If I may have a word with my friends

I’m addicted.

To Words With Friends. It’s Scrabble on steroids. It’s not new, but it’s new to me. And maybe to some of you as well. While I didn’t discover it until I had purchased an iPhone, it can also be played on Facebook. Actually, it’s beneficial to play on Facebook. Why?

Unlike traditional Scrabble, you don’t lose a turn for playing nonexistent words. Instead, the game simply kicks the word back to you, and you try another word. With the iPhone app, if the word is acceptable, your turn goes through. But there’s an additional step in the Facebook game. If your word is accepted, you’re asked if you are ready to play that word. This let’s me confirm the word I want to use, then cancel my play to try other letter combinations off the word I now know to be permissible.

Ok, that may not have made sense. Maybe this will: This version of the game allows a lot more words than you would get away with traditionally. Q words like Qi and Qat (Qats was used against me for 99 points) are my new favorites, and I’ve been burned by the likes of Obe, Iglu, Li, and Xi. Even my spellcheck doesn’t believe most of those words exist. If the game allows it, there can be no challenge. Basically just throw your letters at the wall, and whatever sticks, plays.

The other big difference is the game board itself. There are scores more (no pun intended) bonus spaces, and it’s easily possible to have a triple letter and triple word used in the same turn. A simple five-letter word can cover two Double Word scores if played correctly. So the final scores are much higher than in the old wooden tile game.

So if you aren’t already a player, give it a try, either on your phone or on your computer, and learn the tricks for yourself.

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