Friday, September 3, 2010; 12:19 AM
Offering Scrabble-clone games seems to be a near-certain way to improve a social network's Internet popularity--I seem to recall a lot of people quickly signing up for Facebook as word spread of a Scrabble-like game that was available. Similarly, Words with Friends for Apple mobile devices has proven to be extremely popular. WordFeud would have filled the void for Android devices were it not for the annoying ads that are integrated into the app's design.
WordFeud works exactly like Scrabble, right down to the arrangement of the board and the value of the different letters, so anyone should be able to jump right in. You submit your e-mail address, create a user name, and are ready to go. You can play against friends or total strangers. From the settings, you have the option to upload a profile picture, and to receive notifications for when it is your turn to play.
The touchscreen interface for the game works perfectly. Everything is very responsive, and the letters move smoothly. Zooming in and out of the board is as simple as double-tapping the screen.
Unfortunately, as soon as your turn is over WordFeud brings up a full-page screen ad, which requires you to go to the menu to skip past it. If you're playing WordFeud at a leisurely pace, say one turn per day, this is a minor nuisance. But if you are attempting to play at a more active pace, these full-page ads become increasingly tedious and unbearable. Instead of looking forward to playing again, I found myself relieved when my first active game was wrapped up. The worst part is that there is no way to upgrade to an ad-free version. I think it would be worth spending a few bucks to make those ads go away, but for now I and other players are out of luck.