At first glance, Diction seems like every other word tile game currently for sale on the Google Play Store (Android phones only). Yet, unlike the others, its appeal can be measured in hours, not minutes, plus, it’s free! Diction is similar to the other word games in that the goal is for players to connect the letter tiles to form words and score the most points before the timer runs out. What sets it apart are its five game modes: Arcade, Classic, Time Attack, Puzzle, and Fixed. Each game mode has its own unique character, which keeps the game fun and the experience fresh.
The Modes Explained -
In Arcade mode, random letters will have certain bonuses attached to them, such as extra time or a point multiplier, either of which is activated when the player uses them as part of a word. This strategy element forces the player to slow down and make strategic word choices instead of flying through and making the shortest words as quickly as possible.
The Classic and Time Attack modes don’t have bonuses or specific point values attached to them. In Classic mode, you get one point per letter cleared, and the goal is to score as many points as possible within the time limit. The Time Attack mode is similar, except as the player scores points the clock stops for a second or two, depending on the length of the words you’re making.
Of all the different modes, Puzzle mode stood out the most for its originality. Here, Diction gives you a handful of words that you have to create with your set amount of tiles; more importantly, every tile has to be used. This mode is what elevates Diction past all the other word tile games because it forces the player to plan ahead and figure out where all the other tiles on the board will fall when you create a word.
The last game mode, Fixed, is similar to Boggle in that the tiles are stationary, don’t change, and players are rewarded for making longer words.
Minor Complaints –
Aside from some slight latency issues when quickly swiping words on the phone’s keyboard, the only thing that left us scratching our heads was the lack of a leaderboard system for Diction players. Beating your own personal record is only entertaining for so long, and today’s popular mobile games have set the bar for player interaction by having both global and local leaderboards. From an entertainment and competitive standpoint, we believe Diction would greatly benefit from this.
Overall Impressions -
When it’s all said and done, the nice thing about Diction is you feel like you’re getting five games for the price of one, and because of that, the replay value is immense. The game never crashed or froze during our testing, the menus are easy to navigate, and the overall user interface is simple and clean. On the ad-supported version of the game we didn’t come across any advertisements that could be found as inappropriate for children. That being said, if you’re concerned about potentially inappropriate ads, there is a paid, ad-free version called Diction Pro, which only costs $1.60 (includes the Fixed game mode).
Overall, Diction is a great, age-appropriate game for anyone. Personal information is never requested from the player and the absence of an in-game virtual store will give parents some peace of mind. As far as mobile games go, Diction manages to balance the aspects of fun and safety quite nicely.