Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Ack! This game is scary!

Anagramarama needs a new dictionary file. One that isn't batshit-insane (okay, I'm not going to use that phrase anymore; I know we all miss Hunter S. Thompson, but I can't go a day without reading it somewhere). The basic game is one we're all familiar with - you're given a random set of letters, and you have to make as many words out of them as you can. You can play it on the MegaTouch at the bar, you can play it at Yahoo! Games, and it's probably been done a thousand times as a shareware or mobile game.

Normally, the complaint with this type of game is that the dictionary is too small. They went the other way, with this one. Anagramarama has tons and tons of words that are not words. If dictionary.com can only find one dictionary that mentions it, and that dictionary mentions it as an alternative spelling from 17th century Scotland, I'm sorry, but that's not a word. I know there are words that I don't yet have in my vocabulary, but honestly, I'm pretty good at games like this. This thing uses medical terms, technical terms, archaic terms, slang... all kinds of terms that aren't typically included in such games.

This basically means that it's impossible to fully complete a board by filling in all the possible 'words' unless you resort to trial and error, which is frustrating. If the game were more complete, it would be worse, but as Anagramarama has no high-score list, and doesn't allow you to carry your score onward from one 'level' to the next, getting a high score is rendered irrelevant.

So if you're desperate to build words from letters, Anagramarama is a decent outlet for that. But you'd be better off playing Text Twist at Yahoo! or heading down to McCormack's and playing Wordster on the Megatouch machine. Order a Pain, if Mac's working, and enjoy yourself.

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