for Palm OS
Reitter, February 2004, send
Box Design LLC, go
to the web site
OS 3.5 or higher
is the latest word game for the PDA. Created by Smart Box
Design just this year, WordPop! is a perfect little game
for word lovers who enjoy testing their vocabulary. WordPop!
offers you a board of 36 letter tiles (6 x 6) and your
task is to clear the board by finding words, much like
the pen & paper word search puzzles in the weekend
newspapers. You find words by selecting each letter tile
and spelling the word in any direction. So long as tiles
are touching, you can link them up, down, diagonally or
in combinations that will have you snaking all around the
board, even looping around in circles spelling out words
of any number of letters.
is pretty simple. Each letter has a corresponding numerical
score – not unlike a scrabble tile – but your
total word score is not simply a total of the chosen tiles,
but also of those tiles times the number of letters in
the word. So a simple three letter word such as JET can
total 30 points even though two of the letters only have
a value of one. It’s a bit like a Scrabble game in
which every word earns a triple word score space. Once
you have spelled out a word, a click of a button explodes
the tiles, and any tiles remaining above fall down to take
their place. Really now, what’s a good word search
game without a few exploding tiles?
Clearing an entire board might seem near impossible especially
if the tiles are chosen by the software in any kind of
a random order. To help with this problem is a button to
turn the board on its side. Once rotated, the tiles fall
into new positions, filling in what were empty spaces and
opening up a whole host of new letter combination possibilities.
If that weren't enough help, you get blank tiles that you
can place on empty spaces in order to complete your word.
The higher the difficulty level of game play you choose,
the fewer free tiles you have available to use. It's no
secret that I play this game in Easy mode.
The game isn't timed so you can stare at the board looking
for that elusive seven letter word for as long as you like,
which is nice as I find it stressful enough to spell without
the added pressure of running out of time or having tiles
disappear on me as with other similar games. I find I can
relax a little with the pressure off and I actually do
find words that I otherwise might not have without the
extra time. WordPop! won't tell you that you have no further
combinations left though, so be careful, ending a game
prematurely is definitely a possibility.
WordPop! on two different PDA’s one
running Palm OS 4.1 and one running Palm OS 5. While the
game is available in a Palm OS 4.1 version, the software
is obviously happier when running on faster processors.
The Palm OS 4.1 Sony Cliè PEG-N760C with its Dragnoball
VZ processor was positively pokey compared to the absolutely
zippy Palm Zire 71 with its Texas Instruments OMAP310 144MHz
processor. Mind you, WordPop! is still enjoyable on slower
PDAs. A feature to turn off non-essential graphics, animations,
etc., when running WordPop! on older PDAs would be nice.
In an case, WordPop! is a terrific time waster that you
can use for hours on end, with added benefit of improving
your spelling and challenging your vocabulary along the
way. It's a lot of fun all around if spelling is your thing.
Letters to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public. Send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org