This seems to be a good time for innovative word games for us. Last week we had taken an eyeful of the quaintly named W.E.L.D.E.R., and this week we have clapped eyes upon the no less oddly named Writer Rumble for iOS (no Android avatar on the horizon, alas and alack). The main goal of the game is a familiar one – to create as many words by connecting adjacent letters from a 5×5 grid of letters, in as little time as possible. Each letter comes with a certain number of points and thus each word you make gets you a score. The higher the score the better. But ah, before you go exclaiming “oh, it’s just a Boggle clone,” we would beg you to stay and pay heed to the presentation of this relatively familiar and simple premise.
For, presentation is the key in Writer’s Rumble. The ‘Rumble’ in fact refers to the fact that you will not just be making words but also waging war with them. Every word that you make, depending on its length and rarity will inflict a blow on rapidly advancing enemies or opponents. Your task is not to beat some clock but to beat the verbal crap out of those who stand in your way. Every word you make is a weapon hurled in their direction.
If you think that’s outlandish, well, then consider the fact that you will playing this game not in the guise of a mere mortal but as one of English literature’s legends. You get to choose from Edgar (as in Allan Poe), Agatha (as in Christie), The Brothers (Grimm, remember?), Jane (Austen), Homer and Howard (Fast). And each character brings to the tablet his or her distinct set of battling skills. For instance, check Agatha’s profile “A spunky, young detective with a nose for uncovering clues and solving crimes, Agatha uses her trusty magnifying glass and sheer brainpower to thwart word slinging adversaries with tactical moves.” Similarly, Howard conjures up a “giant tentacled monster to fight his bombastic battles.” Adding a further RPG element to the whole scenario is the ability to add special abilities to each character, such as scrambling the board (which changes the grid), doubling damage and so on.
The real fun however starts when you get your character into the battle arena. You can opt to just get into a Survive With Words mode where you take on a series of enemies and keep to stay alive for as long as possible by hurling words at them. Or you can get into a tussle with a real opponent by going for the Fight With Words option, where you can play a match with a random online opponent, invite a friend to battle (you can invite contacts from Twitter and Facebook) or play against another player over Bluetooth. And as your opponent too will be in the guise of a literary figure, you can have some really engrossing battles – imagine Edgar going up against The Brothers or Homer taking on Agatha.
Gameplay is absurdly simple. You link adjacent letters to form words, and keep hurling them at advancing adversaries and enemies. You cannot repeat words so the going can get tough sometimes as you make word after word, and the ability to scramble the board is a massive plus. It is all compelling stuff and can go on and on depending on your vocabulary. We love the presentation, we love the whole idea of dueling with words (so reminiscent of dueling with insults in the legendary Monkey Island game series), and heck, we even love the graphics, animations and the peppy music.
Writer Rumble is pretty much a must-download for all those who love word games, nurture ambitions of being famous authors and nurse a secret violent streak (don’t we all?!). Ah, we always knew the pen was mightier than the sword. Well worth 99 cents, we think. Our tip – if possible, play it on the iPad. The bigger screen is better for making words!
Download from: iTunes ($0.99)