Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Ruzzle - 4 stars

What is it?
Ruzzle is a timed words game that is like the classic and well known Boggle that you play with friends or random opponents. When you start the game there are 16 letters presented on a grid and you simply join them by swiping across letter combinations to make words. You must connect the letters directly with those around it so it makes it a bit more difficult. Like Scrabble there are double and triple letter scores to take advantage of. You are against the clock with two minutes to collect as many words as possible which initially seems a long time but as soon as you are stuck its goes so quickly!

When you complete a round you are presented with your score and stats. The app even tells you how many words you found out of the number availablem, and in some cases there are over 200! Lets just say I didn't get near the maximum word score! The great thing about this is that you can review all of the uncommon words to get some ideas for next rounds. Some swear words are accepted and in a frantic panic, random swipes of the screen in the last few seconds actually scored me some points with a fluky word!

The more you play the quicker you advance through the levels, which unlocks more features of the app, i.e. competing in tournaments. 

There are in app purchases including the removing of ads and adding wallpapers and profile pictures, but I haven't been tempted to get any of these yet. 

As you are playing other users of the app, there can be long gaps between rounds, and I wasn't asked if I wanted to receive notifications to remind me to play so lost a few games by not responding quickly enough.

This is a well functioning app that hasn't crashed during game play. The collection of words is very smooth and the sound effects aren't invasive. When you get a correct word you receive an encouraging ping, but when the clock is running out, countdown music is played... which never fails to make me panic!!!

Being a little bit picky, the screen flows of the app could be more logical and involve less taps. When you complete a game you tap to get your stats which is fine but then two more taps are required, including a back button to go and play new opponents.  The game can also be a little slow in finding new people to play and my phone has locked twice while waiting.

When you first start the app you are asked to register with Facebook, Twitter or create a username. You can look at the leaderboards, which show the top scores and a separate tab displays your friends' scores. The game isn't on the GameCentre but this missing feature isn't an issue with the charts option. If you want to play me, which will undoubtedly increase the number of games you win, my username is GEMMAGEM03.

Overall I like this app as it appeals to both my logical and competitive side. The two minutes a game also makes this a quick time filler and doesn't invade much of my spare time. If you like Boggle and Scrabble then I recommend this one. 

Now for some ratings.....

Ease of use - 4
This game is very easy to use and includes some clear and helpful tutorial pages on your first play.  The game is a little slow in pairing you with random opponents but if you don't mind registering on Facebook or Twitter you can play your actual friends and hound them to take their turn.

Price - 4
This is a free game with in app purchases, one of which is to remove the adverts, but in all honesty I hardly noticed them!

Adverts - 3.5
There are header adverts in this game but they do not interrupt game play. I have not encountered full screen or video adverts in the game and fingers crossed they aren't added. You can pay to remove the adverts but I wouldn't bother unless they add more and become invasive.

Overall Rating - 4
I like this game and I find myself intermittently opening it to check on my open games and start a new match. I am going to research a bit further into notifications so I am not losing games by my ignorance of it being my turn and running out of time.  

Keep, jury is out or delete - Keep


Where to find it:
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/ruzzle/id504265646?mt=8 
Twitter: @MAGinteractive