Scramble With Friends iOS review

Scramble With Friends iOS reviewI admittedly strayed from Zynga’s “…With Friends” series, having played Words With Friends (Scrabble, essentially) to death, and having spent a fair bit of time with Hanging With Friends (hangman).

But when a fellow writer of words sent out an open challenge for Scramble With Friends (Boggle, pretty much) on twitter, I jumped at the chance. And got my bum handed to me. She really should’ve specified that she’s in the top 1% in the world.

So! Scramble With Friends; I’m absolutely terrible at it, but how does it work?

Well, it’s a social word game, played in pairs over three rounds, and the aim is to make as many words as possible in two minutes using adjacent letters in a 4x4 playing area, with letters assigned a Scrabble-style value (10 points for a J, four for a P, and so on).

The familiar Scrabble-esque multipliers make an appearance too, so occasionally you’ll see double and triple word/letter modifiers.

Scramble With Friends adopts a token-based system, with each game costing one unit, and tokens refreshing at a rate of one per 20 minutes (in the free version; they refresh faster if you pay a reasonable £1.49 (also removes ads)).

With said tokens, you can also invest in one-off power-ups, including the freeze, which pauses the game for a few seconds, Inspiration, which shows a word you haven’t found yet, and Scramble, which flips the board.

The slightly controversial one is the Mega Freeze, which pauses the clock for a whole 60 seconds, and ultimately means you can pay to win. Specifically, you can shell out 69p for the Small Mega Freeze pack, or £5.49 for the Large.

It’s worth noting that Scramble With Friends doesn’t specify which power-ups your opponent used, so you’re never quite sure if you’re on an even playing field.

Scramble With Friends iOS review

To its credit, however, Scramble With Friends does list the words you nailed, with one player denoted in red, the other in blue, and words you both found shown in grey.

Brilliantly, you can also choose to see all the words that were possible in the playing area, often numbering over 300.

As for finding opponents, you can do so via Facebook or by username, or play against a random that’s roughly around the same level as you.

I can’t help but feel that there’s a slightly negative tinge coming through above, but Scramble With Friends is actually a lot of fun. Technically, you don’t need to pay a penny to enjoy it, and it’s really quite addictive.

One of my only complaints (other than the Mega Freeze) is that some of the UI stuff is crap. There’s wasted space here and there, while other times it’s pure clutter.

But on the whole, I’m loving Scramble With Friends. For now, at least. I dare say it’ll go the same way as other social fads like Draw Something, but it’s definitely worth a look.

Pros

  • Word games are great (mostly)
  • You can play for free
  • Easy to find opponents

Cons

  • The Mega Freeze
  • Not clear which power-ups your opponent used
  • Some of the UI stuff

Summary: Scramble With Friends is an excellent Boggle-style social word game. The end.

Developer: Zynga

Price: free @ App Store (or £1.49)

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 4.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Scramble With Friends iOS review

Read more about: Apple iPhone 3GSApple iPhone 5iOSApple iPad 2Apple iPad 3Apple iPad 4Apple iPad miniApple iPhone 4Apple iPhone 4S

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