Thursday, May 3, 2018

Feeding Your Addictions


The psychologists have poo-pooed the idea of an “addictive personality,” but I’m here to tell you that I have one. A “friend” recently introduced me to the Wordscapes app for my phone. (It’s available for Android and iPhone.) It’s been sucking up my time ever since.

Here’s the blurb for the Android app:

This text twist of a word game is tremendous brain challenging fun. Enjoy modern word puzzles with the best of word searching, anagrams, and crosswords!

You’ll never experience a dull moment after you try this addicting word puzzle game! (Emphasis added). Play this crossword puzzle once and just you won’t be able to put it down.

Escape and stimulate your mind by visiting the beautiful destinations of Wordscapes!
Get your word hunt on with over 3,700 cross word puzzles!
Challenge your brain and vocabulary – this crossword puzzle starts easy and becomes challenging fast!
Think you can beat these anagram word puzzles? They start simply but ramp up fast!

Wordscapes is the word hunt game that over 10 million people just can't stop playing! It's a perfect fit for fans of crossword or word anagram games, combining [the] best of word find games and crossword puzzles.

I prefer math games, but saw my friend playing this and thought it looked interesting. I downloaded it, and the rest is addictive history. The game is this: You are provided with a number of letters. (It starts with 5, I’m up to 7 and I don’t know what the upper limit is.) You are given a blank crossword puzzle setup, and the task is to fill in all the entries. (The only clues are the number of spaces.) Sometimes there is a “bonus” word that is separate from the crossword. Those suckers are a problem because the only thing you know is the number of letters and that the word does not appear in the crossword.

There is no time limit or penalty for wrong guesses. The app is free but comes with ads. For $2.99 you can eliminate the ads; I don’t pay for aps (expect birding aps), so I put up with the ads, which don’t last so long as to break my addiction!

Here are a couple of hints for new players. Check in every day and accept the free gift box which often contains coins (see later for coin use). There is a daily puzzle which can earn you extra coins. When you play it (and why not?), try to find answers for the entry that includes a butterfly. You’ll earn extra coins that way.

Coins – currency of the realm. Want a free letter? It will cost you 100 coins. If you are stuck, the first thing to do is rotate the available letters. Often that is enough to find new words. However, if the only missing word is the bonus word, I’ll sometimes buy the first letter. With that, I always find the answer.

So, that’s my current addiction. I invite you to try it out. After all, these games are good for preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s, right?