Sponsored Game Review: Word Pirates

February 5, 2013 - Written By Tom Dawson

We all love puzzle games and if you say that you don’t, you’ve either never played Tetris in your life you’re lying. Word games are one of the best ways to bring people together and for lot of us they are the most challenging and fulfilling of all puzzle or board games. We all love Scrabble and Words With Friends but, that’s the same old model we’ve gotten used to. That’s great and all but, surely there has to be a way of changing things up after all this time? Well, I’m glad you asked because Word Pirates has found a way to throw a twist on an old game. Read on to find out how and why this works so well.

Description: Word Pirates might look like another word game but, there are some subtle changes that make big differences, and that make the game stand apart from all the others out there. First of all, you can stack letter vertically to create new words. Second of all, there is the ingenious addition of bombs, a la Battleship. There are 5 bombs placed randomly on the game board at the beginning of the game but, at turn 3 each player is given their own bombs to place as they wish onto the board. If your opponent places a letter tile on that position, the tile explodes and they are awarded no points for it.

How it Works: To get started on your own Pirate adventure with Word Pirates, you’ll have to go ahead and install the app from the Play Store and then you’ll also have to quickly sign up for an account:

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Once you’re logged in you can start to search for someone to play with, or, invite your own friends to come join the game. I just searched for someone over the internet to play with. Sure enough, after a minute or two, somebody was found to play with. You can have a number of games going at once and the games that you’re currently playing are shown like this:
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What’s great about Word Pirates is that you’re not left in the dark and the game will tell you how to play, in a concise manner to get you playing as quickly as possible:

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The game board looks like this and it’s pretty much what you’re used to with these sort of games. There are the usual Double, Triple and even Quadruple Letter spots as well as Double Word spots:Screenshot_2013-01-31-16-10-58

It’s fairly straightforward and if you’re fan of Words With Friends then you’ll have no trouble getting used to this. Playing words is one way to score points but, finally, in one of these sort of games you can actually stop your opponent gaining points, through the use of bombs. When you place a bomb on the game board, a black flag will appear to let you know where you’ve put it:Screenshot_2013-01-31-16-14-27

Of course, the mines are hidden underwater and your opponent has no idea where they are. It’s sort of like Battleship in that regard, only you’re not sinking ships, you’re sinking tiles. When an opponent places a tile on one of your bombs, it will appear cracked and they’ll get no points for it. It’s a great way to gain the upper-hand in a game, especially if you’re struggling. Not only that but, it’s a great way to make a game like this feel fresh and new.

Go ahead and see how sneaky you can be through the use of mines!

Opinion: I’ve actually been a big fan of Scrabble and these types of games for years now. As someone who spent a long time studying English I have an appreciation for things like this but, I can also get a little tired of the same mechanics. Word Pirates adds a fun, new spin on things through the use of bombs and, you can be really sneaky with them. For instance, placing a bomb before or after a vowel will garner good results and when they land a bomb it feels pretty good – especially if it’s a high value letter. I really enjoy the game and being able to play against others around the world is brilliant.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – Word Pirates is quick and there were no issues in my use of the game, everything was fluid on my Nexus 7.
  • Features (5/5) – Mixing old qualities with something different works very well and makes the game feel fresh and fun every time you play.
  • Theme (5/5) – The game looks good and fits with the overall feel of the game. It’s certainly more appealing than a game board in Words With Friends.
  • Overall (5/5) – Often times, it’s the games that add a little extra to do a lot that stick with us and in this case, Word Pirates changes the Scrabble formula enough to make it a new game and it works very well, indeed.

Pros

  • Good-looking graphics are pleasing on the eye, text is easy to read.
  • Easy to follow rules and gameplay mechanics.
  • Added twist through the use of bombs adds a lot of fun and brings an older concept up-to-date.
  • Being able to play with anyone across the web is a nice touch.

Cons

  • Stacking tiles vertically is a little strange at first.
  • It can take a while to find someone to play against.

Conclusion: As somebody who plays a lot of Scrabble, I really enjoyed Word Pirates. There’s a lot on offer and it’s easy to pick-up and play, there’s no steep learning curve and all the added features are implemented cleanly and easily. A lot of these games struggle to make it accessible for people to play but I can’t see anyone having a problem with Word Pirates. It’s a good-looking game that will have you coming back for more, time and time again. It’s a great game to get involved with and it’s a great way to connect with friends and family that might be all over the world. Click the link below to see the app in the Play Store.

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