Words With Friends Will Eat The World

By Alec Meer on August 2nd, 2011 at 10:11 am.

RRLCLOG isn't a real word, silly

Facebook games struggle to make an appearance on RPS without a boo-hiss from the crowd, but this one bears a little more patience. Words With Friends – owned by but not created by FarmVille frighteners Zynga – was a quiet giant on mobile platforms, due to basically being a persistent, online, score-based, multiplayer Scrabble, geared towards play with chums’n'family. Now it’s on its way to Facebook.

Yeah, boo hiss, right? I tell you this not in order that you go play it, as such, but because it is exceedingly likely that it will prove to be huge, and like FarmVille before it, one of those games that millions of people who would not call themselves gamers are playing on their PCs: this was only announced late yesterday, and already 2 million people have ‘Liked’ it. And that’s before launch (which is given only as ‘soon’). It’s silly to ignore enormous things happening in PC gaming, even if we don’t like ‘em all that much.

Also, proving you’ve got a superior vocabulary than your friends is incredibly satisfying. My longest word is ‘the’.

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41 Comments »

  1. The Army of None says:

    The? You’ve got me beat. I was proud of my “he” play that won me a championship once.

    • Meneth says:

      At least you beat me. My longest is ‘I’.

    • westyfield says:

      Man, you guys are professionals. My longest was that awkward silence, the one that says more than an entire sentence, but nets you no points.

    • thegooseking says:

      I get my Scrabble tips from the Bible. 1 Corinthians 13:13: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity, for it doth get four and ten points in Scrabble, as compared to the lesser ten and nine of the other two respectively.”

  2. The Colonel says:

    Something about “a”

  3. Droopy The Dog says:

    So does this still count as the next big thing even though scrabulous already went massive on facebook a couple of years ago?

    • Magnetude says:

      I was a Scrabulous titan back in the day, until Hasbro called copyright and replaced it with a horribly corporate region-locked version that didn’t allow transatlantic play anymore. Fucking Hasbro.

    • thegooseking says:

      Wasn’t the issue only with the name, though? Didn’t Scrabulous just become Lexulous?

      The reason official Scrabble is region-locked is because Hasbro only owns the rights to Scrabble in the US and Canada, with Mattel owning it in the rest of the world.

      Lexulous allows play with anyone anywhere, though.

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      Ahh gotta love Registered Trademarks, killing creativity/fun since, well I don’t know really, but probably a long time.

  4. Po0py says:

    Hey, if NoPrivacyBook has to do games then a word game is the way to go.

  5. mortimasIV says:

    Something about Facebook.

  6. McDan says:

    This is kind of pointless, most people on Facebook (and the Internet in general) can’t spell properly anyway. And will probably be surprised when it doesn’t accept “lol” or “bbz”, curmudgeons that they are. So soon the only people left will be like me, people that want to show everyone else how ridiculously smart we are by beating them all at scrabble, therefore leading to no friends. So I’m not even going to start playing, I’ll view it like I viewed google+ I thought it was shit before everyone else did.

  7. reticulate says:

    This is a great little game on the iPhone, and I imagine will go gangbusters on the Book Of Face.

    Boo hiss, etc.

    • TheGameSquid says:

      You’re actually PRECISELY the second person I’ve ever seen who uses the term “gangbusters”. The second time I saw it was in a TERRIBLE translation of a Shigeru Miyamoto quote.

  8. MD says:

    RRLCLOG :-[

  9. johnpeat says:

    Word with Friends is one of the most brilliantly TITLED videogames ever. The ‘Friends’ bit is key because everyone else is just waiting for people to cheat against(*)

    Online Scrabble-like games are massively flawed because it’s just too easy to cheat (and by cheat I mean use software to automatically find the highest scoring words – perhaps even hacking directly into the game to do so!)

    Real world Scrabble counters this by
    a – not allowing dictionaries and wordfinders in the first place
    b – not automatically checking words, instead allowing players to be challenged for both validity AND meaning (if you don’t know what it means, it’s a foul even if it IS a valid word)

    None of that happens online – hence most games are either crushing defeats or effortless wins (when you meet the odd person who’s not worked-out how to cheat yet).

    (*) it’s possible your friends will cheat too – but that’s your problem…

    • johnpeat says:

      Also – there’s the issue of the words which are accepted. It’s a contentious area in all digital wordgames because there are always going to be regional variations and words which you’ve never ever heard of.

      Without cheating and looking them up, which of the following words do YOU think are not valid in International English Tournament Scrabble???

      AA
      ABSTRICT
      BAL
      FAAING
      HM
      PAHOEHOES
      RHUMBATRONS
      ZZZS

      dilav LLA er’yehT :REWSNA

    • Koozer says:

      Not to self: nxt game of scrabble, get PAHOEHOES down at al lcosts.

      EDIT: also, spell better than in this post.

    • Bureaucrat says:

      Well, any geologist will tell you that “aa” (pronounced “ah-ah”) and “pahoehoe” are perfectly cromulent words. They’re both different kinds of lava, and came into English by being absorbed from the native language of the Hawaiian islands.

    • johnpeat says:

      Bureaucrat may be right but you’re still going to call the person who plays those (or 1000s of other words you’ll never EVER have encounted) a total twunt…

      The 2/3-letter-words that Scrabble is CRAMMING in (to make it more competitive in terms of placing words alongside each other) are particularly gauling – learning these is the key to ‘real’ Scrabble but here it just makes the cheaters king (ZED, ZEDS, ZEE and ZEES really wind me up!!)

      The line between acronyms and words is blurred too – SOS, is accepted, for example, but LOL isn’t (which causes some fury!!)

    • vagabond says:

      SOS isn’t an acronym, it doesn’t stand for anything. It was just chosen because of how it’s rendered in morse code, making it easy to remember. That said, I’m not sure that necessarily makes it a word. There’s probably some obscure linguistics term that describes things made up of almost arbitarily chosen strings of letters.

  10. drewski says:

    How will Zynga actually make coin off Words with Facebook Friends? Just through advertising? I can’t imagine much scope for micro-transactions in not-Scrabble.

  11. Skystrider says:

    No thank you.

  12. Iskariot says:

    What is Facebook?

  13. mongpong says:

    I enjoyed this on Android when it first came out but it was seriously buggy – constantly crashed on my Samsung Galaxy S so got rid of it. Sure it’s sorted now so may try it again. Some of the accepted words were a bit ridiculous though….but that my be down to the fact that we have some silly words in our dictionary.

    • johnpeat says:

      If you’re curious about just HOW silly, most (English) wordgames use either

      OSPD: the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary which was once the standard for UK/British Scrabble
      TWL: Tournament Word List – the US equivalent
      SOWPODS: which is a merger of TWL and OSPD and is used in most Tournaments outside the US(*)

      The txt file wordlists are downloadable from here – look upon them and despair – http://www.isc.ro/en/commands/lists.html

      (*) this means US players are at a disadvantage as there are 20-odd thousand words they need to know to compete internationally but which they must ‘forget’ for domestic competition…

  14. Oozo says:

    Screw that. Give me “Bookworm Adventures: Tournament Fighters”. Now! (prettyplease)

  15. sinister agent says:

    It would be emunean of me to say I knew this hadn’t been done already. I’d best get the cibrushsille out.

  16. Radiant says:

    On the mobile version of this game EVERYONE CHEATS.

    Look at http://www.anagrammer.com/
    See all the pictures of the people who have ‘liked’ it on facebook?

    All cheaters.

    Look at the pictures of them! It’s grans and aunties.
    At least with aimbot users you think “eh kids”.

    • Radiant says:

      I’m not knocking Words with friends. I bloody love it.
      “Hanging with” and “Chess with” are also a lot of fun.

  17. zeekthegeek says:

    Feh, Word Feud is superior in every way to Words With Friends, and you don’t have to support Zynga to boot.

  18. SquareWheel says:

    Used to love Words with Friends, really wish Zynga didn’t get their grubby hands on it.

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