capsule review

WordUp!

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder WordUp!

    PCWorld Rating

Love Boggle but hate other people? WordUp! is your Android-specific answer to all those long bus rides, but lonely linguaphiles may want to steer clear if sticky touch controls and an often-archaic word list are potential game-killers.

Still here? Then you may be interested to learn that WordUp! is basically a Boggle clone re-skinned and released on the Android market. Players pick out words from a jumble of letters on an adjustable game board until the timer runs out (the game supports up to four players, but it's locals only, so you'll have to pass the phone around). Points are earned based on word length, and the reward increases as you discover longer and more complex idioms. Three- or four-letter words are worth 1 point, five letters earn 2, seven letters nets you 5 points, and so on.

I have no idea how many points anything longer might be worth, mostly due to the incredible difficulty of the game on even the default settings. Part of my frustration undoubtedly stems from my limited vocabulary and irrational aversion to word tiles (in my youth I suffered my first breakup over a particularly heated Scrabble match), but frankly, the game is mostly just plain terrible.

Playing on a Motorola Droid running Android 2.2, I found the touch controls to be vexingly inaccurate when it came to detecting which letter tile my chubby fingers were trying to highlight. This mild irritation was compounded by the natural pressure of playing a timed match as well as the game's demand that the player delineate prospective words by dragging a finger across each letter in sequence. The selection process is often irritatingly inaccurate and would be much improved if you could simply tap letters in or out of turn to highlight a word.

During my most recent game, I scrolled idly through the complete word list during the post-match debriefing (a neat feature that lists the words you found as well as all that were available on a given board, with the option to highlight their location or look up their definition), and here's a smattering of the words I missed: stouros, estop, kerfs, and holms. Pick it up if you're a linguaphile seeking a peculiar Boggle clone that entertains and irritates in equal measure.

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder WordUp!

    PCWorld Rating
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