I do enjoy a good word game (Scramble With Friends is still in heavy rotation), so I jumped at the chance to check out Word Forward, especially with its encouraging abundance of positive user reviews.
Did I like it? Yeah. Did it blow me away? Nah, not so much. Let’s talk Word Forward below.
In a nutshell, Word Forward tasks you with forming words to remove as many letters as possible in a 5x5 grid. Words can be formed using adjacent letters: up, down, left, right or diagonal.
Each letter is assigned a value, Scrabble-style, and you’re permitted to bail once you’ve reached the target score, though equally welcome to aim for a perfect score of zero.
Swap tokens are invaluable, and earned as you form words – up to a maximum of five tokens at any one time. As the name suggests, the tokens let you – yes – swap any two letters in the playing area.
Similarly, you’re assigned a couple of letters each game that can be swapped in whenever you like.
Finally, you have three modifier slots along the bottom. Adopting the traditional drug dealer technique, you’re given a taste of each, but subsequently charged – using Word Forward’s in-game currency – to replenish them.
Jumble is used to replace all letters on the board with new ones; Swap (not to be confused with plain old swap tokens) lets you change any letter on the board with a new letter of your choosing; and bombs can be used to eliminate troublesome letters.
And that’s Word Forward, phew! Things to like include the relatively clean design, “simple but challenging” gameplay, a multiplayer mode, and the lack of entry fee (i.e. it’s free to download).
On the poop side, there’s an element of trial and error, meaning you’ll have to play some levels several times over to learn how to effectively deal with the letters, which are fixed – not random – in each of the 75 levels.
There’s also that niggling feeling that the difficulty is tailored to push you towards in-app purchases, ranging from 69p to £1.99. Incidentally, you’ll still see ads after each game, even after purchasing coins.
And heck, once you’ve played the first puzzle, you’ve genuinely seen pretty much everything Word Forward has to offer.
Not the best thing I’ve played of late, but by no means the worst, Word Forward is absolutely worth checking out if you’re a fan of word games.
- Clean design
- Easy to learn, difficult to master
- It’s free
- A bit samey after a while
- Easy to win with in-app purchases
- Can’t pay to remove those ads
Summary: Word Forward is a perfectly capable smartphone word game. It’s not quite Letterpress or Scramble With Friends, but will keep you busy for a couple of hours – if nothing else.
Price: free @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.