Steal words and make them your own with WordXchange game

WordXchange screenshot

WordXchange is a clever multiplayer word game that's based around using a pool of just a few letters plus the words your opponent makes to create words of your own. Game options include playing against a computer, multiplayer with up to four people or pass-and-play with people you're with. To win the game, you have to make six words before the other players. It sounds complicated, but in practice it keeps you on your feet. WordXchange is free for iPhone and iPad with in-app purchases.

It took me a while to grasp the concept of WordXchange. I knew that my objective was to make words from the words my opponent already made but it seemed difficult given the very few letters available in the pool. Fortunately there's a tutorial that helps you along your first time playing.

You're given a few letters scattered in the middle, plus one red letter at the bottom left. While every player in the game sees and chooses from the letters in the middle, the red letter is accessible and visible to only you. When someone creates a word using these letters, your main objective is to then take that word and, without removing any of the letters in that word, make a new word. If you do this successfully, the opponent loses that word and you gain your new one for yourself.

WordXchange screenshot

This deserves an example. My opponent plays the word "bot." I notice that I have an A to use, so I decide to steal the opponent's word and create the word "boat." This means I gain this word for my own score and the opponent loses it. It's not necessary to steal words though. Making a word with the letters available in the pool is fine, it just doesn't rob your opponent of anything. If you can't make a word at all with the given letters, skip your turn until new ones appear that are useful to you.

All of the rules mentioned above are part of WordXchange's Classic mode. There's actually two other game modes: Neo-Classic and Fusion. Neo-Classic has slightly different rules like only being able to play one word during your turn and Fusion makes all tiles private and visible to just you.

WordXchange also has some other gameplay options. Elect to turn a timer on or off to give players a certain amount of time to form a word before forfeiting the turn, allow or deny acronyms, choose an easy, medium or hard difficulty and choose the aforementioned game mode.

Five power-ups boost your score in the game and therefore your amount of coins. You spend coins on these power-ups. Two coins gets you an additional 30 seconds (for timed games only,) three coins generates an anagram, a dictionary definition (very handy and in my opinion should be a free, included feature) costs two coins, a tile swap costs one coin and a word suggestion that would be your "best move" for the turn costs five coins.

WordXchange screenshot

If you run out of coins, they range from a pack of 50 for US$0.99 to 5,000 for $5.99. As affordable as this price range is, I find the game extremely playable without having to spend any money. That's a true rarity among games with in-app purchases and a compliment.

Everything about WordXchange is alluring. The graphics are nice for a word game, the gameplay is fun and addictive, in-app purchases are affordable and there's a plethora of game options to customize to your liking. Get for free in the App Store.