Angry Words (Apalabrados) review

Angry Words (also known as Apalabrados) is a cross-platform Scrabble-style word game for Facebook and mobile devices. The title, developed by Argentinian studio Etermax, has been available for several months now but has put in a consistent showing in our weekly top gainers lists, demonstrating gradual, steady growth over time.

Angry Words follows the conventions of most other Scrabble clones. The game is for two players only, and opponents may be picked randomly, added by username or selected from Facebook friends. Once the game starts, players are given seven letter tiles, each with a score value attached to them. Less commonly-used letters are worth more points, and special “star” tiles may be used to substitute for any letter — though once this letter has been chosen and placed on the board it cannot be changed.

Players take it in turns to lay down a valid word on the 15×15 game board, beginning at the center and working outwards. Scattered around the play area are special spaces which provide bonuses — these either double or triple an individual letter’s score or an entire word’s score. The arrangement of these special tiles is different to that seen in both Scrabble and Zynga’s immensely popular Words With Friends, presumably in an attempt to both distinguish the title from these games and help to counter accusations of being a direct clone of them.

The game features a chat facility allowing players to leave messages for one another, and completing a turn provides players with the options of posting on their opponent’s Timeline and sending a request, though neither of these are obligatory. If the player has a mobile version of the game connected to their Facebook account, they will also be told when it is their turn via push notification, allowing them to pick up a game where they left off on the go.

In terms of gameplay, Angry Words does very little to distinguish itself from Zynga’s Words With Friends and the official Scrabble games on Facebook. Where it does shine, however, is in its multilingual support. Upon starting a new game, players have the option of playing in English, Spanish, Catalan, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Brazilian, Dutch or Swedish. This makes the game much more friendly to international players, and also for those wishing to test their skills in a non-native language.

Angry Words is a competent, well put together word game that will likely find most of its success in the non-English speaking markets, since Zynga already dominates the English-speaking Scrabble clone sector. Its cross-platform, asynchronous play works well with few issues — though the game did seem to have some difficulty loading on Safari 5.1.7 on Mac OS X Lion — and it’s quick and easy to get into a game and take your turn.

Angry Words currently has 1,100,000 monthly active users and 380,000 daily active users — though it’s worth noting these figures include mobile players who connect their accounts to Facebook. Follow its progress with AppData, our traffic tracking service for social games and developers.

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A good quality Scrabble clone that caters particularly well to international and multilingual players.

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  1. Zynga Bingo tops this week’s list of fastest-growing Facebook games by MAU says:

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