Rumble Review

Rumble Review

Jul 17, 2012

For those who are good with words and word games – and don’t want to compete with a machine – Rumble is a good option from the many games in its category. Although it has a “practice” level to play without a human opponent, the main modes of this game allow for playing with Facebook friends or with a random online player who’s ready to play. The game does require an internet connection for this, so that’s something to consider if connectivity is an issue.

It took a while for me to understand the basics of Rumble, but ultimately, the player just needs to find as many words as they can in a set of letters tiled together. Just like Scrabble, some letters are worth more points than others. The game has three modes: play with a specific friend (which requires one should know his Rumble user name), play with Facebook friends, find a random opponent and the Premium feature, Practice Mode.

In order to beat the opponent, one has to form words within two minutes and get the higher score. Swiping in any direction is allowed, as long as the tiles are adjacent to each other. Each match lasts three rounds. One does not have to win all three rounds, as the winner is determined by the total scores from all three rounds. After a few rounds, I realized that these random enemies know their words, and winning is not as easy as I thought. This is great because it means this game is really played by word-forming fanatics.

Some players may take a while to respond, but one can simply hit the Back button and start another game. The previous one will continue to run in the background. To completely quit from an ongoing match, one can tap on the Resign button.

Other than unresponsiveness due to a slow internet connection, the game runs fairly well. Graphics are also nice and crisp – with letters big enough to swipe through. However, I was not able to find a way to pause a game. There are no buttons to press anywhere and tapping on the Menu key didn’t do anything.

On top of single player mode, the paid version offers an ad-free UI and game statistics. The game can also be played in nine other languages including French, Spanish and German.

A consistent issue with the game (including my own experience) is that the notifications don’t work. In the game settings, there are options to enable notifications, but I never once saw it work. Hopefully this is something that gets fixed with future updates, as it is a bit tedious to open the game again just to check the progress of the matches.

Caveats aside, Rumble can be a great contender to the more popular Scramble With Friends despite the fact that they are a little too similar, with the rules  exactly the same – down to the two-minute timer. However, word game enthusiasts might not mind an alternative, as long as the experience is just as good. It does need a bit of fine-tuning, but regardless of its quirks, Rumble still remains a vibrant, mind-teaser for word addicts.