Words With Friends

Words With Friends
Game Name: Words With Friends
Platforms: iPhone, iPod touch
Publisher(s): Newtoy
Developer(s): Newtoy
Genre(s): Word play
Release Date: Jul 06, 2009
Price: $2.99
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When Newtoy first broke into the iPhone gaming scene, there weren’t any games that took full advantage of the iPhone’s connectivity, that was until they released Chess With Friends. Their game was perfect for the iPhone on so many levels.

Chess is a complex game that requires a lot of thought for each move and considering the busy world we live in, it can be challenging to set aside enough time to play one Chess game from start to finish.


Chess With Friends solved all these problems, by allowing players to play correspondence style Chess. This form of Chess is played over a span of hours, days or even weeks. Once a player submits a move, he waits for his opponent to enter the app to make their move, and so on.

Now this may sound like an excruciatingly slow way to play Chess, but you always have the option of starting multiple Chess matches to keep yourself busy. And due to the always online nature of the iPhone you can make a move anytime you have a spare moment in your day.

Now take all those great features from Chess With Friends and apply it to a word game like Scrabble, then you get Newtoy’s latest release Words With Friends. I’ve been playing Words With Friends for the past week or so, and it works just as advertised, easy to use and fun to play.

Just like Scrabble, your goal is to outscore your opponent by using as many letters as possible to spell words, using rare letters and placing letters on top of premium squares to multiply your points. So there shouldn’t be any real surprises for fans of Scrabble, you’ll get the classic gameplay you’ve always enjoyed but now with added convenience of portable online play.

You’ll have the option of playing pass-n-play mode, online with a friend in your contact list or a random opponent.

Words With Friends also allows players to chat with one another, which is always a cool feature to have in any multiplayer game.

One of the reasons I love to play word games like Words With Friends is for the educational value. It’s really nice to have a good time and also learn a thing or two while I play. Which brings me to my last point, it would be great if Newtoy could add an in-game feature to show definitions of words placed on the board.

Now I do realize this feature could potentially ruin Words With Friends if implemented incorrectly. Instead of giving players full access to the dictionary, they would double tap any word already submitted to the board to reveal their definition.

Normally I feel a bit reserved in saying something is the best, but in this case I have no doubts, Words With Friends is the best word game in the App Store today. If you’re a fan of Scrabble don’t miss out on this excellent App Store release.

Update: I’ve posted a Beginner’s Guide to Words With Friends, the guide includes complete Word List and Letter Distribution.

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  1. Jamie says:

    I just played words with friends with my husband. I went out first but I had less points (285). He was stuck with an L but had 328 points. It shows that I won. Does anyone know why that is?

  2. Veronica says:

    I hit rematch for one of my games and it loaded a new game, but no letters appeared, the score shows 500 points for each player and there are goggly eyes in the upper right hand corner (near the msg button)….if I hit resign play, or anything on the game it just closes the app. I still have other games that I am playing, what’s going on with this game? Also, I got a notice for one of my games, but when I opened the ap the game was completely gone, what happened to this game? I can’t remember what the notice said…not sure if it was that the player played or resigned.

    • Lennie says:

      I just hit the same problem. Did you find a solution?

      • Veronica says:

        Eventually it just let me resign the game, then it closed the app. When I went back in it said repairing errors and the game that disappeared was there again….

  3. liz says:

    I would like to delete games already played. How is that done without deleting the entire game and reinstalling.

    • Mark says:

      You can delete a played game by simply swiping horizontally across it and selecting the “delete” button that appears.

  4. katiestl says:

    My game blows up when I open it. It says updating and then eventually shuts down. I’ve reinstalled 3 times, updated my phone, and bought the game instead of using the free version. I wish you had a way to reset my account, or i’ll have to make up a fake email and new username.
    When it used to work I would also have random new games started with no tiles. It would stay as other person’s move.Also it would be cool if all games were resigned after 1 week of no activity. Some people don’t resign who’ve restarted a game, very annoying.

    • waterbrother says:

      Words is a fantastic game. The AT&T network, however, is not, and is probably causing your problem. When the network bogs down, my games will show “Updating” for as long as it takes for me to get sick of it and turn my phone off. I’ve watched games “Update” for 30 minutes.

  5. Ellie says:

    How many tiles and how many of each are in iPhone words with friends?

  6. Ribeyerare says:

    OK people. I really sympathize with you all who are having problems with this game. I’ve been there. We ALL have been there. The biggest thing to understand about the situation is that this is probably one of the most popular iPhone games there is. Why is it that the tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of wwf players aren’t constantly complaining about these problems? Because they aren’t affected.
    Why not you may ask?
    The simple fact is newtoy handles about 160000 requests on it’s wwf server per minute!
    That’s right! You read it right folks.
    Now ask yourself, ” how good is my server connection? Do I live in east bumblefart in the middle of nowhere? I my wifi turned on?” the answers to these questions will give you a good idea as to why youre having these problems.
    Now I’m not gonna act all high and mighty and pretend like I have a better signal than you do, but I’m just sick of these complaints.
    If I said it once I said it a million times. But I’ll say it again. If you are having any problems with this game, close the app an open it again. Didn’t work? Do it again. And again. And again. It’s called ‘refresh’ people. And when your playing an online game, no matter what it is, or how good of an Internet connection you have, the game will lag and you will need to refresh.
    Hey, I’ve been frustrated with this game. It made me want to throw my iPhone into a river, but I just let it rest for a day and voilà! It worked!
    160000 requests per minute, folks! That’s a lot of requests!
    Now, you can argue that newtoy should update their servers to handle the load, but the truth is, it’s just an app that costs 1.99! You get what you pay for! Go to the store and see how much a scrabble board costs. Better yet, see how much the iPhone app version of scrabble costs. More than twice the price and you can’t even play online!
    Sure, I know it not fair. I know your bitter because you spent your pocket change on an app that doesn’t give you optimal performance, but it is what it is, people! And this game is awesome!
    Now if my refresh method doesn’t work, and it ALWAYS has for me, make sure of a couple things. Make sure your idevices OS is up to date and you have a clear connectivity to the Internet. Also, make sure your version of wwf is up to date. Whatever problem that your experiencing, I guarantee I’ve seen it before. I’ve been playing this game since it first came out.
    Here are some frequent problems you may run into:
    - oops! We’re sorry message
    - word or chat message won’t send
    - swap tiles won’t work
    - drops your game with that red circle with a line through it
    - upon opening the app, updating message won’t go away
    - after moving tiles from rack to the board, ‘ghost tiles’ appear on your rack
    the list goes on…. There’s really no reason to reboot your phone, or delete the app and reinstall, or whatever else you can dream up…. It’s just extreme lag!
    I would also like to point out that the developers of this game most likely never read these comments, so take your complaints and suggestions for the game elsewhere where they may be of some creative use. I suggest avoiding newtoys help desk as they are a huge software developer that works with several different platforms, the iPhone being the least and cheapest of them all. You will likely recieve no gratification from them because they have much better things to do than worry about you and your negativity, of which they hear infinitely everyday. Instead, go to the wwf facebook page, which Is monitored by someone linked to the development of this game, and who will actually respond to you and try to help you. You might also try Twitter, but I never have, so I don’t know what the results of that avenue will be like.
    Anyway, if you made it this far in my post, thanks for reading my rants and I hope I was helpful. I apologize for any offense you may have experienced by way of my bluntness, I’m not usually so rude. Just sick of hearing the same comments over and over. If people would actually try and figure this stuff out on their own, they’d find it’s a lot easier than they think. It only takes using the scroll bar to read one of the hundreds of posts asking the SAME questions!
    Peace out, and happy wording!

    • Ribeyerare says:

      I would also like to add, if you are experiencing any problems with your screenname, or switching from the free to the paid version, keep on mind that all the information the game uses is stored in YOUR email account. You know, the one you used when you first signed into the game. This is why wwf can send you push notifications free of charge. Makesure you are using the correct password and spelling your screenname properly. I know, that sounds obvious, right? But that’s how it works. I currently use both free and paid versions, and play up to 40 games at a time! If you can’t figure it out, refer to your email providers help center. They probably have a better idea as to why this isn’t working than newtoy would.

      • Geaux says:

        You said nothing of not being able to get game requests? I have had this issue for 2 months now, I don’t get them from new players, only the ones I have played before can send them to me. Have a clue on that one?


    • Jeff says:

      One thing I’d like to address. I agree with you, quit whining and refresh and deal with it, I’m sure they’re working on bandwidth and server issues as we speak. This game grew extremely quickly and it’s hard for developers who have to host online matches like this to respond to extreme rapid growth, it’s hard to plan for. You could waste a lot of money on servers and infrastructure and have your game flop, so you watch how your game sells and reacts and upgrade accordingly… You also have to watch out for interest loss, a lot of these sensations go away as quickly as they arrive, then new toy will end up with a bunch of server shaped paperweights until they come up with the next big great idea.

      I take issue with your statement that New toy has bigger and better things to worry about because iPhone apps are cheap and all that… Have you been to their website? WWF and CWF are their bread and butter right now… sure the developers are the ones who had a hand in Age of Empires, and sure they’re working on other platforms, but WWF is their thing right now… I promise you that wwf is pretty much 90% of what is going through their minds right now, and it’s huge success.

      • Jeff says:

        in other words they will probably help you through their help desks and would probably like to hear your CONSTRUCTIVE criticism because in future updates they are going to work to fix the problems that YOU, the consumer bring to their attention. Any responsible company does this.

        • ribeyerare says:

          jeff, you make some really good points that werent as valid three months ago when i wrote that post. the truth is….in respects to the newtoy help desk, im not trying to knock their work ethics. the simple fact is, that my experiences have proven the help desk to be precisely NOT that. i have always gotten quicker results using their facebook page than their help desk. the development team is very small, and i would conjecture that they dont read all the (probably millions) of emails that pour in to their help desk, which governs ALL their projects. their facebook page, however, seems to be monitored all the time.
          Also, since i started playing this game way back in january, no updates have ever been released to address the major issues that people complain about. nor have there ever been any press documents (that i am aware of) that talk about new toys acknowledgement of these issues. there is one thing i came across, though. if you scroll up a few posts, you’ll find a link to a very interesting article that highlights the wwf server issues. i reccommend taking a glance….
          peace out, and thanks for your insight!

  7. Kaye says:

    Driving me NUTS…. I deleted, powered off, reinstalled, powered off, put in my email and password and user name – STILL WON”T WORK. I did this 10 times a day for the last 4 days – I’ve tried loading from both my iphone and computer —- no luck. I tried the Free version again – no luck. It just says “updating” and crashes. I finally downloaded the free version again, and used a NEW user name and email address. I am working tonight – but have no faith it will last. I wonder if they give more attention to the FREE version since it has sponsors? But I’ve only noticed 2-3 sponsor ads… I also opened a problem ticket two days ago… status: “waiting to be assigned to a helpdesk agent”

  8. dan says:

    game is horrible. all it does is update and crash, update and crash. POS!

  9. Shelly says:

    I am familiar with WWF and know how it should work. However, my husband just downloaded it onto his new iPhone and is having problems. He can’t get the tiles to move beyond the tray. They just won’t transfer to the board. Any suggestions?

  10. Sania says:

    this is the 3rd time my WWF has crashed!!!!! I love this game so much but it’s very frustrating when it sends the ever annoying OOPS!!! message!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please fix this!!!!

  11. Joshua says:

    I have been playing Words With Friends ( Free Version) and decided to go ahead and buy the regular version to skip all the ad’s and all.. Now I’ve bought it and it will not load all my old games. It ask me for my email and I type it in and instead of bringing up all my games it ask me to Creat a New Name ??? I’ve uninstalled it and have Re-installed it and it still will not work ?

    Any Ideas ? Someone Help me please !!! Thanks

  12. lolo says:

    how do you put symbols and pictures on the words with friends game icons

  13. Adam says:

    I too was having all the problems that everyone was talking about. It wasn’t until
    I deleted the application, updated my iphone on my computer, and reinstalled the application under a new username and email that the issues went away. I did that a month ago and haven’t had any problems since. Good luck to you all!

  14. Betsy says:

    my words for friends has been saying ***updating…this may take several minutes*** since friday and now it is the following tuesday and it still says the same thing. i tried deleting the app and reinstalling it and it still says the same thing. please help…..i payed 2.99 and i guess i just lost my money

    • queen says:

      you need to delete it off the iphone and then dowload it again, but do not open it. It will not charge you again. Then power off your iphone completely, (hold top off buton until you get the icon to slide to power off) power off and then turn back on. When you restart it, put in your origianl email and it should work. Good luck!!

  15. Carol says:

    Does anyone know when this problem will be fixed? I paid $2.99 for this app and i’m having to constantly uninstall/reinstall & it still won’t work. I’m ready to be done with it and get my money back… It’s been 2 weeks and no response from New Toys, and nothing on the website regarding the problem or when it will be fixed.

    Buyer Beware: this app doesn’t perform any better with the paid version. Save yourself $2.99, use the free version and suffer through the ads.

    • Sandra says:

      Here’s the latest twist. My games have been uploading (not)
      on the paid version for the last 48 hours. I went to the free
      versions and all of my games are now showing up there.
      Has anyone else had this experience?

  16. ryan says:

    i had the issue of the app “updating” and closing out and going to the home screen. i followed felix felix’s reinstall and my games werent there. and now, of course, its doing the updating issue again.

  17. Snoozatron 3000 says:

    This game was absolutely fantastic, the best, hands down, about 2 months ago. Now its just turned to crap. It is crashing constantly. I have a number of “corrupt” games that I can’t access at all. Today I won a game by about 40 point, played my last two tiles to finish it off, then got the annoying “Oops” message – now the game appears at the bottom of the list, with a red error symbol, and worst of all says the other player won. I’m playing the free version, if and when these problems are fixed I will gladly pay $2.99 for the paid version. But not until then. Get busy guys.

    • Sandra says:

      I am constantly being shut out of my games. Currently
      the system is updating but not giving me access. I had
      about 15 games going at the time. In the past when I’ve
      had to delete the app and download a new
      app, it’s lost all my games. Very frustrating to
      say the least.

    • David says:

      I totally agree!!! They need to fix these bugs, before I would consider spending 3 dollars. I currently have 7 games that have not made a move in 15-22 days. I’ve had the oops problem, please wait while updating, everything imaginable. Hopefully they fix this.

  18. Darlene says:

    I used to enjoy this game but I realized sometimes when you make a word it doesn’t give the correct points. For an example I made a word using the letter Z which I put on a TL tile but I only got 7 points. That’s incorrect. I made the word zotly and the word alone is 17 points so with the letter Z being on a triple tile it should have been about 37 points for that word.

  19. Dale says:

    I love the game but it is constantly gowing down….really frustrating!! I wish this would get fixed once and for all!

  20. denisemc41469 says:

    Very fun game and very addicting! I love the challenges and love playing online with other members….BIg Fun! Worth every cent.

  21. jwild says:

    First had the Free version of Words, then bought the paid version last night. My phone has been “updating” since last night. I synced it with my computer and that didn’t help. I now have two apps showing on my phone, but only the Free one is active. What’s the deal and what should I do next?

  22. cford says:

    I have uninstalled and reinstalled three times and the app continues to say updating and then blinks and returns to my iphone screen page. Very frustrating! Any help would be appreciated!

    • Sierra says:

      I am having the same problem with the uninstall/reinstall and the continuous updating which leads back to the home screen. Please let me know what to do to correct the problem.

  23. [...] Backflip is exploring more turn-based gaming, where one player makes a move and only then can a different player respond to that move. Here’s a review of a turn-based game called Words With Friends [...]

  24. B. J. Lowery says:

    I did the uninstall and words still will not work. What else can I do?

    • Adam says:

      Uninstall Words. Update your phone on your computer. Then reinstall. If that doesn’t work, try opening a new account with a different username and email. I’ve had to do it once.

  25. B. J. Lowery says:

    My phone has been updating for approximately four hours now. Why does it take so long to update? Also, how can the games that are already completed be removed? Please help!

  26. hibbsdds says:

    I have the app, and it is great. However, I just played all 7 of my tiles on a word and I only got 52 points. I should have gotten my tile points plus a 50 point bonus. What gives?

    • shelrose says:

      you receive a 35 point bonus for playing all 7 tiles.

    • Jeff says:

      I think it’s crap… using all seven tiles is a big deal. If they had to deviate from scrabble they should have deviated maybe 5 points or so and in a positive direction. Hell go all the way to 65. If you can go 15 points down, there shouldn’t be an issue with 15 points up, and I think using all 7 is an achievement worthy of 65 points! (I’m biased because I would be on top with my arch rival right now if not for the lack of a decent amount of bonus points.)

      • ribeyerare says:

        actually, jeff, i read an article in the new yorker about three or four months ago that stated hasbro is going to change the bingo bonus to 35, as well as reduce the point value of some tiles (specifically the X and the Q) due to the fact that there are so many oppurtunities to score huge point totals with some of the words now recognized as valid that weren’t several years ago.
        i dont know when these changes will take place, but im definitely not looking forwards to it either!

  27. B. J. Lowery says:

    My Words has been installing updates for about 5 hours. What is happening? Why is it taking so long to update material? Another thing, can we encourage our opponents that if they sign up to play, they should play, let you know if they are going away or resign. It is very frustrating waiting on someone for 4 or 5 days.
    Thanks for letting me vent. Words with Friends is the best game I’ve ever played.

  28. Colette says:

    I started having problems with Words yesterday- it wouldn’t load. When I pressed the icon, it would blink once, then just stay on the iPhone main screen. After reinstalling several times, it works again. Knock wood.

  29. Alba says:

    I have been having problems with my app. I have uninstalled and reinstalled and it still keeps saying the same thing. Updathing this may take a few minutes but then it goes back to the main menu! What can I do??? Please help!!! ASAP!!!

    • CJ says:

      I had to uninstall and reinstall twice but it worked the second time. I’m not sure what to do if that isn’t working. Hope you find a solution. And thanks Felix Felix for your info!

    • Sierra says:

      I have the same problem. How did you solve the problem?

  30. Felix Felix says:

    This site on their app page worked perfect.

    Reinstalled the app and didn’t even have to choose a new user name. All my games in progress were still there too! Excellent fix:


    • sandra says:

      I followed the instructions to uninstall, but there is no
      Words with Friends showing up in the App store.
      Any suggestions?

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