★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

Top SCRABBLE players love our word game, so why doesn't anybody else??

01-06-2014, 10:50 AM
Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Posts: 54
Top SCRABBLE players love our word game, so why doesn't anybody else??

Hi guys,

Thanks for dropping by. I don't know whether you're aware, but roughly a year ago we released the best word game on iOS; What it Takes.

(We're not exercising reticence here, because it's a claim we fully believe )

See here: https://itunes.apple.com/app/what-it-takes-free/id584331176?mt=8

Anyways, we have a few Tournament Scrabble players (top 300 in NASPA rankings) who play What it Takes, and their responses have been extremely positive, with all of them concurring that it's the best word game on iOS and also the best game for rapidly learning words - essential for playing Scrabble like a baus .

I guess our question is simple (and obvious, after reading the title)...

Despite having the best word game on iOS, with even endorsement and epic laudation uttered from the mouths of top Scrabble players, why are we only just edging towards the '10000 users' mark?

Or, put another way:

Why ppl no liek our gaym wen our gaym liek ppl??

W.I.T. combines three different round types, a words round, a numbers round and an anagram round. It successfully combines fun and challenging gameplay with competitive and educational themes.

FREE Word Game for iPhone and iPad | Watch the teaser trailer now | @WhatItTakesGame
01-06-2014, 03:37 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 3,089
(1) there arent enough screenshots for the word variant. It looks kind of like boggle maybe. If its not, add more screenshots. No one is gonna get excited about a boggle variant, so you have to show what your about.

(2) the description for the math variant says that it "will turn you into a human calculator". This is either one of the worst marketing slogans I have ever heard, or a good slogan designed for a tiny, tiny nitch. As with the word variant, I dont really know what is going on from the screeshots.

Just in general, the fact that competetive scrabble players -- a tiny nitch in a comparatively small part of the app store to begin with -- like your game but it isnt selling is hardly a reason to be surprised.

How many word games have become break-out hits? I cant think of any besides Words With Friends and Bookworm. If there are others, how did they market it or pitch it?

Currently addicted to Clash Royale
01-06-2014, 04:22 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Location: uk
Posts: 3,602
As so done who loves word games, (not a top player but I'm pretty decent) I'll give you my thoughts.

Firstly it's difficult to see from the screenshots what it is. Is it boggle type game? I dunno, I can't really tell but it looks kinda like boggle with elements of the British words and numbers quiz show countdown mixed in.

The claim the top pro scrabble players say that this is the best iOS word game puts me off if I'm being honest, I can't explain why but as soon as I read that part I thought eugh.maybe it's because if they play this game and I came against them I wouldn't stand a chance, I dunno.

The number thing puts me off a lot as while I may be pretty good with words I am totally crap with numbers.

Lastly, when it comes to word games I like too take my time and not feel pressured, working against the clock in word games is not fun to me personally, I can make better words when I'm taking my time and that is what I enjoy.

I really love word games and have tried tons and tons both free and paid but there is on,y one that has never left my device and never will. Letterpress.
01-08-2014, 06:26 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Location: Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Posts: 119
Originally Posted by cloudpuff View Post
Firstly it's difficult to see from the screenshots what it is. Is it boggle type game? I dunno, I can't really tell but it looks kinda like boggle with elements of the British words and numbers quiz show countdown mixed in.
I agree with cloudpuff - the screenshots don't do a very good job of explaining what type of game this is.

The time limit might be off-putting to a lot of players as well. In the game I'm currently developing, I used to have it be in real-time where enemies would attack on a timer, so you had to spell words as quickly as possible. It was almost universally hated by players, they just felt too pressured. Add in the fact that many phone-gamers play games in places where they can be frequently interrupted, and it can be quite frustrating. My game is now turn-based and players are enjoying it a lot more now - of course our games are quite different, but I'm just sharing my experience.

I also agree with ArtNJ - I'm a self-proclaimed nerd that actually enjoys math but even I don't get excited when I read ""will literally turn you into a human calculator". So maybe rewording your description of the game would help too?

On your initial instructions in the game (I just downloaded the free version and gave it a try), the ones about numbers have way too much going on visually, I can't tell at a glance what you're trying to explain. Maybe simplifying to only show instructions for the event/activity I'm about to do would help? Showing me a bunch of help screens in a row just makes me forget them all as I tap through them.

I did like how I could practice on my own before playing against an actual opponent.

I tried the math game, and my immediate reaction when being asked for high or low numbers was confusion. Nothing on the screen is explained, and it took me a bit to figure out what was going on. Maybe a small tutorial would be helpful? Or a help button that populates the screen with some question marks that can be tapped to give some more info/explanations: Bookworm Heroes does this pretty well.

For what it's worth, I enjoyed the word game portion. I'd be more likely to keep playing the game if I didn't have to do the number game at all - I enjoy math and working through complicated math problems when making games, but don't enjoy math games (this is just me though, obviously everyone is different!).

Last edited by codebandit; 01-09-2014 at 05:33 PM.
01-09-2014, 01:49 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 624
I'm a huge fan of Countdown (I'm assuming it was an inspiration for this game?). I can't tell you why other people haven't bought your game, but I can tell you that when I saw this thread two days ago, I immediately went and bought it and have been playing it ever since. I have also gotten my girlfriend addicted to it.

I only do practice mode, though. Not a fan of multiplayer.
01-09-2014, 04:08 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: NY, NY
Posts: 990
Probably a combination of fate and pursuing a very well-trodden genre.