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Review: Murray from Palm-Mac Plays WordPop

Murray Alexander contacted me a few weeks ago to review my games and I was thrilled. Murray’s web site Palm-Mac won best new Blog in 2006. Below is his review of WordPop! for Windows Mobile

WordPop for Palm and Windows Mobile

Todd Sherman provided me with a copy of WordPop for WM and I have been playing this for the past couple of weeks…it’s quite addictive. I don’t know how best to describe this game…it’s sort of like scrabble in that you get points for making words but it then takes it a step further because you have to try and clear the board of all letters. The ultimate aim is straightforward, try and get as many points as you can. Cleverly, and to add longevity, there is a running High Score Board so you can keep playing it trying to get that elusive higher than the last high score. There is also a similar feature for words points.

Like all good games there are different difficulty levels and I being extremely intelligent, of course, went straight to the hard level. Big mistake…ahem…best to try it out on the basic level to get a feel for it. It’s not as easy as it may sound however but there are things along the way to try and help. For example, if you are a real smarty pants and make a word that is high scoring you may earn a Bonus. This entitles you to use blank letter tiles which can be brought into the battlefield, and it is a battle, and used to help form words. The game goes on until you fail to clear the board. You can also rotate the board which may help move the remaining letters into more formidable words.

I have noticed with Smart Box Design games that in game help is very good which is a bonus, some games I have tried out and given up previously was mainly because the accompanying “help” was in fact…ahem…no help.

It’s not easy but at the same time it is not impossible and there is a learning curve. Once that curve is reached, in other games you can get bored or just lose interest in carrying on but with WordPop the incentive is still there…to beat the high score for both game and individual words. I don’t know how it looks on a palm but on my WM device it is great with crisp graphics and clear in game sounds.

All in all, a first class game that will keep you going for ages.

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Review: Murray from Palm-Mac Plays Word Monaco

Murray Alexander of Palm-Mac reviews Word Monaco Solitaire for Windows Mobile.

Palm-Mac is an award winning BLOG known for it reviews of mobile technology.

Word Monaco
Thanks to Todd Sherman at Smart Box Design for letting me try out a couple of games. The first one I had a go at is Word Monaco for WM5. This is card game of sorts, similar to Solitaire, with a huge twist…you are trying to make words with the cards as you would with Scrabble. So, the best way to describe it would be to call it Scrabitaire…that’s a direct cross between Scrabble and Solitaire.

I have to own up here. I have always loved card games and therefore I am going to be somewhat biased. I just feel they lend themselves ideally to the smaller screen format of our pda’s and smartphones. This game is no exception.

There are three different skill levels. The easy one is a good start to break you in gently as it includes 2 random jokers that can be used as any letter. To win you have to make words in all columns and have no unturned cards left. When you have made a word a small green diamond appears at the top of the column to signify success. You can move whole words or letters to other columns to make words in that one or to enable a new card to be turned over. Letters can be placed without an actual word being formed as long as the letters might lead to a word….so for example, you could leave SH on a column but not TT. Sounds easy? It is pretty straight forward on easy level but once you move up to medium and hard things become much harder.

This is the sort of game that you start off thinking, I’ll just have a quick 5 minutes and then 45 minutes later you’re still playing away. It demands a bit of concentration and use of the old grey matter. There are no time limits and you can come back to the game later on…these are features I always like to see as I hate games where there is some sort of timer involved. Basically, you can play at your own pace which suits me down to the ground.

There are three different versions of the game with slightly different aims but the basic premise is the same. It’s easy to pick up, the graphics are crisp and there are useful “tips” throughout the game.

If you are looking for a nicely paced game where you need a bit of the old grey matter then Word Monaco should be given a run out.

You can try Word Monaco Solitaire here: http://www.smartboxdesign.com/wordmonacoppc.html