Scramble With Friends: Words with Friends’ Addictive Brother

It seems as if word games and iOS come hand in hand. As with all types of applications, there are several different word games out in the App Store. However, there are only a few that stand out from the rest of them.

This is where Scramble with Friends comes into the picture. The ever-so-popular ‘With Friends” series of games has just expanded with this new release, Boggle’s iOS counterpart. It’s yet another stellar iOS application from Zynga, but what makes it so great? Read more about it after the break.

How To Play

As mentioned before, Scramble with Friends is essentially Boggle for iOS. The goal of the game is to create words by swiping to link adjacent letters together. You are to complete as many words as possible in a two-minute time frame in order to rake in a larger score than your friends.

Pick who you want to play, then swipe away

Pick who you want to play, then swipe away

Scoring is calculated on two levels — by point value of the letters and by the length of the word. Letter scoring is similar to that of Words with Friends or Scrabble, meaning that commonly used letters, like the letter “E” would be worth 1 point, whereas letters like “Z” would be worth 10 points. Moreover, scoring is based on the length of the word. Two-letter words are only worth one point, but seven-letter words are worth the sum of the point values of the letters as well as a bonus for the length of the word.

The Gameplay

Scramble with Friends allows you to play with all of your friends across all social networks. Facebook is already integrated into the game, so initiating a game with one of your friends is just a few taps away. You can also invite your Twitter followers in the click of a button by tweeting out your Zynga username.

Each game consists of three different rounds. The scores from each of the rounds are totaled at the end, and whoever has the higher score wins the game. To add twists to the game, Zynga added double word score and double letter score tiles to the second round, and triple word and triple letter tiles to the third round of the game.

The second and third rounds of each match introduce new tiles that can raise your score.

The second and third rounds of each match introduce new tiles that can raise your score.

Gameplay is really fast-paced, which allows you to play several friends in one sitting. Each round is unique and will make you to come up with many new words on the spot. At the end of each round, a list of all the possible words is displayed in order of point value, so you can see how your words stack up to the possibilities. Round scores are also only displayed after each player completes the round, so you are able to see how you stack up against your friends.

Of course, gameplay is very addictive and you will find yourself checking back into the game often. Scores from previous games are kept so you can see how much you have improved over time.

The Power-ups

To add more oomph to the game, Zynga included three different power-ups to use while playing against your friends. Each round, one power-up is available for free, and you are able to add another for the cost of one token.

Zynga included three power-ups to help you out (left); the 'Freeze' power-up in action (right)

Zynga included three power-ups to help you out (left); the 'Freeze' power-up in action (right)

 

The power-ups are Freeze, Inspiration and Scramble. Freeze is pretty self-explanatory — it freezes the game which gives you a little extra time, and is the power-up I turn to the most. Inspiration draws out paths to new words if you get stuck or need some extra points. Finally, Scramble rotates the board so you can find new words or access higher value tiles, and the newest update makes it add a little bit of time to the clock each time you scramble the board.

Yet Another Freemium Game

Yes, this game is another one of those freemium games, meaning you will have to pay a little bit of money to bring the game to its full potential. For one, the free version of this game does throw quite a bit of ads your way — ads are displayed after every round of playing. This is not a big deal to some, but you will have to fork out a dollar or two to get rid of them for good.

One token is restored every 10 minutes, but you can buy token packs if need be

One token is restored every 10 minutes, but you can buy token packs if need be

Also, this game runs on a token system. Fifteen tokens are provided, and you need to fork one over every time you play a round, as well as one additional token if you choose to use extra power-ups. The supply of tokens does refresh itself, gaining one new token every ten minutes until you hit the cap of fifteen tokens.

However, if you are a heavy user of this application, you may find that fifteen tokens just isn’t enough. Token packs are available through in-app purchases, and will cost you $0.99 for a 16-pack, $1.99 for a 33-pack, $4.99 for a pack of 85 tokens, $9.99 for 175 tokens, and $24.99 for 500 tokens. Most people will not find the need for these extra token packs, but they are there if need be.

The Verdict

Overall, Scramble with Friends is a really awesome and addictive game for iPhone. The game is pretty simple and allows you to play with your friends at any time and at any pace. Each round brings a unique gameplay experience, and power-ups add interesting twists to the game. Unfortunately, play time is limited unless you are willing to fork over a couple bucks.

Nevertheless, Scramble with Friends is an app I’d definitely recommend checking out, as it is definitely an app that will provide you with hours of entertainment.


Summary

A highly addictive Boggle experience for iPhone, but the game's full potential will only come with forking over a few bucks.

7
  • another user name

    Well, this will effictively my reading of this blog! I wrote to you about a month or so ago back when Zynga started their rip off campaign with Scramble. Back then they were charging 2.99 for the rip off token app. Now your praising it and not even mentioning the biggest most dishonest part!

    THEY DO NOT MENTION THE PAID VERSION OF THIS APP STILL REQUIRES TOKENS TO CONTINUE TO PLAY! Thats right folks, .99 or 2.99 you still gotta pay to play! Isn’t that just fair? Here we have an app that requires less dev creation and support than GTA 3 or even Angry Birds, and yet you will pay for as long as you want to play the app!

    Just explain to me how this is fair, and explain to me why they conveniently leave this out of the app description. Seems to me if more people knew they would have way less downloads and may even be pressed to actually change things.

    Man if only there were blogs out there that gave unbiased HONEST opinions that tried to help out consumers instead of leading them into corporate rat traps that continue to steal their money!

    So Long!

  • Nick Cornaglia

    I dont understand. I’ve been playing the free version for weeks with no need to buy tokens.

  • Zhai

    See I would love to be able to play this and so many other people I know as well… only one problem…

    They haven’t put it in the Australian store. And form I have seen of their twitter feed lots of people have been complaining but 9inculding myself) they haven’t replied to anyone or made an effort to put it in the store….

  • http://www.parenaxeis.gr/ prosfores

    i have played this game it is nice but i will not pay for tokens

  • http://sethrattan.com Seth Rattan

    I don’t mind the tokens at all. If anything, they prevent me from playing too much. Never going to by any tokens and there’s absolutely no reason to pay for the ad-free version, whether or not paid-users are still charged to buy more tokens.

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  • Martha

    Great game and very fun. Well worth a fee dollars for so much enjoyment! Much less expensive than a trip to the movies and absolutely as enjoyable. If I were going to complain I would complain about the 15.00 for popcorn and a drink.

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  • Lars

    I don’t mind having to pay tokens. It is expensive to develop these games that are so fun and look so cool, so I don’t expect to be able to play them for free forever.

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  • betsgets

    I’m not receiving responses all of a sudden. How to correct?

  • betsgets

    Am I paying actual money for tokens I’m using on the free version?

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