The Windows Phone Marketplace has its fair share of word games and in the coming days, its numbers will grow by at least one. Z Games, the developers of Bubble Burst and Pandemic, have submitted Word Arena to the Marketplace. Word Arena reminds me of Wordrix and Wordament but with a few more features. We had the opportunity to get a sneak peak at Word Arena and found it to be an enjoyable Windows Phone game.To find out more about this new word game for your Windows Phone, slide on past the break.
The game concept is simple, you are given a sixteen letter, 4x4 grid of letters and you have to find all the words hidden within the grid. You play against the clock (two minutes) and against other players (who are viewing the same letter grouping) in an online arena. You just trace the letters with your finger to create words of three or more letters. You can trace letters in any direction as long as you don't back trace. There is a rotation symbol in the upper right corner of the game screen that will rotate the letter grid. This comes in handy if you start to get stumped in finding words.
Correct words are highlighted in green, words you've already selected highlight in yellow and incorrect or misspelled words are highlighted in red. If you simply guess, a pop-up box will appear that tells you to stop guessing.
At the end of each game, a listing of all the words will appear along with your stats and placement amongst other players. From the player ranking, you can tap on a player's name and add them as friends or send them a message (more on this in a bit). Word Arena also has a practice mode where you can work on your spelling skills without worrying about competing against other players.
In addition to the game, Word Arena also has a chat feature and Live Tile support. The Live Tile will display notifications of any new messages received.
Word Arena's settings cover muting the sound, customizing your player name, turning on/off push notifications and title screen background, and how you accept player messages. You basically have the choice to accept messages from everyone or just from those players you tag as friends. You tag players as friends from the leaderboard and your friends list can be managed from a page in the round summary hub.
In playing Word Arena, the app ran smoothly with no bugs, glitches or crashes experienced. Game play was challenging and has an addictive quality to it. Who knew so many words could be generated from sixteen letters.
If you like Wordament, I think you'll like Word Arena just as well. It shares the same game play concept but gives you the ability to chat amongst the players and with Live Tile support, you can keep track of your incoming messages better.
Word Arena is scheduled to be a free, ad-supported game on the Marketplace and it is our understanding the game should be available any day now. Once a Zune Link becomes available, we'll add it to the post.
Update: We have been contacted by You vs. The Internet, Wordament’s developer, and have been informed that there is a legal dispute that may effect Word Arena’s release. At this point, it is uncertain when or if Word Arena will make it to the Marketplace.