words with friends

Back in 2009, Words with Friends was the big hit game from the startup company Zynga. The game finally arrived on Windows Phone 7 and 8 in 2012, plagued with bugs and performance issues. Indeed, it maintains an astonishingly low 1.8 stars (out of 5) on the Store from over 2,500 reviews. Needless to say, it's not a hit with Windows Phone users.

Words with Friends hadn't seen an update in quite some time, but fast forward today and it has a complete rewrite, losing its Windows Phone 7.x status and becoming a Window Phone 8 and 8.1 dedicated game.

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Words with Friends is a popular online, turn-based, scrabble type game for our Windows Phone 8 devices. The word game was recently updated to version 1.1.1 to mainly deal with stability issues that caused the game to crash.

The Words with Friends update also repairs game and chat sync events as well as a few improvements to the game's notification performance.

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Ah, Words with Friends. We’ve waited so long for you to get to Windows Phone and since you arrived, you’ve been a disappointment. The good news is for all the harsh critiques we throw at Zynga, they are at least trying to get this game right for our devices and that gets some respect from us.

The latest version, 1.1, just hit the Windows Phone Store and is now available seemingly just for Windows Phone 8 devices. Yes, version 1.1. is a native WP8 game meaning we’re not sure what will happen with those who bought it and are on Windows Phone 7.

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Update: Users are reporting download issues with Draw Something and compatibility. Your mileage may vary.

Nokia had originally offered Draw Something recently to Lumia owners but the game was quickly pulled for what seemed like connection errors. Now that game and its companion, Words with Friends, have both returned to the Nokia Collection.

Interestingly, both games are completely free though these do have ads to cover their costs. That differs from the games we covered here last night, which will run you $2.99 to play but do not have ads.

Both games are available now and will work on Windows Phone 7 and 8 devices. You can download Words with Friends here and Draw Something here in the Nokia Collection. QR codes after the break…

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Good news everyone! Zynga’s two big hit games, Words with Friends and Draw Something, are both now available for Windows Phone (that’s 7 and 8). What’s more, these are the ad-free versions, which means you’ll have to fork over $2.99 for each. (An earlier, ad-supported version of Draw Something was released for Nokia but then pulled).

That may seem pricey but if we were going to play these often, we would definitely drop the $3 to get back that screen space and not to use our data/battery—but that’s us.

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In addition to announcing the availability of the new Pink Lumia 900, AT&T today have also confirmed that the Tango update (either build 8773 or the slightly newer 8779) will also be coming to the Lumia 900. From the AT&T blog:

“Nokia is also bringing a lot of new enhancements to the Lumia 900. Nokia Lumia users will begin to see software updates for Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh in the coming weeks, which will add several new capabilities to their devices including flip-to-silence.”

We detail some of those new capabilities here in a previous post--in short, enhancements to MMS including multiple messages, voice notes and some minor fixes are included. In addition, AT&T reiterated that Nokia will be bringing a usage tracking counter and a new contact sharing feature in the near future as well, continuing Nokia’s trend to “fill the gaps” in Windows Phone for its customers.

Finally, it has been confirmed that those super popular Zynga games—Draw Something and Words with Friends—will be coming this fall exclusively to Nokia Lumia phones for the first 60 days. While these exclusivity agreements often annoy non-Lumia owners, the 60 day wait should not be too bad of a wait and seems fair to us (assuming Nokia was vital to the deal and assisted Zynga financially).

Overall, not bad news at all and it at least the Lumia 900 is continuing to get direct support from Nokia. 

There’s no word if other AT&T Windows Phones will be getting Tango as well but seeing as the Focus S, Focus Flash and unlocked Dell Venue Pro already are we’re confident that the HTC Titan II and Titan I will as well. If you haven't received an update for your Samsung device, you can try our guide here to get it now.

Source: AT&T; Thanks, Alexander, for the tip

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Last week at the Windows Phone Summit, it was finally revealed that Zynga will be bringing Words with Friends and DrawSomething to Windows Phone this fall. Actually, Microsoft's Ben Rudolph teased that both games are "so-close-you-can-taste it" meaning we may be getting those marquee titles by the end of the summer (fingers crossed).

It also looks like that Zynga partnership is going deeper than just those two games. The popular online gaming company just announced 'With Friends' which is hailed to be their own social gaming network and it sounds a lot like Xbox LIVE--you can create a profile, see your friend's profiles, message them and see what they have been playing. Heck, you can even meet people with similar game interests.

What makes this fascinating though is the fact that it works across platforms. The social network will launch on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and of course be on the web, making it a true cross-platform gaming social network...thing

We're not sure if it will be any good but we just like the fact that Zynga is on board with Windows Phone these days.

Source: Wired

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Gaming news coming out of the Windows Phone Summit is that Zynga's long-anticipated Words With Friends and DrawSomething, by newly-acquired OMGPOP, are finally coming to Windows Phone. The two social games have been loved on iPhone and Android for some time and will make their way to Windows Phone sometime this fall.

There's no exact release date for either, but we're already wasting time at work thinking about it.

Update: See the full Nokia press release after the break

 

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AlphaJax -Everyone’s favorite Scrabble clone, I mean, word game - has received a steady stream of updates since its release in October. We were excited when a February update added unlimited, ad-supported play to the trial version of the game as well as user statistic tracking.

Today’s update overhauls stat tracking. Previously, the leader board just put the players with the highest number of wins at the top. Now player skill is also a factor. The new rating system is based on the Elo rating system. Gamers increase their rank via wins, but rank goes up a lot more by defeating a higher ranked opponent. On Xbox 360, the Xbox Live TrueSkill system works much the same way.

How does AlphaJax’s rating system affect people who are new to the game? Players aren’t ranked until they complete ten online games. Pass-and-play (local multiplayer) doesn’t affect rank. Even if someone loses all ten of their starting games, they won’t receive a negative rank. When they finally do win, they should jump up in rank a fair bit since other players are likely ranked higher than zero.

Now that players have a proper skill rating, random matchmaking has significantly improved. There are two options: Skill Match and Random Game. Random works just like it did before, throwing one player up against a completely random opponent. Skill Match, however, pits the player against someone with a similar skill rating. This should result in much more competitive games. Winning a Skill Match is also more likely to have a significant impact on a player’s rating. A high AlphaJax rating, I assume, helps you get all the girls. I’m… not quite there yet. ;)

AlphaJax, is the leading Scrabble-style game for Windows Phone 7. It supports two-player online play against friends or random players as well as local multiplayer. Our review praises AlphaJax’s features and presentation. Even now, AlphaJax remains quite possibly the most polished and addictive indie game on the platform.

AlphaJax is available in ad-supported and ad-free ($2.99) flavors. You can pick it up here (Zune link) on the Marketplace. WPCentral staffers Daniel Rubino (Malatesta), George Ponder (coppertop) and Paul Acevedo (eastx) are accepting challenges!

Head past the jump for the full version 1.7 changelog.

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Confession: big word game fan here. Second confession: had no idea about this game until today, even though it came out October 21st.

AlphaJax is  a killer scrabble-type game that allows asynchronus multiplayer turn taking--which basically means you can play other people who also have a Windows Phone. We just took it for a quick spin (playing against our own Rob Alvarado) and left darn impressed with the feature set:

  • Facebook & Twitter integration (for sending out invite challenges)
  • Challenge anyone in your address book, Twitter, FB or random
  • Save screenshot of your game (seriously -->)
  • Push notifications + Live Tile (!)
  • Chat back and forth
  • Can play up to 20 simultaneous games with friends

The game costs $2.99 but we think it's totally worth it so far. Gameplay is smooth, the options are rich and the chat feature is just a bonus. The only downside, we suppose, is that your opponent has to be on a Windows Phone 7 device. We'll try to get a full review up but in the meantime...who wants to play me...

Check out their website for more info here or grab a trial here from the Marketplace.

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