iWordJuggle Review

Adopting a less is more approach to the word game genre, Roland Leth’s iWordJuggle (out now, $0.99 Free) eschews fancy schmancy graphics, forced time limits, and other unnecessary bells and whistles in favor of a polished, sophisticated aesthetic and gimmick-free gameplay. Is it mind-blowingly exciting? Well, no, but that’s sort of the point: iWordJuggle is a relaxed and relaxing affair; purpose built for spending an enjoyable ten minutes or so with here and there.

You begin each game by carefully choosing three words from a list of fifteen. Once you’ve made your selection, it’s time to “juggle” the letters around and put your vocabulary to the test by trying to form as many new words from them as possible. Much like Scrabble tiles, each letter has been assigned a numerical value, so longer words equal higher scores.

The fact that you’re not playing against the clock means you’re free to take your sweet time to rack up a high score and the game doesn’t end until you decide you’ve thoroughly exhausted the contents of your mental lexicon. The absense of a countdown timer and those ‘there are x amount of words left to find’ indicators that word games tend to force down your throat lends iWordJuggle a uniquely laid back feel. This general air of calm and quietude is further reinforced by the game’s understated yet pleasant graphical style and color scheme(s), ambient sound effects, and the ability to drop in and out of games at will.

The main game may be something of an excercise in minimalism, but that doesn’t mean Roland Leth has skimped on fun extras – iWordJuggle boasts a local leaderboard and a nice selection of achievements, while wordsmiths with a competitive streak will be pleased to hear it also features a Game Center-powered online leaderboard.

To sum up, the back-to-basics gameplay and no-frills presentation on offer here probably won’t be to everyone’s taste, nevertheless iWordJuggle has earned a permanent spot on my iPod thanks to its casual-friendly pace and an easygoing drop in/drop out style of play I found to be perfectly suited to a mobile game of this type.

iFanzine Verdict: iWordJuggle is one of those games that’s likely likely to divide opinion; you’ll either find it fusty and tedious in the extreme or you’ll appreciate and enjoy the uniquely laid back approach it takes. At the time of writing, the game’s available for free, so I’d heartily recommend you give it a download regardless.