Friends don’t let Friends play Words with Friends

I’ve been playing Scrabble on Facebook for years. It’s fun, challenging and a good user experience. I play on my iPhone and iPad too. All the apps are free.

Recently, people have encouraged me to play Zynga’s Words with Friends. It sucks. Let me tell you why.

  1. It’s a blatant knockoff of Scrabble. This game was designed by a bunch of lawyers sitting in a room with a Scrabble board. One by one they tweaked the board and the pieces until they thought they wouldn’t get sued because it was “different enough”. As a result, the game is inferiorly designed. It doesn’t encourage players to open up the board by moving towards the corners for example.
  2. You can pay for higher scores. If you want see how many points your word is worth, you have to buy points that can be redeemed for additional features like word scoring. This is basically paying off the dealer at a poker game. This feature is free in Scrabble.
  3. The ads are obnoxious. Sure, you have to pay the bills, but an undismissable video ad after every play is offensive. Of course you can pay to get rid of the ads. In Scrabble, he ads are to the side and non-intrusive.
  4. It’s missing some basic features. Want to see the history of plays in a game? You can’t even buy that feature. There isn’t even a dictionary to check a word before you attempt to play it.

So go ahead, invite me to a game of Scrabble on Facebook. If you want to play Words with Friends, well, I’m not your friend.

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