reviews\ Nov 11, 2009 at 7:00 pm



There has always been the appeal of word style games since the invention of the board game. Heck, it probably started way before that in some cave with two people making words on a wall with charcoal. With the invention of mobile gaming, those of us who enjoy a word game on the go could do much worse.

Word SPIN, available on the iPhone or iPod touch is not quite what you may think. In the game, you are tasked with taking a number of spinning wheels numbering three to eight and lining up as many words as possible then locking the wheels. Once the wheels have been locked, you can spin the whole machination and find the words that line up. I found it best to make a word with the independently spinning wheels worth as many points as possible, locking the whole thing down and then hoping my luck would provide many smaller words to help boost my score.

Much like the board game Scrabble, each letter is worth a different amount of points, vowels are worth nothing. The idea is to rack up as high a score as possible over several rounds of play. Now the thing about this title is that there is some pretty liberal use of words here. Nothing dirty mind you, but many of them are two letter words and some are some words I have never heard of. You know this because at the end of the round the game gives you a list of potentially missed words and what their value would have been.

So you find a word in your giant letter tube looking thing and then you rotate it to the middle of the screen and tap the letters in order from left to right. By double tapping the last letter of the word the score comes up and is added to your total. However if you pick a word that is not really a word, then you lose points instead. And trust me when I say that there is an eclectic collection of words available in this title. I have never heard of the word "ee" before. And yet, its one that I apparently missed.

My other beef with Word SPIN is that when you think you are done finding all the words, you tap a small window at the top of the screen. This location is so frustrating that on more then one occasion I ended the round completely on accident causing me to get a low score. It almost would have been better if there was a "back" button for when this happens, or a window that pops in saying "are you really sure you want to end this round?" Something, anything would have been helpful.

There are three modes to play; practice, which is exactly that, you can chose how many dials you want and then get down with the spelling. The second mode is the "solitaire" mode which is just a way to play through the game's leveling system, progressively trying to beat your high score. When this is done, you can post it online and try and make the local leaderboard (or global) and score mad props from your other word junkies. Lastly there is a challenge mode where you can actually send the word puzzle to another player and go at it head to head, even if it means playing over a great deal of time where each player gets an opportunity to complete the round.

Graphically, the game is pretty solid, clean lines, easy to read letters and words, exactly what one would expect from this type of app. Control wise, the touch screen can betray you (as mentioned above) and my wife did get frustrated several times with the game's controls. The audio is simply a non-issue. The game clicks and makes noise, but it really doesn't even make a difference in the game.

Review Scoring Details for Word Spin

Gameplay: 7.0
This is a game that can frustrate you when you slip up, but for the most part gets things done.

Graphics: 6.5
For what it is, the game is fine.

Sound: 5.0
The noise the game makes is simply non-inclusive (does that make sense). I played with headphones and without headphones. It was the same experience either way.

Difficulty: Hard
If you truly want to master this game, you need to be a word wizard. I have only gotten ALL of the words in a single round a handful of times. The people on the leaderboards clearly don't miss a thing.

Concept: 7.0
For two bucks, the game is a no-brainer for those who are into word games. Good idea, can be frustrating to get really good at it.

Multiplayer: 6.5
The multiplayer in this title is way different from anything you may have done before. You could play your round, and your challenge friend may play her round tomorrow at noon.

Overall: 6.6
A decent attempt at capturing some word magic from PC users. I have certainly gotten my money's worth of the title, and then some.

Above Average

About The Author
Michael David Been gaming for a long, long time. In fact I have saved the world/universe/princess hundreds of times. I have a couple of sons and am married to a wonderful woman who puts up with my shenanigans. You can hit me on my email and if you are lucky, I may respond if I am not coaching soccer, baseball or track.
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