Words with Friends is a multi-player word game developed by Zynga with Friends (formerly Newtoy, Inc.). Players take turns building words crossword puzzle style in a manner similar to the classic board game Scrabble. (The rules of the two games are similar, but Words with Friends is not officially associated with the Scrabble brand.) Up to 20 games can be played simultaneously using push notifications to alert players when it is their turn. Players may look up friends either by username or through Facebook or be randomly assigned an opponent.
Released July 2009, Words with Friends is available for cross-platform play on devices running the operating systems Android, Windows Phone, and iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch). The game is also available on Facebook, Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet. In addition, there is a chat feature built into the game that allows opponents to exchange messages. Between 2010 and 2011, Words with Friends was one of the top ranking games in the iOS app store, available as both a free ad-supported version and a paid version with no “third party ads between turns”.
The rules of the game are mostly the same as those of two-player Scrabble, with a few differences such as the arrangement of bonus tiles and some of the letters’ point values. Players are given seven randomly chosen letter tiles, which are replenished until all 104 tiles have been used. Players take turns forming words on the board or, instead of playing a word, may also choose to swap tiles with the pool of currently unused tiles or pass their turn. Players can form words either vertically or horizontally on the board. The player’s aim is to score as many points as possible.