Okay... here's another word game for your Windows Phone. Word Blast is a scrabble-like game that allows you to compete against other users online or pass and play with someone in person.
Where AlphaJax, Words by Post and Spellit follow the Windows Phone Metro theme, Word Blast takes on a more traditional layered design. You have a main menu that gives you access to creating games, view games, view the leaderboard, and access your gaming options. From there you're sent to other menus to access more particular parts of the game.More after the break.
Word Blast does require registration to compete online which you will be prompted to do as you launch the game for the first time. Let's break down the main menu a little further.
Create Game: You have three options in creating a new game. You can choose Friend Play where you choose your opponent by username, Random Play where your opponent is chosen at random, and the Pass and Play option where you play someone sitting next to you.
Here's the odd thing about Random Play. The game will attempt to find an opponent for you but if it doesn't the game will be listed in your Game View as "Finding Opponent". This is something new and the other similar games didn't experience any lag time in finding opponents. I'm not sure if this is due to a lack of players or a hiccup in the system.
View Games: The View Games panel has two bubble windows. One for games where it's your move and another for games where it's your opponent's move. At the top of the screen are two button controls for Active and Completed game views.
If the system is still searching for you an opponent, the game will be listed as "Finding Opponent". Again it felt odd that it took upwards of thirty minutes to find an opponent at random.
Leaderboard: It's just as you would think. A tabbed window that displays your gaming stats and the global game leaders.
Options: Options break down into four categories. Game, Account, Rate the App, and Support Information.
Game options cover managing your friends list, sounds, auto zoom, and a guidelines feature that enables tile guidelines to help you place letter tiles. Account options include push notifications, show games on start-up, post your scores to the online leaderboard, and manage how your completed games are displayed. Rate the App and Support Information should be self-explanatory.
Word Blast's game board is laid out very similar to any other Windows Phone scrabble-type game. Along the top of the screen you have access to settings to mute the sound and initiating chat with your opponent. You have the playing board with bonus tiles, your letter tiles aligned below, and button controls beneath your tiles. Scoring and the number of tiles remaining run the bottom of the screen.
Button controls allow you to pass, shuffle the tiles, swap tiles, forfeit the game, and a game recap button. Once you begin to build a word, a play and recall button appears.
Game play is your typical game of scrabble. Moves are registered promptly and the game ran stable.
I liked Word Blast but believe it has an uphill climb to compete with AlphaJax with it's large player base and Words by Post with its cross platform compatibility.
The layout gives Word Blast a unique feel to it when compared to other Windows Phone games. Having the ability to view games at start-up helps but one of the attractions to Windows Phones is the Metro design. I was also concerned that it took so long to randomly find an opponent.
The game has potential but it needs a feature that sets it apart from the other scrabble games out there. You do have a companion website, wordblastmobile.com, that offers you news, tips, and instructions on how to play. Shame you can't access your games online. That might give Word Blast enough of an edge to keep it in the mix.
Overall, Word Blast is a nice game that faces some stiff competition. There is a trial version available (won't let you play online) to give you a feel for the Word Blast with the full version running $.99. You can download either here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.