AlphaJax (WP) Reviews

139,937 (74,942)
TA Score for this game: 215
Posted on 24 December 12 at 15:14
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Alphajax is the second free Windows Phone game to have made the switch to Xbox LIVE status after Wordament made the same leap earlier this year and third overall after the paid-for Chickens Can’t Fly. It’s also the latest of a growing number of free Xbox LIVE games on the Windows Phone.

It’s essentially Microsoft’s answer to Words with Friends, which is played by millions on iOS and Android. Ironically that game will be coming to Windows Phone at some point, but in the meantime they’ve got developers Marker Metro on board to produce Alphajax for free, and it’s essentially the same Scrabble-esque game.

Alphajax has made it over to Xbox LIVE more or less fully intact from its original incarnation, with the new version gaining a loading screen and front-end with added swish-ness, while the gameplay itself is pretty much unchanged.

It’s good to see Marker Metro adopting an ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ approach as there was little about Alphajax that needed changing beyond the incorporation of achievements and adding Xbox LIVE avatars to the existing asynchronous multiplayer.

Setting up a game is simple, and you can find a player based on ranking or invite someone at random to start a game with you. You can also invite any friends on Windows Phone directly or activate ‘Pass & Play’ mode and play against a friend who exists, real and everything, right next to you. However, there is no option to play solo against the phone, so to speak. If you want to practise by yourself (Ooh er! Ed) then you simply choose Pass & Play and control both players.

Once you start a game it plays to the same rules as Scrabble, though of course it absolutely isn’t Scrabble. No sir. Not at all.

The User Interface is easy and intuitive to use, and you’ll quickly pick up how to pass a turn, swap tiles or chat to your opponent. Scoring is shown at the top of the screen and it highlights the previous word and score for you so you can see where the board has changed since your last turn.

Like all Xbox LIVE games Alphajax comes with achievements, 200G to be exact. For the achievement hunters out there, they’re pretty tough and you won’t be able to ‘cheese’ them (as in, find shortcuts to unlocking them or just plain cheat).

Achievements for huge word scores, high ranking and clever word placements will rely on skill alone, which is really as it should be. In fact it’s refreshing to see another Windows Phone game without a list of achievements that look like they’ve barely had any thought put into them or that are designed to simply entice people to buy the game in the expectation of an easy 200G.

There is little else to say about Alphajax, except to say that if you enjoy Scrabble-like games then it’s definitely worth getting and it’s a very worthy addition to the stable of free Xbox LIVE games that Microsoft is currently cultivating on Windows Phone. It’s perhaps not quite as addictive as Wordament, but it’s an enjoyable game nonetheless.

It’ll be interesting to see how it fares once Words with Friends becomes available to the Windows Phone community but in the mean time it stands as the pre-eminent Scrabble-clone in the Windows Phone market.

Taken from my blog:
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