Review Date: October 7, 2010
Publisher: Merriam Webster
Genre: Word Game
Any new word game coming out will have to deal with the inevitable comparisons to Scrabble, arguably the most popular game in that genre. And Writer's Blox doesn't shy away from that comparison. In fact, it seems to invite it. But there are enough new twists and additions to make it feel like a much different game, and one that's ideally suited to the Facebook platform. Unfortunately, a severe lack of content and social features hamper what is an otherwise excellent experience.
Make A Word, Any Word
At first glance, the game is nearly identical to Scrabble. You have a series of tiles with letters on them, and a board on which to place them. The idea is to make words from the letters on them in order to rack up points. But there are a few key differences. First of all, you're not actually playing against another person, so you have the entire board to create your own words. Going along with this, no move is set in stone. So if you put down some tiles but then realize you can make a better word, there's nothing stopping you from doing that. This gives the game a very unique pace, as you can essentially spend all day trying to get as high of a score as possible from the available letters at your disposal.
To make things a tad more challenging, some of the letters are joined together in Tetris-like blocks, instead of simple solitary tiles with just one letter. The other major difference from Scrabble is that in Writer's Blox, you don't have to have every word joined together, which does make things easier.
Can I Have Some More? Puzzles, That Is
But while the game is a lot of fun and perfect for playing in numerous quick spurts throughout the day, there really isn't a lot of content. You only get one puzzle each day, and even though you can solve it multiple times, having a few others to play through as well would be much better. In addition to the daily puzzles there are what's called big blox puzzles, however these need to be purchased using Facebook credits.
Writer's Blox also has rather anemic social integration. There's a leaderboard that lets you compare your high score for the day with those of friends and other players worldwide, but that's the extent of the social features. There's no form of asynchronous multiplayer or anything like that, just a simple leaderboard. And while it's nice that the game tells you how well you're faring by saying what percentage of other players you're beating, it still feels very lonely. And that's not what you want in a Facebook game.
The Bottom Line
Writer's Blox is an excellent word game, and a unique take on the Scrabble formula. The new rules and features make it a great fit for a social platform like Facebook. It's just too bad that there's so little content, and that the actual social features are so lacking. Otherwise, this game has the potential to be one of the best on the platform.