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Word Dash for iPad, iPhone and iPod
You'd be hard pressed to find anyone in the West who hasn't heard of or hasn't played Scrabble (or one of its variants) at some point in their life. Sets are apparently found in one out of every three American homes, while Hasbro and Mattel have sold the game in 121 countries, in 29 different languages throughout the world. Word Dash operates on the same sort of principle, but with a different, more single-player focused twist.
The game looks deceptively simple on the surface. A loading screen launches you directly into the game without any of the fancy menus or lengthy preamble that other applications so favour, often forcing you to wade through unending developer inter-titles before you actually get to the game itself. Instead, you're thrown in at the deep end, with the timer already counting. We assume this is meant to jolt your brain into action rather than laziness on the part of the developer, as the game will require a good deal of lateral thinking. The setup is basic - you're presented with a grid and given a clutch of letters to make words from. However, with such a variety of boxes to fill, you'll be lucky if you reach half in the two minutes allotted.
It does cheat slightly. Most of your points will be allocated due to variants of the word you initially concocted - date turns into dates turns into dated, for instance. The game's focus would have been tighter with a series of shorter time-limited rounds, where perhaps you would have to come up with 20 words in 45 seconds. As a result, its longevity suffers, but it can be quite entertaining if words are your thing. Being paid to write for a living, we thought we had quite a large arsenal of vocabulary to draw on, but even we found ourselves stumped at quite a few points, watching the seconds drip away mournfully as we resolved to read a dictionary at some point in the future. It's definitely worth your time - the Lite version, that is. We'd probably not be tempted to pay for the whole thing, but that's because we already own Scrabble and it's more fun with others.