Word Play Limited introduces a brand new social game to play with your friends. Wordstop is an interesting concept, and one that cannot be played alone. Basically, the object of the game is to *not* make a word. You begin by selecting an opponent (via Facebook, Twitter, or email). One letter will already be on the board, and each turn will add another letter to the emerging word.
To play, you must add a letter that has the potential to make a word, but does not. For instance, if a “j” was on the board, adding a “t” would end the game, as there are no words possible with that combination (as far as I know, anyway). You continue back and forth, each of you adding a letter, until someone either inadvertently creates a word, adds a letter that cannot make a word, or gives up. If you get stuck, you can use a bomb to remove a letter, but for the most part you are on your own to make your moves.
Wordstop uses the International Scrabble Dictionary, so you can be assured of word accuracy during play. In fact, one of the big pluses of the game is that you will find yourself learning all kinds of new words. The Word Wizard feature will show you a list of possible words for the letter combinations on the board. I do wish it gave definitions of the words, though, as it isn’t nearly as much fun to learn a new word when you don’t know what it means. You earn both the Word Wizards and bombs by collecting stars after each win. Since there isn’t an unlimited supply, you’ll need to use them sparingly or risk not having them when you need them. It is an interesting concept, and a truly challenging one as well.
As someone who has played a lot of social games in the past, I was pretty familiar with how games of Wordstop would go. You play your letter, and then wait for your friend to play. Unfortunately, unless they happen to be online at the same time you are, that means waiting a really long time in between turns. Of course, you can always have multiple games going at the same time (although only one with each user), but the fact that you literally only play one letter at a time makes for some super short terms, even if you are putting a lot of thought into that one letter. Honestly, even when multiple games going at once, I was left feeling like I didn’t really get any play in unless I had someone sitting next to me willing to play.
Wordstop seeks to be your next social obsession. With Facebook and Twitter integration, you can pwn everyone on your friends’ list at not making words. Attempting to add viable letters without actually creating a word is a lot more challenging than it sounds, and adding to your vocabulary while you do it is a nice bonus. However, the fact that you play the game a single letter at a time can leave you feeling as if you never really played at all.