While Scrabble-based gameplay is available in a few variations on Facebook (see Words with Friends or Word Trick, as examples), most of these are more about timeless concentration, as you can take as much time as you want to create the perfect word without the fear of losing your turn. In Wordox however, the normally friendly competition in Scrabble is kicked up a few notches, as you're allowed to freely steal points from other players, and must even share the same letter tiles along the way.
Wordox offers real time multiplayer matches against either one stranger or up to three others, with words being placed on the board one at a time, using the same selection of six letter tiles at the bottom of the screen. On each player's turn, they'll have 60 seconds to create a valid word using as many or as few of the six letter tiles available to them as they would like, and will earn just one point for each letter they place, regardless of what that letter is. If they're the first player to place a word, they'll simply earn as many points as the number of letters they played, but scoring becomes a bit more complicated later on.
On subsequent turns, you'll be able to steal other players' words by playing letters off of their ends (making a word plural or in the past-tense, as examples), and will steal the points associated with those letters accordingly. The object of each game is to get to 25 points before your opponents, and there are a few in-game boosts that will allow you to get there quicker. For each star tile you activate (by simply placing a letter tile on top of it), you'll earn bonus points. However, one of the four corner tiles must be used before these bonus points activate. The corner tiles offer another purpose, as activating one also wipes the board and allows you to begin fresh without removing any previously earned points.
Unfortunately, Wordox sounds more complicated in writing than it performs in execution, but the problem comes in actually getting an opponent to stick around until the end of the game. In every game I tried, I'd lose my opponent halfway through and would complete the game against a randomly generated AI with an enormous vocabulary. It's not impossible to win against them, but the challenge is definitely higher in these cases. Whether or not that's a good thing will remain up to each player.
Ultimately, Wordox is a unique twist on the Scrabble formula, but it won't be for everyone. You're rushed to create words, and the board can quickly become too cramped, as you try desperately to create even the smallest of words to activate a corner tile and wipe the screen. All the while, your timer is counting down to zero, threatening to end your turn and give your opponent(s) a chance to pull ahead. It's an interesting experience to try at least once, but the verdict is still out on whether it has the staying power to play with the big boys.
Click here to try Wordox on Facebook --->
Have you tried Wordox on Facebook? What do you think of this variation on the original Scrabble gameplay? Sound off in the comments!