Zynga's WORDS WITH FRIENDS has become a cultural phenomenon in the past few years. It's got millions of users and fans and it even got Alec Baldwin kicked off of an airplane
. It's basically electronic Scrabble. You can play up to 20 games simultaneously with your friends on Facebook or on your smart phone. Sounds awesome, right?
Well, I hate it.
Why, you ask? I have an English degree with an emphasis in writing and I've been a writer my entire life. I have a vocabulary that's larger than most. I love to read every day and my spelling abilities are far above average. So why can't I win when I play this stupid game? I've been trying to figure it out.
When I play WORDS WITH FRIENDS, I try to make the biggest words I can with the letters I have. I generally start out the games pretty well, but inevitably my opponent kills my six, seven and eight word masterpieces with a bullshit word like "Qi" played on a triple word or triple letter score.
Do you know what Qi means? Of course you don't. No one does. It's a variant of the word "Chi," as in Chinese energy. I'm telling you, no one knows that. But the game does. And so does every WORDS WITH FRIENDS player who's had it dropped on them. It also allows other B.S. two letter words like "El," and "En," and "Lo," and "Et."
Why does that matter?
Because it allows people to basically play random letter combinations in order to nail a Triple Word Score in another row. That's what's happening. People sit there and play random letter combinations until they find something the game will allow, legitimate word or not. It's crap.
I've learned that to keep games competitive with these "I'll just try the letters until something works" players, you have to strategically try to keep the game in the center of the board as long as possible and away from the Triple Word Scores. But what fun is that?
It's only a matter of time before the punk you're playing gets a break with a two or three letter word no one's ever heard of that allows him to make a big Triple Word. I've won about 30% of the games I've played, lost 30% and rage quit about 40%. I've decided it's just not worth it anymore.
The final straw? I was playing a friend of mine from college. He had a 30 point lead on me in the middle of the game, but left me an opening. I played "JIVE" on a Triple Word and Triple Letter score for 97 points and felt so guilty about what a bitch move it was, I wanted to kick my own ass.
I haven't seen him online since. I get the feeling if I ever see him in person, he's going to punch me in the face.
I think that's enough WORDS WITH FRIENDS for me, thanks.