Quick Look: Jangle


It should come as no surprise in these parts that I am a sucker for a word game.  In fact, not long ago I posted a roundup of a few of the more popular variations.  One that I left off at the time was a game which was then called Squabble.  Not long ago, Squabble all but disappeared from the App Store for a short time, only to reappear last week with overhauled graphics and a brand new name: Jangle. 

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Jangle is a bit of a different kind of word game, though it is no less challenging…or interactive than the others.  Unlike the other games, which offer a leisurely approach, reminiscent of the chess by mail games, Jangle presents a race against time, as you and your opponent attempt to create the best word before time expires.

Gameplay begins with both you and your opponent being shown the same array of letters.  Your goal is to create the highest scoring word with those letters before time runs out.  This gameplay will continue through five rounds.  In the sixth and final round, you will be given the added challenge of discovering the nine letter mystery word.  Be the first to guess the word and your opponent will automatically score no points in that round.

Like other word games, you will also find some bonus squares which can help you along the way.  Double letter, triple letter, double word, and triple word squares will be randomly placed on the gameboards.  Make a word using enough letter tiles to cover those spaces and you will increase your score. 

Obviously, the object of the game is to score more points than your opponent at the end of the final round.  Do so, and your global ranking will increase.  Lose the game and your ranking will decrease.  So, not only do you want to win each game, but you also want to make sure to keep that global rank high in order to ensure you  face off against the highest caliber opponents.

Speaking of opponents, one critical component of any online game is selecting an opponent.  You can play online against a randomly selected opponent, or choose to play against any of your Facebook friends who play Jangle.  Sadly, none of my Facebook friends play Jangle…so I was stuck playing with random opponents.  It would be nice if I could invite other friends who are not necessarily on Facebook, which would significantly expand many of our respective universes of opponents.

One of the things I like about online word games is the fact that both players need not be online at the same time in order to play.  I can go online and play through all of my games, and my opponents can go on at their leisure and play as well.  Jangle is not like that.  In order to play Jangle, both players must be logged on at the same time, as the competition is live and head to head.  I expected this to bother me, but the games were so quick that this did not bother me as much as I might have expected.

The other oddity about the game is that you are limited in the number of games you can play.  A counter tracks the number of games you can play.  Once this counter reaches five, your games will begin to recharge at a rate of one game per seven minutes (you can also purchase 99 games for $0.99. )  I found this to be an artificial limit which really made little sense to me at all.  I would rather the developers had just charged $0.99 for the game and removed the counter entirely.

I have to say that I really enjoyed Jangle quite a bit.   It is based on similar concepts as other word games, but offers  unique and different approach, which I really appreciated.   Also unlike other word games, this is not a leisurely, play at your own pace, kind of game.  Jangle’s fast paced race against the clock adds a level of excitement and pressure which many of the other games in this genre do not always achieve.

Jangle is available for FREE for all iOS devices.

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