WTP? WTF? It’s What’s the Phrase, guy, yet another word-based social game from the folks at Zynga.
It’s depressing to think that there are probably some readers out there too young to remember Wheel of Fortune, which ran for around 14 years from the late eighties.
Essentially you had a pair of contestants spinning a giant wheel with cash amounts on it, with the ultimate goal of guessing a phrase - one letter at a time. It’s a bit like hangman, I s'pose. Er, come to think of it, clearly Hanging With Friends wasn’t enough to satisfy Zynga’s hangman lust.
Anyway! What’s the Phrase works in much the same way, ‘cept here you have three turns at guessing letters per round (in the TV show you pretty much kept going till you guessed a letter that wasn’t there).
What’s the Phrase also invites you to “buy a vowel” with the in-game currency, which can of course be topped up with real money.
There are purchasable power-ups too, in the form of Spin Again (gives you a fourth spin), Educate (one free consonant), Eliminate (remove three incorrect consonants) and Bomb (place bombs on your opponent’s letters). Hmm, I don’t remember bombs in Wheel of Fortune, though it's been a while.
Another thing you can do with in-game currency is invest in categories. A handful are unlocked from the off, and there are loads more to buy. Categories include Movies, Food and, er, First World Problems. Oh, and how about Hot Dudes? Yes, that’s a real thing.
Bizarrely, you can also choose to send gifts to your opponent, with each unlocking a particular category. Send shoes, for example, and What To Wear becomes available.
And that’s pretty much What’s the Phrase in a nutshell. It’s completely fine, but there are better word games out there, including the Zynga stuff I mentioned above.
It’s also worth noting that I found the What’s the Phrase homescreen a tad laggy, on both my iPhone and iPad over Wi-Fi. Strange.
Both the App Store and Google Play versions are available free with ads, or £1.49/£1.47 with no third-party marketing (which presumably means you’ll still see plugs for Zynga stuff), more free coins, and a free category.
- It’s Wheel of Fortune
- Can play for free
- Lots of categories
- Some seriously silly categories
- Laggy homescreen
- No Carol Smillie
Summary: What’s the Phrase is essentially Wheel of Fortune for the smartphone generation. It’s absolutely fine, but somehow lacking that Zynga magic that makes Scramble and Words With Friends so compelling.
iOS Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad Wi-Fi (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini Wi-Fi, iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPod touch (4th generation) and iPod touch (5th generation). This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Android requirements: 2.3.3 or above.