Zynga launches newest word puzzle and social iOS game, hang out with friends – TechCrunch

Zynga is off to a good start in 2012. After launching its latest Facebook title Hidden Chronicles yesterday, the social gaming giant is releasing its latest mobile game, “Scramble With Friends,” which is an iOS game that combines scrambling and word formation with the social features of the sequel. “With Friends” games. .

As you may know, through the acquisition of Newtoy in 2010, Zynga helped develop a suite of “With Friends” mobile titles, including the popular Scrabble-like game “Words With Friends” and the recently mobile version. Hangman’s launch, ‘Hanging With Friends.’

Scramble With Friends is actually very similar to Zynga’s ‘Word Scramble‘ iOS app, but packaged in a sleek new app with more interactive and social gameplay. Basically, players compete against opponents to beat the clock and find as many words as possible on a game board.

Here’s how the game works. Each match consists of three two-minute rounds, and the player with the highest total points at the end wins. When you open the app, you will see the existing games in game with your friends, or you can start a new game. When the clock starts in a new game, the goal is to find and create as many words.

Using the touch interface, you simply create words via connected letters, which means that in order to form a word, the letters must be connected diagonally, horizontally or vertically. Each letter has a point value and depending on the total word value you will be awarded points.

In each match, players have 3 turns. In the first round, you engage in what Zynga calls a “classic game” with standard point values ​​for each letter. In the second round, called ‘Double Down’, the gameplay includes double letter and word values ​​scattered all over the game board. In the third round (aka ‘Triple Crown’), you will encounter triple letter and word scores. .

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Zynga game without virtual currency and in-app purchases. This game uses a token system to allow users to do “Power Ups”, to give them a head start during the game. Players start each match with tokens which are replenished over a period of 20 minutes, and users can also purchase additional tokens. Freeze allows you to temporarily stop the clock to find more words. Inspiration highlights up to three words that you haven’t found yet. And Scramble gives you a new view of the game board and can be used five times per game.

The actual gameplay and interface is very similar to Words With Friends, with a similar score and the same dictionary and matching engine in both apps. Users can also participate in in-game chat, connect their Scramble With Friends to their existing “Words With Friends” account, and use Facebook Connect to find new friends to challenge.

Zynga’s Words With Friends and Scramble With Friends general manager Ya-Bing Chu tells us that while the initial launch is focused on the iPhone, the games company will also offer native versions for iPad and Android in the future.

Zynga says that the original Scramble in the App Store is still available to existing players who have already downloaded the game. However, novice players will only be able to download the Scramble With Friends version in the future.

The “With Friends” family of games has been one of Zynga’s most popular title sequels on the mobile front. In fact, Words With Friends recently saw a spike in use after actor Alec Baldwin was kicked from an American Airlines flight for playing the game. Baldwin tweeted about the incident, mentioning Words With Friends, and even mocked the altercation on an episode of Saturday Night Live. And it’s clear Zynga has high hopes for Scramble With Friends, especially since mobile is a frontier where the gaming giant is looking to make a lot of headway in 2012. Zynga released seven mobile games in Q4 2010. , and I’m sure we can expect that to increase this year.

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