Developer: Duong Nguyen
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
Don't worry, it's not in your eye, it's with an I and an E, O, U and sometimes Y. Word Droppings is a word building game played by tapping letters to form words, which as expected, scores you points. You can compete against yourself to advance through 75 different levels or play online against other players or Facebook and Twitter friends. While by no means my favorite word formation game ever, Word Droppings has some unique features that keep the game interesting, fun and is by no means “crappy.”
Falling like pigeon poop in the city, Word Droppings features random letters that scroll from top to bottom. Simply tap the letters in a sequence that forms a three or more letter word. Letters don’t have to be next to one another to use, so all letters on the screen are fair game. There are two bonus tiles that appear – a bomb and a snake. The golden snake is worth bonus points just for tapping, but the bomb will subtract points if it reaches the bottom of the screen. To avoid losing points, simply detonate the bomb by spelling a word before it hits bottom.
One of the more intuitive features of Word Droppings is the ability to control the scrolling speed of the letters by tilting your iPhone. Tilt it up to make the letters fall faster, tilt it back to slow them down. This is an apt strategy if you are looking for a particular letter to complete a word. You can see a preview of the next row of letters about to drop, but if another letter is on screen, you want to keep it from falling away off screen. Since you are also competing against a clock, spelling enough words for enough points is crucial to rapid advancement through levels. If you make a mistake, tap delete once to erase the last letter used or tap and hold delete to erase them all.
As you progress through levels, the number of letters in each row increases. Obviously this provides more letters with which to create bigger and better words, but scanning through the increasing abundance of letters as they fall becomes more and more challenging, which is when Word Droppings starts to become fun. Word Droppings keeps a record of all the words you’ve made while playing, which is a nice feature, but keep in mind you can’t make the same word twice in any one round.
The online play is pretty simple. You can play Word Droppings with friends on Facebook and Twitter or you can play online as a guest and get random opponents. You and your opponent are sharing the same set of letters, racing to spell the most words and get the highest score within the time limit. In some cases, I found myself in an online match where the game wouldn’t recognize any contact with any letters and I couldn’t exit out without closing the app altogether. It could have been a one-off or it could be an online only issue. Either way, I had as many successful online matches as not.
Word Droppings is a fun word building game and its slightly juvenile graphics and letter font would seemingly appeal to kids. Since it accepts three letter words it actually does work for kids as well as adults. By providing both a single and multi-player experience as well as throwing in a few extra features like tilt control and point boosters, Word Droppings falls into place as an all around good word game.