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WordPop! Review at TreoCentral

Nothing makes my day like getting a great review. Neal Martin at TreoCentral had some very nice things to say about WordPop. Such as, “I’ll be honest, I love this game! WordPop! isn’t a new game so to speak.. in fact, it’s been around for several years – what you might call a ‘classic’ in a video games sense. But, the replay value of the game makes it a keeper and a game I’m sure you’ll grow to love and play for years to come!” Check out the entire review here.

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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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Solitaire Central Reviews Word Monaco for Windows XP / 98

Solitaire Central is a niche web site that concentrates on solitaire games of all types. I noticed this review they recently posted. Please visit their site to see all the interesting solitaire games they have. However, my game, Word Monaco, is a must see. 🙂 Here is their review.

Word Monaco is a unique blend of a word game and a card game, where the playing cards contain letters rather than numbers and royalty, and your goal is to spell words rather than to build according to suit or value.

At the beginning of each round, the cards are layed out as in Klondike solitaire. You must use as many cards as possible to spell as many words as possible within the tableau (there are no foundations). Each letter card is worth a certain number of points, based on how often it is used in common words (this is similar to the way that Scrabble and many other word games work). Words are spelled within individual tableau piles, and letters or words may be moved between piles to build new words, or to add on to or modify existing words. You can score bonus points by building long words, using all the letters, or using various power-ups that you earn during play.

It’s an interesting concept, and it works reasonably well. There’s no time limit, so the game is really more of a puzzle than an arcade game (which is not a bad thing). As in most word games, success does depend a good deal on your ability to spell, and to recognize combinations of letters that form the building blocks for words. With a word list of over 50,000+ words, the game does recognize a great many possible words.

The game uses only the one layout, as far as I can tell. With so many layouts available in solitaire, I don’t know why the developers limited themselves to just one. But that’s a minor complaint. The bottom line is this is a fun game. It’s certainly not your everyday solitaire game, but if you enjoy word games, I think you’ll find this to be a fun way to spend your time and exercise your mind.

Download Word Monaco (7.81MB)

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Break Time! Play a cool game in the warm Mediterranean

The Pocket PC version of Word Monaco has arrived to take you away. It’s our new and unique twist on the game of Solitaire by using letters instead of numbers. Whether you have a PC, Palm, Treo 650/680/700/750, or any other Windows Mobile device, we have the game for you.

In referring to word games, Allen Gall of Pocket PC Magazine says, “Word Monaco Solitaire is the most interesting title in this category that I’ve seen…”

With nine difficulty levels, settle in for whatever type of challenge you’re in the mood for. Mac users… stay tuned!

Click here to try the Windows Mobile / Pocket PC demo
Click here to try the Palm / Treo demo
Click here to try the Windows XP / 98 demo
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PDAs Changed my Life


I started to think about the Palm and how much it has changed my life. For 13 years I created educational software, six years at The Learning Company then seven years at Edmark which was purchased by an Irish company named Riverdeep. Working for Riverdeep was a challenge because of all the time zones involved and the amount of coordination required between offices, especially meetings. It became clear that all the senior staff was having difficulty keeping up with constant meeting changes from the Dublin, Ireland and Boston, Mass. offices. I would awake in the morning to find a dozen meeting invites in Outlook. Half of them would be rescheduling or change of location or a new dial in number. It was considerable work just opening the invite reading it agreeing to it, writing down the meeting location and topic, then opening the next invite, etc. There had to be a better way and there was.

I came across a half dozen Palm Vs in the IT department, turned in by the sales staff. I borrowed one and started to experiment with it. I research its ability to synchronize with Outlook when an idea hit me. I hooked the Palm up to my PC and the next morning I quickly opened each meeting invite and agreed to the change. When finished I synchronized the Palm, and behold, all the meetings I needed to attend were on the Palm. This was huge. I just saved at least 15 to 20 minutes of reading and rescheduling. I got into the habit of returning to my desk between meetings and syncing my Palm, then going where the Palm told me to go. It was only a matter of days before I learned how to adjust the notes settings so now the meeting agenda was showing up on the Palm too. Then later I figured out how to add the contact list. I would now show up in meetings with the agenda. If someone wasn’t there and we needed to call them, I had their number. I was hooked on the Palm. Several weeks later I presented to management on the Palm and the other five Palm V’s were quickly appropriated.

In 2002 Edmark was closed, all 250 plus employees let go. I was asked to stay for another four months, which I did. With that chapter over I started to think about the future; what to do with myself. When thinking about my future and what I was passionate about, the Palm rose to the top of the list. I started Smart Box Design in February of 2003 and I have been making PDA software ever since.