving past those New Scramble With Friends stats, a decidedly unwelcome addition is video ads, and the inability to upgrade to remove ads altogether. What the…?
On that note, I’ve seen people asking if they can somehow merge accounts. See, the original Scramble With Friends alerts you to New Scramble With Friends’ presence, and installing the ad-filled latter locks out the former. I’ve never seen anything like it.
On the whole, New Scramble With Friends is just a strange, strange app. What’s the point? Heck, your games list even carries across.
I suspect there’s some financial incentive at heart for Zynga, maybe stirring interest among existing players, and cheekily being able to report more downloads of their apps.
Why isn’t it just an update, Zynga? What’s your game here?
- The makeover
- Uhm, new Daily Challenges
- The stats. However…
- …some promised stats appear to be missing
- Can’t remove ads
- There are now video ads
Summary: At its core, Scramble With Friends remains an excellent game, but I can’t help but wonder why New Scramble With Friends exists when it’s nothing more than a very slight overhaul.
Price: free @ App Store
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.