Words with Friends

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Words with Friends
Developer(s) Zynga
Platform(s) Android, iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), Facebook, Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, Windows Phone, Windows
Release August 2009
Genre(s) Word game
Mode(s) Multiplayer video game, Multiplayer online game

Words with Friends is a multi-player word game made by Zynga. Players take turns to place words like crosswords on a board, like in Scrabble. Up to 30 games can be played at the same time. Notifications are used to tell users when it is their turn.[1] Players can find friends by their username, or by Facebook. They can also be randomly given an opponent using “Smart Match”.

The game was released in July 2009. It can be played across the operating systems operating systems Android, Windows Phone and iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch).[2]  It can also be played on Facebook,[3] Kindle Fire,[4] and Nook Tablet.[5] In the game is a chat feature, which allows opponents to send messages to each other. From 2010 to 2011 Words with Friends was one of the top games in the iOS app store. It can be played as a free version with advertisements, or a paid version without ads.[6][7]

Gameplay[change | change source]

Words with Friends: number of letters in tile bag, and points per letter[8]
(Amounts across, points 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 B C F M P W
5 K V
8 X
10 J Q Z

The rules of the game are like Scrabble. Some features are different, such as where bonus tiles are, and the points scored by some letters. Players have 7 randomly picked tiles. These tiles are filled whenever some are played on the board, until all 104 tiles have been used. Players take turns to put words on the board. If they do not play a word, they can swap tiles with ones not yet used, or pass their turn. Words can be placed up and down, or left and right. Players want to score as many points as they can.

DW tiles double the score of a word. TW tiles triple the score of a word. DL tiles double the score of one letter. TL tiles triple the score of one letter. When all 7 tiles are used in one move, 35 bonus points are scored.

The game ends when a player has no more tiles, and there are no more tiles in the bag. Also, if 3 moves that score 0 points are played one after the other, the game ends. This does not happen if both players have 0 points.[9] After the last tile is played, the other player will lose points for the total score of their tiles. These points are given to the person who played the final move. The player with the highest score wins.

Players can move their tiles around. They can also reorder them by pressing a button, or shaking the device. Players can quit games if they want to. The game has two more features, “tile bag” and “word-o-meter”, both can be used for free. 

173,000 words can be played. The list of words used is based on the Enhanced North American Benchmark Lexicon (ENABLE). Zynga added some words to it, such as "QI" and "ZEN".[9]

Origin[change | change source]

The game was made by Shawn Lohstroh for brothers Paul and David Bettner. They were the owners of Newtoy Inc. at the time.[source?]

Board game[change | change source]

In 2012, Zynga made many physical board games of Words with Friends with Hasbro. There is a normal version, a “Luxe” version with a board that turns, and a “To Go” travel version.

Zynga has made other board games, such as Draw Something, a CityVille version of Monopoly, and many kids' games like FarmVille.[10]

Similar games[change | change source]

Similar games include a math version Math With Your Friends, a numbers game Five-O for iOS,[11] an arithmetic game GoSum for iOS,[12] Letterpress for iOS,[13] Alphajax for Windows Phone,[14] Word Derby for iOS,[15] Spellathon, another numbers game Yushino for iOS,[16] Word Frenzy, Word Mix, Wordfeud, 7 Little Words, and Chiktionary.

References[change | change source]

  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. "Advertisement Issues". zyngawithfriends.com. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  8. "word-grabber.com - The Word game Community". Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Words with Friends Rulebook". Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  10. Zynga games page of HasbroToyShop.com.
  11. "Five O". CodeVandal. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  12. Leanna Lofte (9 August 2012). "GoSum for iPhone and iPad review". iMore. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  13. Mary Godfrey (22 December 2012). "App of the Week: Letterpress Word Game". Technology Review. ABC News. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  14. Dru Ashe (24 December 2012). "Microsoft Releases its First iOS Game With Xbox Live Achievements". Complex Tech. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  15. David Wolinsky (6 December 2012). "'Word Derby' Review - Makes Daddy's Gambling Problem Downright Kid-Friendly". Touch Arcade. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  16. "Yushino, the CrossWord game with numbers". Yushino. Retrieved 9 January 2013.