Developer: Y A QU A
Price: Free to download
IAP: $3/£3 remove ads
Size: 47.3 MB
If you asked us to name an ideal genre mash-up to get our readership excited, ‘Solitaire word game’ might just top the list. Which is precisely why Words Out could be your new obsession.
This is a game that asks you to deal out a deck of cards into four piles, like Solitaire. But rather than going by numerical and suit order, here the cards contain letters that must be formed into words.
You start with a letter on each pile, and then one letter card is flipped over from the deck. Drag it onto the desired row to steadily build up words. Be careful though – if no word can be formed in a row, it’s an instant game over.
That might sound like a tricky proposition, but Words Out turns out to be much more easy-going than it initially seems. Indeed, purists might well argue that the game cheats a little on both the Solitaire and word game sides of the equation. The game will always give you a letter that can be employed in a word, which means that it essentially fudges the whole ‘limited deck of cards’ concept.
Place that concession to one side, though, and you’ll find a deeply compelling little word game here. Your biggest foes are the numerically limited deck and your own ambition, particularly as the levels tick by and the cap on word length is steadily lifted. We often found ourselves running out of cards in our bid to spell out a string of lengthy words.
There are special use cards that will grant bonuses, such as increasing your deck or doubling the value of a word. There’s also a random letter card that can both save an awkward word and send you off in a completely unexpected direction. But generally you need to rely on efficient word building and cashing your words out at the right moment.
Besides the whole deck-fudging element, Words Out falls short on a couple of small points. There’s no ability to go back and play with the smaller word limits once you’ve move on to higher levels, for example. Indeed, there’s a total lack of additional modes here.
It would have been nice if you could touch and hold on a special card to have a reminder of its effect, but there’s no such provision. We also experienced a slight hitch in unlocking the ad-free version of the game, though a couple of ‘restore purchase’ prompts seemed to shake things loose.
All niggles aside, Words Out is an extremely well balanced and satisfying word game. The whole Solitaire angle works really well, with a well-judged balance of strategy and vocabulary. As genre mash-ups go, this one’s a winner.