May 4, 2012

Yet Another “Fine” “Addition” To The With Friends Family

I’ve been playing Scramble with Friends with my brother.

I’m really just kind of fucking annoyed that Zynga has the market cornered on these good asynchronous games, mostly. They work without any problems, and they play across platform so I can play on my iPad with my brother on his Android phone. I am not a huge fan of Zynga the company! Most of what they’ve done with these games has been pretty sleazy! And yet, I play their games like… all the time. Most days I will play turns in Draw Something, Words with Friends, and now this. Ugh.

Anyway, Scramble with Friends is way better than Hanging with Friends, which just never caught on with me. Maybe it is because Boggle is just a more interesting game than Hangman. It’s model to get more money is also incredibly lacking in annoyance, so that’s nice.

You play a series of 3 back and forth rounds of Boggle with a friend. The second round adds “double letter” tiles, and the third adds “triple letter” tiles. The person with the most points at the end of all three rounds wins. Each time you want to play a round, it costs you a coin. Coins regenerate over time (faster in my version I paid a buck for, apparently) so they are mostly just a mechanism to keep you from playing 5000 games of Scramble with Friends at once. Unless you want to buy coins, of course. Before you start the round, you get to pick powerups. You can take one for free, but to take a second, it costs you another coin. There is basically no reason not to do this, especially if you are only playing against one or two opponents once a day. I have never fallen below like 17 coins (I think it maxes at 19 or 20) playing this thing, and I play whenever I want with two powerups.

There are three powerups. Scramble, ironically, is completely useless. It doesn’t actually scramble the board. It just rotates it in another direction. The words you can make don’t change. They took what could have been the most useful power, and made it completely useless. Freeze just stops the timer and gives you more time, which is good if you’re a good Boggler. Inspiration will let you just reveal a word you haven’t spelled on the board three times. This is where the money is. Most of the time, it’ll show you a word that you can also make plural, doubling your points. Since you can take two Inspirations, that’s six words, and that’s a huge point boost, as most of the time (not always) it’s showing you the big words, because you’ve already caught all the little ones. I always bring two Inspirations. It would just be stupid not to.

Anyway, I dunno, it’s boggle. It’s fun. There is nothing wrong with it, and again, the “get money” model does not hit or annoy casual players AT ALL, which is nice. Play it, I guess? Or don’t and continue to take a stand against Zynga. I can’t blame you for that one.

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