Being an occasionally cynical and oft pessimistic type of guy, I was hoping – and indeed expecting – to hate Hanging With Friends. To my surprise, it’s actually rather enjoyable. Check out my recent review of the Android version.
Despite suffering from tonsillitis-induced fever for most of this week (I dread to look back at my articles from Monday and Tuesday), I’ve still managed to win the majority of my Hanging With Friends games. I’m pretty good, man.
Here are a few cheeky tips to send your Friends tumbling into the lava.
1. Don’t forget the “last vowel” rule
This is only mentioned once, the first time you play, and it’s something many people seem to struggle to get their heads around. The general rule is: Hanging With Friends will always make the last vowel visible to the other player.
Keep this in mind when it’s your turn to set a word. If the last vowel appears elsewhere in the word, every instance will be visible. If you lay down “FEEBLE”, for example, your opponent is going to be looking at “?EE??E” right off the bat. That bad boy is half solved already.
If you find yourself staring at a series of question marks and no vowels, that’s because – funnily enough – there are no vowels! I chose “SYNTH” for one of my opponents, and chuckled heartily as – faced with “?????” – she guessed: A, E, I, O then U. Five strikes for not understanding how the game works. Brilliant.
2. Make the last vowel rule work for you
Generally it’s a good idea to focus initially on the end of the word. And, if you’re lucky, some of those letters might appear elsewhere. Like “GNAWING” can go from “????I??” to “GN??ING” in two easy steps.
If a word ends with “I??” you’re probably looking at an “…ING” word, right? If it ends “I???” try going down the “…IGHT”, “…IRST” or “…INCH” route. Again, we know there aren't any other vowels following the one highlighted by the game.
Many a time I’ve found myself beaming with pride at having revealed all but one letter, only to realise there are half-a-dozen or more possibilities remaining. Take “?ACKED” for example. It could be: “BACKED”, “HACKED”, “JACKED”, “LACKED”, “PACKED”, “RACKED”, “SACKED”, “TACKED” or “WACKED”. Bloody hell.
Keep those cheeky endings in mind and use them to your advantage. Another good one is “?AIL”. So many possibilities!
4. Use long words
The longer the word, the fewer guesses your opponent gets. Try laying down some eight-letter beauties with no repeating letters. For example, I recently popped an opponent’s balloon (not a euphemism) with “REFRAINS”. She had four guesses and quickly found herself one step closer to the lava.
5. Play multiple games
Some opponents you’ll go toe-to-toe with, others are laughably bad. While the former games are infinitely more enjoyable, the latter are a good way to rack up points.
Since your points and coins are global, you can save up against weak opponents and spend against the strong. A bit like Robin Hood. Except nothing like Robin Hood at all.
6. Don’t forget your lifelines
Don’t be afraid to use lifelines. I’m not entirely sure, but I don’t think your opponent can see when you use them. Hell, they’re there for a reason, man. Everyone has ‘em.
You get one of each lifeline – Suspects, Extinguish and Revive – each time you start a new match, you can only use one per word, and you can restock them for 20 gold coins each. Use them wisely.