capsule review

WordWise Pro

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder WordWise Pro

To begin playing the WordWise ($1) game, you need to log in with your Google account. The maker's privacy statement, which is hidden away in a difficult-to-locate Website, says that the developer won't share your personal information with anyone, but the Terms of Service document also states that the company will not be liable under any circumstances, and it reserves the right to change its privacy policies at any time. The reason it gives for needing your Google log-in info is so that you can play with friends, but the rationale isn't very compelling. It would be easy to set up a system of unique log-in IDs that would enable friends who have the app to play against each other without providing any personal data.

WordWise also requires you to download the app AirMail, which is supposed to notify you electronically when a player has made a move on the board. In my game testing, AirMail did no such thing, but I noticed that it consumed a lot of battery power.

You can set up multiple games from the main menu screen. The free version is limited to five games and is marred by ads as well. Spending a dollar gets you unlimited games and no ads. Not bad. The main menu lets you do such things as select a game to play on, invite friends, try to play someone at random, or skip a turn. Unfortunately, sometimes when I selected a game, the menu registered my selection as inviting a friend. Closing out of the program and restarting rarely fixed this glitch; instead, I usually had to turn my phone off and then back on again before it would work.

Finally, the interface for the game board is awkward and not very responsive. This poses the starkest contrast between WordWise Pro and WordFeud, whose interface was a thing of beauty. In fact, everything about WordWise reminded me of how superior WordFeud is. When I reviewed WordFeud, a Scrabble-type game for Android, I was annoyed with the full-page ads that popped up every time I placed a word down. Now, however, you can donate to get rid of the ads, and I strongly recommend the ad-free version of WordFeud over WordWise.

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder WordWise Pro

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