If you have been anywhere near somebody with a smartphone in the past year or so, chances are you’ve heard of this little game called Words With Friends. Even if you have somehow managed to avoid contact with that game, it’s almost assured that you are familiar with Boggle, the family fun and friendly (well, depending on the words….) word finding game. We don’t always have time during the day to devote to playing games, unfortunately, which means that the people that we are playing against in games like Words With Friends get tired of waiting for our turn to go. Wouldn’t it be better just to play a game like that against the entire world? That’s exactly the tact that Word Hero, from SVEN Studios, takes.
After you have installed Word Hero, the first thing you get to do is set up a new account. Put in what username you would like to use, along with an email address, and you’re good to go. To say it’s simple to get in to Word Hero would be something of a massive understatement. SVEN Studios has set the entry bar pretty low – you don’t need to log in via a facebook or twitter account – so there shouldn’t be too much of an excuse for not giving this little game a shot.
Once you’ve got your account ready to go, the main screen will appear. From here, you can check at the bottom of the screen to see how much time remains in the current game and decide whether or not you’d like to jump in. Actually entering a new game is easy as well, just swipe across the red “START” blocks and get ready to start finding words.
The basic mechanics of Word Hero are exactly like all the other myriad of Boggle games that you’ve come across before. Find words by stringing letters together, either up, down, left, right, or any of the diagonal directions. You just can’t use the same letter twice in one word. Once nice change that Word Hero does bring to the table, though, is that you can get bonus points for utilizing every letter on the game board. You can get even more bonus points for using each letter twice. How do you know how many times you’ve used a letter? Good question – the first usage of a letter is indicated by a green dot on the bottom right of each block and the second use adds a yellow dot. It’s easy to see at a quick glance what letters you’ve yet to form words with.
Each round runs for two and a half minutes, with a short intermission between rounds to give you time to look over the plethora of statistics that are kept – including worldwide leaderboards. You can tell how much time is left in the round by taking a quick glance at the upper right of the screen. On the other side of the screen, in the upper left, you can see how many words can be found in the current puzzle along with how many words you’ve actually found thus far. Entering new words is simple, just drag your finger along the letters in the game board. It can be a little more difficult to hit a few of the diagonals, or at least it has been for me, though your mileage may vary. If the word is good and hasn’t been tried yet the letters will flash green. If the word is a duplicate they’ll flash yellow and finally if the word isn’t really a word at all it’ll flash red. Each letter has its own point value, and of course longer words are more valuable than those shorter words. One thing I have noticed is that two letter words are not accepted by Word Hero, while I do believe some other games of this nature will accept them. I suppose it’s one of the house rules.
Once the round is over, as stated above you can see how well you did versus everybody else that played that round as well. You can also peruse the list of words that could have been in that board as well as see how they could have been constructed, by tapping on the word. The leaderboard includes hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and total points. You can see the user name, how many words and points they’ve scored, as well as what country they are from.
There are a few options available from the main game screen, including disabling the guess checker, enabling game sounds, setting a time server and changing the colors around. SVEN Studios also provides a nifty share button so you can tell your friends about Word Hero and get them involved as well.
If you think that you’ve got an excellent vocabulary and would like to put it to the test, or if you’ve just got a fondness for word games, then Word Hero is a wonderful way to flex those muscles. It’s one of those games that you can’t beat the price for, so there is really nothing to lose to at least try it out.
Word Hero is available for free on the Google Play store