Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fun iPad game

I've been playing WordGell on my iPad for a week or so. Unfortunately, it seems to have disappeared from the App Store and iTunes. Bummer. But I'll tell you about it anyway.

It's like those acrostic games you see in puzzle magazines, where you have to find words on a letter grid and the words can go in any direction. In the paper game, you draw a line through the letters and try to make words with what's left. I always thought the game was dumb so I never tried it.

But WordGell adds a fascinating angle. When you drag your finger over letters to identify a word, the letters disappear, leaving blank spaces in the 12 by 12 grid. The cool thing is that when you've found all the words you can, you push a button and the grid collapses, killing the empty spaces. The grid is now smaller and the letters once again touch each other.

You can collapse the grid again and again. Each time the letters move to different locations, making new words possible. But the great thing is that you end up playing two games at once: the basic one where you find the words with your finger, and another one in your head where you watch the letters and spaces and plan helpful collapses that will enable you to make great words.

It's almost like you're playing the game with one hand while manipulating a Rubik's Cube with the other. And it's fast. You're making words really quickly. There's a timer, which I leave on four or five minutes. That isn't the briefest setting; it goes down to one minute! That would really make you move.

Not bad for a word game. The downside is that it uses a lot of battery power, which may be why it's not in the App Store at the moment. You can watch the battery level drop during a game, which is pretty weird for an iPad. Their batteries last and last.

Anyway, it's always nice to find a good word game. And by the way, this one won't let you use curse words -- and yes, by this I mean the most anti-women words. This is refreshing. Most word games I've played allow you to use any scurrilous term you choose. WordGell's classier than that.

Any other good word games out there? Chime in.