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Ruzzle for Android review: Ruzzle rules the word-puzzle genre

Seemingly out of nowhere, Ruzzle recently vaulted past a long list of other puzzle games and landed near the top of Google Play's Top Apps list.

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Jaymar Cabebe
Jaymar_Cabebe.jpg

Jaymar Cabebe

Former Associate Editor

Jaymar Cabebe covers mobile apps and Windows software for CNET. While he may be a former host of the Android Atlas Weekly podcast, he doesn't hate iOS or Mac. Jaymar has worked in online media since 2007.

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Similar to the classic word game Boggle, Ruzzle consists of a four-by-four grid of letters. Your job as the player is to use sequentially adjacent letters to create as many words as you can in 2 minutes. Words can be oriented diagonally, horizontally, or vertically, and can even change directions to form "L" or "V" shapes. Of course, what sets Ruzzle apart from Boggle is that you can compete online against players from around the world.

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8.7

Ruzzle for Android

The Good

<b>Ruzzle</b> strips away the coins and power-ups that litter Scramble With Friends, and offers gameplay that is closer to that of the classic Boggle.

The Bad

It sometimes takes several minutes to find new opponents. A Smart Match feature similar to Scramble's would be nice.

The Bottom Line

If you like word games or puzzles, then Ruzzle is one of the best available. But consider getting the ad-free and more feature-packed premium version.

As you find words in Ruzzle, just swipe your finger across the letters to record them. Each letter offers a specific number of points, and some letters offer double and even triple-point bonuses. What makes Ruzzle (and Boggle) fun is that it pits you not only against other players, but also against yourself, as a major objective is to beat your own high scores. There are also Achievements that you can unlock when you find extremely high-scoring words or do exceptionally well in a particular round.

Ruzzle up some words (pictures)

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Right off the bat, avid mobile gamers will probably notice that Ruzzle appears to be a carbon copy of Zynga's Boggle-like offering Scramble With Friends. While it's certainly true that the two mobile games are very much alike, they also have some major differences that are worth pointing out.

First, I actually prefer the gameplay of Ruzzle to that of Scramble With Friends. For instance, in Scramble, you must earn virtual coins (by simply waiting) and use them to start new matches and buy power-ups. These details add a new layer of strategy to the classic word game, but I don't think that necessarily improves it. Meanwhile, Ruzzle keeps it sweet and simple with its classic 2-minute time limit and three-round matches.

Ruzzle may look like Zynga's Scramble With Friends, but there are some distinct differences between the two games. Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

That said, I do think Ruzzle falls short in one area: finding opponents. Ruzzle sometimes has trouble finding opponents and the process can up to several minutes. Meanwhile, Scramble is usually a lot quicker. Scramble also has a Smart Match feature that matches you up with players of comparable skill level. This is a nice detail that Ruzzle could certainly benefit from.

If you want an ad-free experience, then consider upgrading to the premium version of Ruzzle for $1.99. This upgrade also gets you extra features like Game Statistics and Practice Mode, which make it a worthwhile buy.

Overall, if you're into word games or puzzles, then Ruzzle is one of the best available.

Ruzzle_600x400_1.jpg
8.7

Ruzzle for Android

Score Breakdown

Setup 10Features 8Interface 9Performance 10