Wednesday, March 7, 2012


So there's this new game that made its way on my phone via my brother.  

Who is now on my list for forcing me to play it, but that's another matter all together.  

It is, in a word, deadly.  

In all kinds of ways. 

It's akin to a little slot machine--a grid of letters appears before you and you have two minutes to find as many words as you possibly can. The reward is all the words you make because you are oh-so-smart. 

Think electronic Boggle.

Here's an example of a game board*: 

You can make words any way you want, as long as the letters touch each other either vertically, horizontally or diagonally. But you can't use a letter more than once in a word. Look: 


All legal plays.  

Those S's thrown in are fabulous because then you can make a lot of words plural for easy extra points. Or you can tuck them on to the beginning of a word, like "it" becomes "sit".   

For the record, squilt is not a word.  

I tried. 


The trouble is the clock is running, so your brain starts playing tricks on you. You see a string of letters and tell yourself you can make a word like, say, "reality" but the "Y" is all the way in the upper right-hand corner, therefore unavailable. 

But that can't be right because "reality" is a GREAT word and the "Y" HAS to be there for you to make the play.  

So you try to make that word again.  

And again.  

And again.

Because you're not so quick the first two times around and surely the Y moved on your fourth try.  

Greasy wheel and all that.  

But of course it doesn't. 

All of which costs you precious time. Plus your brain just freezes when confronted with the pressure of the ticking clock and your vocabulary is reduced to that of a two-year old. Therefore making the word "yowler" is out of the question.

With this particular board, I made 38 words to my brother's 41**. Which brings me to another awful part of this mental crack:  The game has the nerve to show you, in BOLD lettering, the words your opponent found and you didn't.

Like "quilter". 

It's humiliating.  

Especially when there's a string of 7 or 8 or 9 words all right there that s/he found and you didn't and are blindingly obvious in hindsight.

And I discovered last night that you can see ALL the potential words on a given board. But it doesn't make me feel nearly as bad not finding those words because who is supposed to see a word like "beshrew" (different game board) when the clock is running and only people like David Foster Wallace know that word anyway?  

But you want to know the worst thing about this game?  

I suck.  

And I'm competitive. 

Bad combo.  

Look, I'll prove it with pictures. All you have to do is a quick comparison to see that my skills are sorely lacking. 

This is against my brother--the defeat hurt as it was only a 10 point loss for me: 

And then there's this woman.  I haven't beat her yet.  

My brother got me involved with her. I want to kill him. 

And another: 

I can beat her every now and again. If she's a lung short that day. 
But those opponents I listed up there are amateurs. Apprentices. Casual Sunday Drivers compared to my friend: 

That right there? 

That is typical of our scores. 

The FIRST time out the gate--our first round on our first game I made 42 words.  

She made 85.

Comparatively speaking I am sporting the brain of a dodo bird. Evidenced by the fact that I keep going back for more.  

Of course it could be that I have delusions of grandeur and believe that next time we play she will simply tank and I will wipe the floor with her bum. 

Or perhaps I'm just a sadist.  

Probably a combination of all three. -> 

*Yes, I sacrificed three whole seconds to take the picture. I'm that dedicated to my blog.  

**He won of course, 1107 to 947. 


Darci said...

I should make you feel really smart then.

Rachie317 said...

Ok, now I need to know what the game is called!!

Tanya said...

Sorry! It's Scramble with Friends.

Tanya said...

And thanks for stopping by! I put you on my blog roll.

Deirdre Newcomb said...

Still not available for android - makes me feel like an outsider. Sad day...