99Games, the products arm of Udipi (Karnataka) based app development company, Robosoft , has launched the Android version of its iOS game, WordsWorth. Although, the game was soft launched on Android some time back, the version only offered single player game-play. The game is available now on the Google Play, NOOK Store and Amazon Store. While the Google Play version is available free of charge, it’s priced at $1.99 on the Nook and Amazon app stores.
99Games claims to have over 100,000 DAUs (daily Active Users) on iOS, across the globe and says that the game has received positive reviews since its launch in 2008.
Gameplay & Features: The game is essentially a simple boardgame where players get a set of letters arranged in a honeycomb, which they need to connect in order to form words. Similar to scrabble, they get different points depending on the complexity of the words, however, unlike scrabble, the letters here don’t carry pre-defined points, and the same is decided by the game algorithm.
The complexity level can be altered as per the convenience of the player, in the single player mode. Players can choose between classic, timed and tumble modes, in addition to selecting the minimum word size, size of the grid and number of shuffles for the letters in the honeycomb. While the classic is a simple play at leisure mode, the timed mode as the name implies expects players to finish the game within fixed time. The tumble mode is more dynamic, starting with lesser number of letters which gradullay increase and have to be dealt with before the honeycomb gets filled up.
There’s also a quest button which unlocks quests like making a 5 letter word, in return of special tiles. Since the game now features a multiplayer mode, players can compete with friends, including Facebook friends, or with other registered 99games users, in addition to playing with random players. They can also chat with other players if they select the ‘play with friends’ mode. Chat is not available when playing against random players. We tried the random player mode and found that the other player did not take his turn, so we ended up with an abandoned game.
After registering and logging in through a 99games ID, iusers can search for other players by user name, and challenge players who’re part of certain clubs based on their vocab power. The game also features a WordList, integrated with Wikipedia, enabling players to check out the meaning of the words that they spell out. Players can share scores and unlock achievements via integration with OpenFeint, the social gaming platform.
Our Take: We tried playing the game on a 7 inch Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) tablet. The game ran smoothly most of the times, and looks good on Android tablets. It’s ad supported and at times, we felt that the ads were hiding some user interface elements. Also, the content of the text ads, makes it a little unsafe for kids. For example, most ads that we encountered were advertising Beach Models at Rs 5. We’ve not tried the iOS version, and don’t know if that supports push notifications,
but we’d suggest 99Games to ad notifications to remind players to take their turn, if they’ve switched to another app. Update: 99Games informs us that both Android and iOS versions of the game support push notifications. Overall, the game is simple yet engaging.