Words with Friends

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Words with Friends
Words With Friends Logo.jpg
Developer(s) Zynga
Platform(s) Android, iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), Facebook, Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, Windows Phone
Release date(s) 2009
Genre(s) Word game
Mode(s) Two-player

Words with Friends is a multi-player word game developed by Zynga with Friends (formerly Newtoy, Inc.). Players can take turns building words crossword-puzzle style with an opponent in a manner similar to the classic board game Scrabble (the rules of the two games are similar, but Words with Friends is not officially associated with the Scrabble brand). Up to 20 games can be played simultaneously using push notifications to alert players when it is their turn.[1] Players may look up friends either by username or through Facebook, or be randomly assigned an opponent.

Released July 2009, Words with Friends is available for cross-platform play on devices running the operating systems Android, Windows Phone, and iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch).[2] The game is also available on Facebook,[3] Kindle Fire,[4] and Nook Tablet.[5] In addition, there is a chat feature built in the game that allows opponents to exchange messages. Words with Friends is one of the top ranking games in the iOS app store, available as both a free ad-supported version and a paid version with no advertisements.[6]

Gameplay[edit]

An iPhone Words with Friends Game in progress. The player has just played FIE, also forming the word QI, for a score of 17 points.
Words with Friends letter distribution and letter's points[7]
(Quantities across, point values down)
 
points ×1 ×2 ×3 ×4 ×5 ×6 ×7 ×8 ×9 ×13
Zero .Blanks
1 S R T I O A E
2 L U D N
3 Y G H
4 M P B W C F
5 K V
8 X
10 J Q Z

The rules of the game are mostly the same as those of two-player Scrabble, with a few differences such as the arrangement of bonus tiles and some of the letters' point values. Players are given seven randomly chosen letter tiles, which are replenished until all 104 tiles have been used. Players take turns forming words on the board or, instead of playing a word, may also choose to swap tiles with the pool of currently unused tiles or pass their turn. Players can form words either vertically or horizontally on the board. The player's aim is to score as many points as possible.

Scores will be doubled if a word is placed on the DW space. The word will have a triple value if it is placed on the TW space. 35 Bonus points are awarded to players who use all 7 tiles in a single turn.

The game ends when a player plays every tile in their rack, and there are no remaining tiles to draw. The game also ends if three scoreless moves (i.e. passes or tile exchanges) are played in succession, unless the score is zero-zero.[8] After playing the last tile, the opposing player will lose all the points equal to the amount of the remaining tiles. This number of points will be awarded to the player who played the last tile. At the end of the game the player with the highest score wins.

Players are able to re-arrange the tiles on their rack, and can shuffle them randomly either via a button or (on compatible devices) by shaking the device. Games may be resigned, and there are two extra features, the "tile pile" and "word-o-meter", accessible for a premium.

Words with Friends accepts 173,000 words in the game. The word list used by the game is the Enhanced North American Benchmark Lexicon (ENABLE), with some additions from the developers.[8]

Random opponent and chat features[edit]

Since the game’s launch, the random opponent and chat features of the game have led to a number of romantic relationships. In 2009, Megan Lawless, of Chicago, began a game with a random opponent, Jasper Jasperse, who lived in the Netherlands. The two got to know one another via the game’s chat function and married in July 2011.[9][10]

Other couples who met via the game’s random opponent feature include Trish and David Palmer of Dacula, Georgia, who married in November 2011, and Stephen Monahan and Britney Hilbun of Texas, who became engaged to marry in December 2011.[11]

In late 2011, it was reported that one of the game’s American players was communicating via the game’s chat function about her Australian opponent’s husband’s medical symptoms. The player relayed the symptoms to her doctor husband, who recommended an immediate hospital visit. The opponent’s husband found he had a 99% blockage close to his heart. On a 2012 episode of the American TV show, The Doctors, the couples were introduced to each other for the first time.[12][13]

The board game[edit]

In 2012, Zynga, in conjunction with Hasbro, released several physical board game versions of Words with Friends under the "Hasbro Gaming" imprint. These include a standard version, a "Luxe" edition with rotating fitted tile gameboard (similar to the deluxe editions of Scrabble) and a "To Go" travel edition.

This is one of several games in the Zynga game library to be released as physical board game versions. Others include Draw Something, a CityVille edition of Monopoly and several kids' games based on FarmVille.[14]

Similar games[edit]

Other games similar, include Math With Your Friends, a math version, Five-O, a numbers game for iOS,[15] GoSum (an arithmetic game) for iOS,[16] Letterpress for iOS,[17] Alphajax for Windows Phone,[18] Word Derby for iOS,[19] Spellathon, Yushino, also a numbers game for iOS.[20] and Word Frenzy, Word Mix, Word Feud,7 Little Words, and Chiktionary.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jason Kincaid, A Look Behind The ‘Words with Friends’ iPhone Gaming Phenomenon, TechCrunch, 10 June 2010.
  2. ^ "Words with Friends - Official Website". Zynga. 
  3. ^ Don Reisinger, Zynga brings Words with Friends to Facebook, CNET, 5 August 2011.
  4. ^ Andrei Dumitrescu (10 November 2011). "Kindle Fire Will Get Jenga, Plants vs. Zombies, Peggle, Cut the Rope". Softpedia. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Stan Schroeder (23 December 2011). "Words with Friends Arrives on Nook Tablets, Twitter Coming Soon". Mashable. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Leena Rao, Zynga Brings Newtoy’s Crossword Game ‘Words with Friends’ to Android Phones, TechCrunch, 2 February 2011.
  7. ^ "word-grabber.com - The Word game Community". Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Words with Friends Rulebook". Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  9. ^ Phyllis Korkki, Word Games Anytime, No Travel Tiles Required, New York Times, 21 February 2011.
  10. ^ Garvey, Georgia (January 4, 2012). "Words With Friends leads to two little words: I do". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  11. ^ Shayndi Raice and Geoffrey A. Fowler, In This Online Word Game, the Winning Spell Is Love, The Wall Street Journal, 14 February 2012.
  12. ^ Melissa Knowles, Missouri Couple Uses ‘Words with Friends’ to Save Man’s Life in Australia, Yahoo! News, 13 January 2012.
  13. ^ Words with Friends: Could It Save Your Life?, The Doctors, 1 February 2012.
  14. ^ Zynga games page of HasbroToyShop.com. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  15. ^ "Five O". CodeVandal. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  16. ^ Leanna Lofte (August 9, 2012). "GoSum for iPhone and iPad review". iMore. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  17. ^ Mary Godfrey (December 22, 2012). "App of the Week: Letterpress Word Game". Technology Review. ABC News. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  18. ^ Dru Ashe (December 24, 2012). "Microsoft Releases its First iOS Game With Xbox Live Achievements". Complex Tech. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  19. ^ David Wolinsky (December 6, 2012). "'Word Derby' Review - Makes Daddy’s Gambling Problem Downright Kid-Friendly". Touch Arcade. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Yushino, the CrossWord game with numbers". Yushino. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 

External links[edit]