[Review] Writer Rumble
It seems like it’s been forever since Feel Every Yummy’s literary warfare game for iOS was announced under the name Word Fighter, but it’s finally out. Bringing a clever mixture of Boggle and Street Fighter along with a cavalcade of authorial combatants, there’s nothing quite like Writer Rumble. Hit the jump if you’re interested in finding out whether beating up H.P. Lovecraft with Edgar Allan Poe is as fun as it sounds.
Playing like a real-time game of Boggle, Writer Rumble pits two literary giants against each other fighting game-style. By spelling words on your jumbled board of letters, you’ll send them flying at your opponent. The more points the letters are worth (less common/harder to use letters are worth more), the more damage is taken off of your opponents. This sounds fairly simple (and it is!), but there’s a bit more to the game that gives it the depth it needs to be entertaining for more than a few minutes.
Each character has their own abilities which are activated by pressing the buttons near the board. Jane, for example, is an offense-focused character. Her three abilities are shuffling the board, making her next move do double damage, and making the next move do triple damage. These abilities cool down over time like your average action-RPG, but accruing points also hastens your abilities. Then there are trickier characters like Howard, who can flip the opponents board upside down and even heal himself with his own words. Other abilities allow you to switch the places of two letters on the board, blocking certain letters on your opponent’s board, or even forcing them to spell their words backwards temporarily.
The real draw here is the multiplayer, which is devilishly addictive. Matches are quick, which makes Writer Rumble a perfect game to play when you only have a little time to kill. Each round has a two minute timer, but rounds very rarely come close to taking that long. In standard fighting game form, the player that wins two out of three rounds wins the match. Players can play online or locally through Bluetooth. Matchmaking is great, especially when compared to other iOS games and, generally speaking, Quick Match really does get you into a match quickly. If you’d like, you can even get challenged by other players in the menus, which occasionally makes getting into a match nearly instant once you’ve started the app.
In addition, there’s one other mode which is a single-player survival mode. Picking whichever character you’d like, you can customize your ability loadout as you please and last as long as possible against constantly approaching monsters. Lasting longer gives you a bigger score, which is really the only goal in this mode. While it’s fun and serves as good practice for the multiplayer, it’s not fully-featured enough to be fun for more than a few times. If you find yourself without Internet, this won’t be your go-to game, but if you want to hit a ghost in the face with letters, it’s good for a laugh.
Even though it’s essentially Boggle, Writer Rumble manages to carve out a section of its own when it comes to iOS gaming. It’s refreshing to see a word-based mobile game not caving under the pressure of the rising asynchronous multiplayer craze. Playing a few rounds with friends or even a random stranger is always fun and the game even keeps track of your win/loss ratio for people who want to obsess over it. For $.99 on the App Store, I’ve had a lot more fun with this app than more expensive word games. If you found yourself needing to kill some time on the go and feel like some multiplayer gaming, Writer Rumble comes highly recommended.
[+Addictive, Short Matches] [+Original Premise] [+Beat Up Jane Austen!] [+Encourages Different Playstyles] [-Not Much Fun By Yourself]