Woffo iPhone game lacks a sense of urgency

Dec 6, 2010
Games

Woffo is a rather plain word game reminiscent of Boggle without all of the shaking. Players place tiles, one by one, on a board, attempting to make as many words as they can before they’ve used up all of their tiles. Words can be made vertically or horizontally, and players are allowed to discard a […]

Woffo is a rather plain word game reminiscent of Boggle without all of the shaking. Players place tiles, one by one, on a board, attempting to make as many words as they can before they’ve used up all of their tiles. Words can be made vertically or horizontally, and players are allowed to discard a small number of letters they’d prefer not to use.

Again, this isn’t the Halo of word-construction games. It has a simple concept that seems like an amalgamation of a few classic word games, with the added wrinkle of a few wild-card tiles that provide players with the ability to flip one of their rows, erase a row, or place any letter they want on the board, among other things.

One thing Woffo does not have going for it is a sense of urgency. In many word-game apps, the player is under a strict time limit, whereas, in Woffo, players are only limited by how many letters they have yet to use. That’s a bad tradeoff, and while it might inspire players to really concentrate on putting forth the best word possible, the game board is such a mess of random letters, even halfway through a game, that the lack of a time element makes the game feel slow, cluttered and a bit boring.

Another issue that hurts Woffo is its lack of any sort of a real scoreboard. Although players can see their best score on each of the game’s three difficulty levels, they can’t see any other scores. While it’s nice to know what the score to beat is, it would at least make the game more interesting for novice players if they had intermediate scores to shoot for. To be fair, the game does have a full global scoreboard, but there’s no reason that something similar couldn’t be added for local scores.

Woffo gets some points for being a unique play on word-game apps, even if playing it isn’t the most exhilarating. True wordphiles might delight at trying to score one of the games “Woffos,” that is, to make four words on the board at once, but there isn’t enough here to recommend this app to anyone outside of very serious word-app players.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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