Fridge Words (iOS) review
Fridge Words is a new iOS game from Thumbstar. It’s available now as a free download from the App Store, with additional in-app purchases of in-game currency available.
Fridge Words is a simple asynchronous word game in which two players compete against one another in order to use all their fridge magnets to make as many words as possible. Magnets start at the bottom of the screen and can be slid into place by dragging them. Certain magnets may also be flipped over by tapping them — a “p” may be flipped to become a “d,” for example. Words snap together when letters are placed next to one another, and glow green when they are a valid word, red when they are not. Points are scored according to the letters used in a word — letters which are less-frequently used are worth more points. Additional points can be scored by incorporating gold and silver letters into a word — these provide score multipliers and can make a huge difference.
The game requires that players create a Fridge Words account before they can begin playing. This is a proprietary account that asks for a player’s email address, desired username and full name. There is no means of signing in with a social network account, though the game does include Facebook connectivity to find or invite opponents — this runs through the external Facebook app rather than using iOS 6’s built-in Facebook functionality. The game also provides the provision for players to find opponents by username, or to compete against a random opponent. There is also a “Quick Play” function which allows the game to be played single-player without having to find an opponent — this mode still allows players to register their scores on the Game Center leaderboards.
Fridge Words is a solid, well-presented game that works well. While it is yet another addition to the huge library of word games already on the App Store, the fact it isn’t based on an established board game and is instead based on a simple concept that players of all ages will be able to relate to makes it well worth a look. There are a few ways in which it could be improved — for example, better Facebook integration (such as the ability to sign in with the social network rather than a proprietary account) and Twitter support would make a large amount of sense and help make the user experience a lot smoother. The ability to sign in with existing accounts rather than having to create a new one is a standard feature of many games of this type, and gives the process of actually playing the game considerably less friction; in some App Store territories (particularly the U.K.) users are occasionally inclined to mark games and apps down that require proprietary accounts, so this is worth Thumbstar bearing in mind for future updates.
This aside, Fridge Words is a good game that the developer appears to be happy with the performance of so far. It is presently riding high in the Word Game App Store charts on both iPhone and iPad, and is presently enjoying a feature spot in the New and Noteworthy section of the App Store front page. Check back shortly to follow the game’s overall progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social games and developers.
A good, original asynchronous multiplayer word game in need of a little refinement.