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iPhone  header logo

Idol Words


For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

A-D-E-Q-U-A-T-E

Product: Idol Words | Developer: Outplay Entertainment | Publisher: Outplay Entertainment | Format: iPhone | Genre: Casual, Puzzle, Word game | Players: 1-2 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.5.0
 
Idol Words iPhone, thumbnail 1
Social games in which you form words with letter tiles are ten a penny. Actually, scratch that - they're even cheaper, as most are now freemium releases.

This means that perfectly sound releases - like Idol Words - can get forgotten amid a crowd of other technically well-made word games that have neither a visual hook nor an established licence to attract enough players to keep them going.

Tiki little number

It's a genuine shame, because there's nothing very wrong with Idol Words, aside from a lack of invention.

The game's basic premise is simple: you're given a 4x4 grid of letters, and must link lines of adjoining characters together to create words of three letters or more.

This gives you a total score at the end of a meagre two minutes, and then your real-life opponent must work towards beating it. There are three rounds per game, and the person with the highest score is the victor.

You'll have to work fast and have a good vocabulary to come out on top - especially in the Daily Challenge, where you'll be competing against the world.

IAPs explained
Coins are your premium currency, and they can be used to purchase power-ups. They're not essential for your enjoyment, but they can definitely give you a competitive edge. 450 Coins are yours for just 69p / 99c, with a single power-up (lasting one game) costing 40 Coins.

You can also purchase 30 more game slots for £1.99 / $2.99, which allows you to play more simultaneous games at once. This one's not really needed, so if you're enjoying the game and fancy chucking some money the developer's way, I'd suggest getting some Coins.
For added complexity, there are score bonuses to be had for the smartypants among you. Before starting a match you can plump to pay for a Boost with your stash of Coins - the game's premium currency - which can turn the game in your favour.

Freezing the timer or adding 4x multiplier tiles, for example, can drastically increase your final score should you wish to use them.

You should also be on the look out for Double Letter and Triple Letter score multipliers, and Gold Tiles that contain extra Coins. If you can light up every letter in the grid by using them all in various words, then you'll flip the whole board, be given a healthy bonus, and a new set of letters.

Like

Everything about the game is upbeat and friendly. If your score in the Daily Challenge wasn't very good, you're not "in the bottom 25%" of players, you're "in the top 75%". Idol Words is a game that would spell "half pint" with an 'F', a 'U', and two 'L's.

You can play randoms online, and even talk with them using the simple chat functionality, but the only lasting rivalries are to be had with your mates on Facebook.

Idol Words is arguably too stern in the way it wields its dictionary. The word "Africa" isn't recognised, for instance, but "loren" is. For those not in the know, "loren" is a Middle English word from the 14th Century meaning "to lose", most commonly used in reference to widows.

Before you rush to the comments: yes, this is how Scrabble works. "Africa" is a proper noun, while "loren" is not.

However, a little bit of leeway with common proper nouns - the ones that can be found in any dictionary - would have made this quickfire casual game a little bit more accessible.

Gold Blocks are also tough to see when they're next to a letter you've already managed to use in a word, because the colours are so similar.

Even so, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Idol Words, just as any fan of word games will. It's just a shame that there's nothing particularly inspiring about this one to distinguish it from the dozens of others you've already played.
 
Idol Words
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 30 April 2013
If you're completely new to word games on mobiles, then you're in for a treat. Otherwise, this is a fun, functional, but forgettable word game
 
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