It has been eight years since Words With Friends hit the mobile scene, and the game still stands as one of the more popular titles on the Google Play Store. Even with its popularity, Zynga thought it was time for a sequel – Words With Friends 2 – that tries to include as many new features as possible without leaving the existing audience in the dust.
In terms of core gameplay, the sequel remains largely the same when compared to the original. That is, you get matched up with someone else and take turns placing words on a board. It’s a back-and-forth affair that has you taking your time coming up with a new word, but the simplicity of it all, coupled with the chance to learn new words along the way and one-up your friends, is what helped make Words With Friends extremely popular.
The sequel’s job, then, is to introduce new features, rather than drastically change the status quo. To that end, Zynga points out new modes like a lightning round that has you come up with words as fast as possible, as well as a solo mode that matches you with AI-controlled bots instead of actual people.
Words With Friends 2 also introduces boosts, which include everything from previews of all possible word placements to seeing what would have been the best word to use after the fact. Finally, the sequel adds new tidbits here and there, such as weekly challenges, an in-game dictionary, and a cleaner aesthetic.
Arguably the most interesting aspect about Words With Friends 2 isn’t its new features, but what remains unchanged. As The Verge learned, your friends and ongoing matches from the original get carried over to the sequel, and if you started a match in the original game, that also gets carried over. As such, Words With Friends 2 occupies this interesting grey area that sits between a true sequel and an update.
Then again, that might not be much of a bad thing. Some of the focus in the video game industry has shifted to a model that supports video games for months and years with updates and expansions, but that leaves the question of what warrants a sequel with a somewhat murky answer.
With Words With Friends 2, the game is available alongside the original, not as a replacement. As such, the game stands as a sequel and an update that does not force people to forget about the original. You can give the sequel a whirl at the link below.
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