motd.co: Some Notes After 48 Hours With “Words With Friends”

I’m too lazy and annoyed to try to turn this into a Warp Skip post. I bought Words With Friends on Sunday after playing around with the ad-supported version for a little while. It’s a good concept (duh) but extremely lacking in execution. Here are some bullet points for you:

THINGS THAT ARE RIDICULOUS

  • You should be able to rearrange tiles in your rack when it’s not your turn. 
  • When you don’t have service, you shouldn’t get an alert box and it shouldn’t try to update the front page.
  • Closing the app before the game refreshes shouldn’t “revert” the badge number (say you receive 3 push notifications so the badge reads 3 on the iPhone springboard. If you open the game and then close it before it has a chance to load your games the badge will disappear)
  • Placing tiles and then flipping to chat should not reset the tiles
  • “Pass and Play” mode has no intermediate screen. This means there’s no way to complete your turn without seeing your opponent’s tiles unless you put your finger on the “confirm” button, turn the iPhone away from all players, press it, and hand it off to the other player. Awkward.
  • Got a crazy error message and had to sit and wait for 90-120 seconds for it to resolve with no alternative except closing the app. When the game that had broken was “fixed”, its chat log had disappeared
  • Clicking ‘close’ on an invitation while working on a turn in a different game refused it rather than just temporarily dismissing it and listing it in the “your turn” section
  • No way to know letter distribution 
  • No clue how many tiles your opponent has near the end of the game
  • Can’t tap status bar to scroll up on home screen
  • Can’t tap the tile image on a game on home screen(?!?)

THINGS THAT WOULD BE NICE

  • You should be able to commit moves you’ve made and have them in an “outbox” so that when you do get a connection it submits those moves
  • A transcript should be available at all times of the moves in a game: ”ckolderup played WHARF for 42 points. player2 played BANANA for 37 points.” The transcript should be selectable text (for copy to clipboard) and there should be a button to in-app email it as well. 
  • There should be a friend list and the ability to give an alias or store a note about each person in the list. No user persistence = chats are per game, not per user