Monday, June 18, 2012

WordSquared is a delightful, FREE browser-based scrabble type word game

WordSquared is a delightful, FREE browser-based scrabble type word game:
WordSquared-Screen-1
WordSquared is a great free game that is rather like the famous game, “Scrabble” but with some differences. It is a re-vamp or redux of an old and very fun game, brought into the 21st Century.
Years ago when I was very young I discovered my love of words in general and later my passion for writing specifically. Since I have always loved words, games that involve their use and possibly even learning some new ones have always been a major favorite of mine, both to pass time as well as have fun. Scrabble, that famously fun game from (I believe) the Parker Brothers game company, was always a major favorite of mine. I have many fond memories of playing it, or the smaller travel version with the nifty magnetic board and pieces, at homes of my friends, in the airport waiting for a flight to board, or even in the hospital when I was injured and bed-ridden.
The major problem with Scrabble, in this day and age of always being on the go go go, is that it’s not always convenient to carry around a board game. Even the travel edition is a bit bulky for a pocket or purse and what with all the electronic items we have like Androids and iPods there is even less room in our pockets and bags. So, it was a nice surprise to me to hear about this game called WordSquared that is a lot like Scrabble but it is played on the Internet. There are some other twists and differences too, but the heart of the game that consists of making words with tiles and trying to score points with them is the same.
WordSquared Screen 2
The biggest difference that I have noticed, besides the fact that the board and pieces are all virtual, is that WordSquared is something of an MMO or massively multiplayer online game. You’ll need to create an account first, and as with so many things on the web these days you’ll have the option to use Facebook or another social network to log in or you can just create an account that is not connected to anything else. Having choices is always nice, and WordSquared offers more than five different social networking connections. Once you have logged in you’ll be able to begin scoring points and comparing your progress to others on what they call their “Leaderboards” that contain scores from players all over the world. Since the game is all on the Internet you won’t have to download or install anything either.
WordSquared Screen 4
Many of the rules are familiar, like having to line up your tiles to make words and scoring points based on the letter values as well as their positions on the board, but there are some other interesting twists too. For one thing, the board is huge and it allows you to make waypoint marks so you can get around quickly and easily. Also, there are different ‘levels’ that you will obtain, and achievements as well. Seems like most games have achievements these days and WordSquared is no exception. Some of the other rules make it a bit more challenging, like only being able to build words off of your own words. Some people play that way on the physical board game, too, I suppose, but WordSquared holds it as a rule. Which is another great thing about it: since it is on the computer, the program contains the rules and won’t allow violations so there’s never any arguments about whether a word or action is allowed and the score tally is always guaranteed to be accurate math.
WordSquared Screen 3
Additionally, they have ‘word packs’ that will add viable words to your available dictionary, which can be purchased with ‘stars’ that you earn by scoring points and achievements, or you can even buy stars with real money if you want to but there is no requirement to do so. You can also gather list of friends to play against or with, and view their scores and learn from them. The added social aspect means that you can enjoy the great bits of the game (like bragging, for example) without leaving your house. You can play the game in your underwear, if you want, without having to worry that you are horrifying anyone else or vice versa. Of course, you can also connect with your various social networks and post your scores and achievements, which can also help get your friends to join.
The Verdict: The graphics are sharp but simple, the gameplay is at once familiar and innovative, and it doesn’t cost a dime to play. I would recommend WordSquared to anyone who enjoys Scrabble or other word games and wants to be able to play them anywhere anytime as long as they have Internet access. Until next time, my friends!
Play WordSquared here.

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