By Jaron Zanerhaft
129 points for QUIZ??? Well, if you get the Q on a triple -letter box and the word on a triple-word box, that letter Q is worth 90 points alone. Any lucky soul who has had the chance to make this move knows I’m talking about Words with friends. The go-at-your-own-pace, scrabble-style app is gripping a wide market and constantly expanding. As of last week, it is available on droids.
Though the pen is mightier than the sword, the tile just may be mightier than the pen. This potentially brutal and vicious game shares many similarities with chess. Most letters are worth only 1 point, serving as pawns when they find their way into your rack. The three 10-point letters, Q, Z, and J, act as the royalty of Chess, being guarded and saved for advantageous use. It’s a game of anticipation and strategy as well. Not leaving a vowel next to a multiple-point box ensures your opponent cannot get four or six times the value of one of his higher letters. And you can set your self up, such as playing VOID while keeping an A in your rack, plotting to make AVOID and another word with A in it during your next turn. Words with Friends is barely shy of a War with Friends.
The tile’s might does not necessarily appear as a divisive tool; it can also be a tether. I play the game with friends, as its title suggests, but the “random opponent” feature has turned out some less-than-random competitors. The other week, I sent a battle request out to the cosmos and my challenge was accepted by an old high school friend. After five years of virtually no communication, the girl who I gave a watch to on her 16th birthday gave me one of the most enjoyable games I had played in a long time. This game obviously has many endearing qualities.
Most importantly, this is a game Human beings have found important. As more words and different usages become considerable for inclusion in the English language, we will find ourselves able to express more and maybe even feel and think things which, with our current lexicon, could not even be imagined.