148Apps Review: Words With Friends

148Apps writes: "Scrabble is bloated and slow-loading. Lexulous, my previous online Scrabble application of choice, has recently been plagued by bugs. Enter Words With Friends: a shiny, nimble Scrabble clone complete with Push notifications (hallelujah!) and blazing-fast speeds. Compared to its competition, Words With Friends offers fewer features; however, the speed of the app and the eager player pool are enough to have me hooked.

One of the most notable features absent from Words With Friends: ranking systems. You're matched with a random opponent, unless-as the title suggests-you have a specific friend you want to play with. You do have to register, which is annoying; I wish that the game used Facebook Connect, OpenFeint, or Plus+, though that could impact the speed. Either way, once registered, it's easy to find your friends; I've already played games with Jeff and Chris!

Once you start playing, you'll quickly notice differences from standard Scrabble, which are presumably there to prevent lawsuits. You've still got seven letters, but the board layout is different, with eight triple-word spaces instead of four and a different scattering of bonus tiles in general. The dictionary also appears to be different, but I can't be sure: an in-game dictionary is yet another absent feature. Other absent features include a moves history, a Facebook counerpart, and a preview of what your score will be. Let me restate that: you're not told your score until after you move. So, yes, you'll need mental math skills if you want to nitpick over points. Not such a bad thing, in my opinion; God knows I need the practice."

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