Monday, November 16, 2009

Word Spin Review - iPhone / iPod Touch

Originality is overrated. When you've got something great, don't toss the idea aside and start anew; milk that novelty for all it's worth! Geospace decided to go the extra mile with the success of their popular word game Word Spin, team up with RogueSheep and create an application. Yes, the original handheld game was designed with portability in mind, but nothing is as portable as when it can be carried on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

The game comes with three playing options: practice, solitaire and challenge. Practice gives you the chance to hone your skills before playing solo in solitaire mode or against a particular opponent in the challenge realm. The application works just like the handheld game; you shuffle your wheels, lock the formation and proceed to identify the words. There's six rounds the first of which utilizes three wheels. Each subsequent round adds one wheel. You get the opportunity to re-shuffle the wheels in between each round.

In order to register found words, you must click on each letter from left to right and double tap the final letter. Each letter has a particular point value, which is denoted next to the letter. Vowels are worth zero points. If you create a word using all of the wheel, you earn double the word’s point value. The game uses a built-in SOWPODS dictionary, which can be fairly frustrating. Unless you're familiar with the word bank, you'll never detect obscure words like "oe" and "aa." You could resort to guessing, but then you run the risk of entering an incorrect word and having points deducted from your score.

If you enjoy word games, Word Spin is an excellent buy. Why even think of buying the handheld version for $12.99 when you can get the virtual edition for just $1.99? They both provide the same experience and the iPhone version does the score keeping work for you. Word Spin is fun, but the fun is temperamental. The game requires patience. The longer I played, the more my patience thinned. Lack of longevity isn't a killer in Word Spin's case. It's addicting. Not addicting in that you can't put it down once you've begun playing, but addicting in that after you've had enough for now, the urge to play will creep up later.

Graphics/Presentation: B
Controls: A-
Fun: B
Value: B+
Overall Grade: B+
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