Posts Tagged ‘Word Crack’

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Scrabble started my addiction. Scrabble is a gateway to word games. When I was 8 my family was given a deluxe edition of Scrabble. The board had a plastic shell that you could fit each piece into. It was also on a lazy susan. My Brother was really into monopoly, Risk and Stratego. I couldn’t win at those games against him. When I did win it was always a scene. When we would play Scrabble as a family or with friends even if I lost it was a social happy time. I was also really good at Scrabble. Word games were something I felt good at, even when I lost.

Fast forward: the Smart Phone

“What do you mean I can download crossword puzzles on here?! Shut the front door!”

The first I had that could download game was not a Samsung. It was some weird phone with a keyboard that could pull out. It wasn’t a flip phone, it was more advanced. (Read that and think about Invader Zim.) I didn’t want to run up our bill so for a long time I just played games on Facebook through my phone. This was when touch screen phones still needed major work. So that was… three years ago.

Now I have a super fancy phone and a notch on my left pinky from holding it up.

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There are a bunch of great word games out there but the one that keeps me coming back is Word Crack. This game is appropriately named. I play it everywhere; bus, bathroom, train, practice, dinner, before bed, in bed, while waiting for Pathfinder to start, standing on the corner, hang out with my parents, etc. You get the picture. I’ve become the person constantly on the phone. I’m not doing anything interesting to others, just paying Word Crack.

I have adapted so much I can have conversations while playing several rounds.

Word Crack is electronic Boggle. You have two-minute to spell as many words as possible. There are three rounds for each player. Then the score is totaled from the three rounds. The winners get 3 coins. The game matches you with a random opponent or a friend. You get to choose which option you want. If you play against someone and you enjoyed it, you can invite them to another game. I’ve had some serial games with other players.

There is strategy though. There are power ups you can choose before your match starts. By playing you earn coins so they do come back after a while. They let you but power ups to get an advantage. You can choose three at the start, if you have enough coin.

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Fire gives you double points for 30 seconds. Wisdom gives you the path for words that can be made. Freeze stops the clock for a 15 seconds. Time Boost adds more time by chosing a random letter. If you use that letter it adds time to the clock. The power lasts 30 seconds. Whisper tells you a word but doesn’t show you where it is on the board. I almost always use FIRE. I find fire is the most useful for me right at the start. You have to activate it yourself at any time during the round. If you don’t use it, you lose your power up.

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I’ve spelled some weird words. The longest word I’ve spelled is “Arriviste.” My best game score 1995. You can see all that information in your profile.

When I first started playing  I was methodical. I would try different ways of just randomly swiping across the board to spell words. This was ineffectual. Eventually I figured out if I ignore the clock and turn the sound off, 2 minutes feels like forever. I do my best when I don’t care how much time I have left.

Remember back in school how they taught you to spell? I you find “…at” you can spell a host of words around like, tat, cat, hat, rat, mat, matte, late, lat, ate, eat, eta, etc…

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Another cool feature is they have different languages and versions. If you are bilingual, try one of the other languages like Spanish or French. Sometimes late at night random opponents become far and few between so I switch to the British English. That’s always weird because they have a lot of slang in there that I’ve discovered.

Also, if you’re having trouble look at the words your opponent spelled or change the orientation of the board. Sometimes just turning the letters a different way helps.

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Be careful though. This game can be very addictive. It will consume your life. You can find yourself buying coins and everything goes down hill from there.

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wpid-screenshot_2015-07-18-10-12-16.pngNever before have I wanted, of my own free will, to do in-game purchases.  Yeah, you heard me right.

Alphabear is a cellphone game that is based on a boggle style game mechanic. You are given letters and you get points for spelling different words. They have added some Scrabble-esque features like point values per letter, but made it their own. They have also added a power up/ RPG style feature where your party of bears grow and gain more bonuses from experience points.

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The mechanics they have added make the game really fun and challenging. Over time the point value of an unused letter diminishes until the tile turns to stone. Stone letters impede you’re progress. In each chapter there are bear characters that you can collect to help you through levels. They each have unique powers. Some give you end score bonuses for specific letters or word length. Other bears help you with timed puzzles or keep letters from turning to stone for longer time. The more you play, the stronger your chosen bears get. They earn levels and their score bonus will increase and make it easier to make either goal.

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Every day there is a big puzzle and a basic puzzle. The basic puzzle is usually timed. After you beat the two puzzles there are boss puzzles to progress from chapter to chapter. Two days after I started playing they added a feature that allows you to move from chapter to chapter. I’m so happy!

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One of the cuter aspects is the bears grown on-screen as you play, moving the board along to reveal different letters. You spell a word and they grow out of the one of the letters. As you use the letters around them, they grow bigger, longer and wider. At the end of a puzzle, a bear uses some of the words you spelled to fill in a mad libs style saying. You can share these to social media or just move on. I love them. I will sometimes use the remix button on the bottom left to find one that is really funny and post it to my Facebook.

Remember the in-game purchases I mentioned? There are two kinds honey and coins. Honey allow you to play the different daily puzzles. Coins buy you into the treasure events. The honey regenerates over time. Coins you gain by playing puzzles. You can unlock endless honey for $4.99. You can not get endless coins but you can purchase coins if you are having trouble earning them through the game. You can use money, honey or watching a video to earn more. Buying the endless honey is the same as just purchasing this well made and adorable game. Honestly, you can make as much coin as you want if you have endless honey. If you’re being impatient though, or you need coin fast they have given you the choice.

How do you win?  They give you two goals at the start of a level. Using the letter value, bears score multipliers and BIG WORDS you try to make one of the two goals. At the end of a game the bears that grew on your board add to the final score.

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The final score is a combination of all the points. You gain coins from playing each level. It can be as little as 5 or as much as 50 from what I’ve seen. As a bonus they take a few of your words, thrown then in a mad libs style generator and create a hilarious photo you can upload to social media.

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Spry Fox is the company behind this adorable game. I found out it’s only been available for two weeks. Their other games include Triple Town and Road Not Taken. All their games feature the signature art style of blocky bears. There is an older word game called Panda Poet which is more like Word Crack or Words With Friends, than Alphabears. Panda Poet you play against a computer or an online opponent. They have three days to spell a word. Triple Town you are building a town and have to protect it from the bears. Road Not Taken is a completely different style of game. It’s an adventure game where you rescue children lost in the woods. They still have bears though and foxes!

They go to PAX every year. I’m really surprised I’ve never run into their games before now. I’m going to keep my eyes open from now on. They have a cool looking dragon game called Free Range Dragons that they showed off at PAX. They used their testers at the con to improve the game on the fly too. That’s an innovative use of a focus group that doesn’t know they are a focus group!

I recommend this game. I NEED ALL THE BEARS!