Archive for the '5 Stars' Category

Who Has The Biggest Brain?

Dec 23, 2007 in 5 Stars, Facebook, Gaming, Just For Fun

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Rating: ★★★★★

Who Has The Biggest Brain? Facebook Application

Facebook is finally starting to attract real companies that make real commercial quality applications. Playfish is one of those companies and Who Has The Biggest Brain? is one of those applications.

Playfish has raised the bar quite high for all Facebook apps with their new Who Has The Biggest Brain? game.

This game’s cute style, animation, graphics, music and sound not only add to the fun… they quickly demonstrate a Facebook application’s potential. Who Has The Biggest Brain? easily sets itself apart from the majority of Facebook apps that look like (and probably were) developed by high school kids.

Who Has The Biggest Brain Screenshot 1   Who Has The Biggest Brain Screenshot 2
Who Has The Biggest Brain Screenshot 3   Who Has The Biggest Brain Screenshot 4

They throw a few fun little brain tests at you, such as math or memory… You’re given a time limit and you must answer the questions as quickly as possible.

Who Has The Biggest Brain? Facebook Application That might not sound like much fun, but they way they do it… it is fun — a lot of fun.

At the end of the game your results will be tallied up and your score will be compared to your friends.

Hrmm… I think I socred somewhere around “Neanderthal”. BRB, I’m gonna have to go play some more…

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My Personality

Dec 13, 2007 in 5 Stars, Dating, Facebook, Just For Fun

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Rating: ★★★★★

My Personality by David Stillwell administers a brief psychological exam that is based off of a real psychological personality questionnaire used in actual scientific research. It offers a brief explanation of your results and allows you to compare your personality to your friends. I answered a minimal amount of questions to get an idea for how it works. You can answer over a hundred questions to get a more accurate psychological profile. As with any app of this nature, treat it truly as Just for Fun. That said, I felt it made a pretty accurate assessment of my personality.

My Personality - Details

My Personality - Nav

When you’re done, it updates your profile with a nice little graph depicting elements of your personality. I really give them props for not spamming my profile page with unnecessaryily large banners. As their about page states,

MyPersonality is against Facebook spam and does not send any newsfeed stories or notifications without your prior approval. That means no mandatory “invite your friends” pages either!

You’re results are by default public and listed in their public diretory. Privacy settings can be changed to be more restrictive. Not only that, you can delete your personality profile, a feature most apps overlook.

Clicking on the “Compare to Friends” tab reveals my girlfriend is my soul mate! That’s a nice start. They apply a more involved formula for calculating your similarities, so it’s not just based on averages.

My Personality - Friend Comparison

What makes this app also useful for dating is they offer a comprehensive personality search engine. You can find personality twins or specify you’re own criteria such as selecting from different personality traits (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism) or various adjectives like calm, sensitive or reliable (many more). A quick search for my own personality twins pulled up 40 or so in my network.

I had a lot of fun playing with this app and would highly recommend it.

Installed

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Smarty Pants

Dec 10, 2007 in 5 Stars, Facebook, Gaming, Just For Fun

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Rating: ★★★★★

From Console to Social Application

Electronic Arts, Inc. (“EA”), publishers of praticly every major video game released in the past few years have recently set their sights on Facebook. Could this spell trouble for the little guys or is EA just dipping their toes in hoping to pick up a few more sales?

I had the pleasure of playing a new trivia game for the Nintendo Wii called Smarty Pants over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Developed by EA, with over 22,000 questions and interesting game play that involves such gestures as actually having to raise your hand with the Wii remote to buzz in answers, Smarty Pants is a definite party pleaser. Arguably not the best video game, not even close, it does have the distinct advantage of being the only game in the trivia genre for the Nintendo Wii at the time being. These two factors alone tend to earn it an average 6.5/10 rating by most console video game reviewers.

Smarty Pants for the Wii was released on November 15th and retails for around $49.99 but can be picked up for as low as $24.99 if you’re a Black Friday bargain hunter. Not a bad deal until you discover that you can play Smarty Pants on Facebook with all of your friends for free!

Smarty Pants

Smarty Pants for Facebook is not quite the entire game, but depending on who you ask this may be an advantage. The somewhat repetitive and annoying intermissions that you religiously pound the A-button to skip through on the Wii are lacking on its Facebook clone. Instead it gets right down to the nitty gritty of serving up a buffet of trivia questions at a heart pounding pace that will make you pull your hair out.

In the Facebook version of Smarty Pants you start a new game by inviting all of your friends that you wish to challenge. Each game consists of 10 random trivia questions from several categories that include; art, books, entertainment, fashion, games, places and people, science, and sports. Each player takes his or her turn answering the same set of 10 questions conveniently on their own time. Once you start answering though there is a very fast clock that counts down each question. The longer you take the answer each question, the difficulty of the question, and the correctness of your answer all contribute towards the points you earn. The player with the most points per game is the winner.

The Smarty Pants Facebook port was developed by social application development house, Context Optional, Inc. for EA. The “smarty pants” over at Context Optional, Inc. are well versed in developing viral applications for Facebook and their expertise is very noticeable in Smarty Pants. One such viral feature involves upgrading a pair of so called smarty pants that each player starts off. As players earn more points they level up and acquire upgraded pants and “bling” to match them. The higher the level of pants you possess the more bragging rights you have. Your pants are proudly on display in your Smarty Pants Profile Box and every upgrade is broadcast to your Mini-Feed. Discovering the different pairs of pants you can earn, like clown pants, can be entertaining at first but eventually feels too aggressive at the pace in which they are earned and broadcast.

Smarty Pants Mini-Feed

The Result

Overall as a trivia game Smarty Pants for Facebook is very entertaining, the clock is fast and sends your heart racing trying to compete against your friends scores. Some users have complained on the forums that the questions were too targeted towards US residents, especially the sports related questions, so they have made an effort to strike a better balance for foreigners by reducing the number of sports related questions. This is just one of the many issues that Context Optional, Inc. had to overcome while porting Smarty Pants from the Wii to Facebook.

The game obviously serves as one giant advertisement for the Wii version with its noticible banner on every page but I would have to say that I’ve probably had more fun competing with all of my friends on Facebook than I have playing it on the Wii. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Facebook version does more harm than good for EA by cannabilizing sales of Smarty Pants. Not an uncommon problem for third party services who try to draw Facebook users onto their own services only to find out that their Facebook application performs better than their standalone application. Context Optional, Inc. did a beautiful job in porting Smarty Pants to Facebook, perhaps too good of a job.

With the recent formation of Social Gaming Network (SGN) by Webs to focus entirely on creating games for the social graph will we start to see behemoths like EA entering this space soon? With the success of Smarty Pants for Facebook I think the game is about to change.

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Are You Normal?

Dec 04, 2007 in 5 Stars, Facebook, Just For Fun

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Rating: ★★★★★

Just when I thought I had taken enough personality quizzes on Facebook to last me well into 2008 I stumbled upon one of the most refreshing ones yet. Climbing the charts in the Recently Popular Applications Directory with an impressive 30k DAU (daily active users) it’s easy to see why so many users were too weak to resist its subjective name that begs the question, Are You Normal?

Are You Normal? Results

What is normal and how do we define it? Well Kinzin, the developers of Are You Normal, hold that answer as a tightly guarded secret algorithm. Touting such black magic mathematical terms as “curve”, and shrouded in mysterious values that change as Are You Normal “spreads” we are left with nothing to do but close one eye and wince at the mercy of our score.

There’s never been a more meaningful way to waste your time.

Sigh — are they ever so right? Are You Normal is an absolute waste of your time, but a very good one! To find out how normal you are you take one of the many available “quibbles” which are mini 5 question surveys with multiple choice answers and comment boxes. They are so mini that you can easily digest a quibble in any sitting. No attention deficit here! Each question is carefully numbered and tabbed so you can progress through them or jump around at your discretion.

Are You Normal? Facebook User

The questions range in diversity but are usually relative to their quibble’s topic. The default quibble is the focal “Are you normal?” topic which asks broad ranging questions on environmentalism, politics, love, sex, and religion. The other quibbles currently available cover such topics as, “Habits”, “Conspiracy Theorist”, “Kids”, and of course, “Facebook User”. New quibbles are added weekly but this doesn’t seem to keep up with the thirst of Are You Normal’s users who beat a constant rallying cry for more quibbles in the forums.

After completing each quibble you receive a score relative to that quibble and an overall constant score for all quibbles. The score is presented as a percentage value between 1% and 99% reflecting how “normal” you are. There’s also a friend invitation page that allows you to share your score with your friends and invite them to take that quibble so you can compare scores.

Are You Normal? Invite

Kinzin claims it is impossible to score beyond a 99% “normal” because that would just be too creepy and weird thus creating a “paradox”. They also say you can’t score a 0% either because if you’re able to log on to Facebook you must be a human and well, that’s pretty “normal”.

The Result

Congratulations, your personality is 36% normal. Everyone has a right to be weird. You just abuse the privilege.

What they don’t tell you is that you will feel like a sad and alienated misunderstood blogger when you receive a 36% after completing your first quibble. Sob. That didn’t stop me though, I kept surveying my way up to an average 65%. Yay — I’m just like you! Much of this increase was due to the “Conspiracy Theorist” quibble where unless you are a complete nut job like these folks you can’t possibly score low.

After you finish drying your eyes from tears of laughter at the above video go add Are You Normal to your profile and let’s see just how normal you are! The results are sad, aren’t they? Chin up! There’s more quibbles on their way, and if that doesn’t make you normal you can always suggest your own, which if accepted will make you 100% normal. Oh wait — 100% is abnormal, right?

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Graffiti

Dec 04, 2007 in 5 Stars, Facebook, Just For Fun, Messaging

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Rating: ★★★★★

Graffiti LogoRanging from masterpiece paintings to the random scribbles in your notes, we all like to draw. Whether you’re good at it may be a different story, but everyone can relate to the basic desire to doodle. Take all of this into account and give it a digital medium accessible to the millions of Facebook users and you have Graffiti

With 234,239 daily active users only 4% of total, creators Mark Kantor, Tim Suzman, and Ted Suzmanhave created one of the most popular applications on Facebook. Kudos to them, not only is it popular, but its fantastic usability and functionality create for a bonafide interactive utility.

Basic Facebook Settings

As with most apps on Facebook, Graffiti comes with its own settings. They do a great job of keeping it nice and simple giving you 4 different options to modify.

Graffiti Settings

  • Number of Graffiti to show on your profile – presently you can only place Graffiti in the main column of your profile and not the left column
  • Email Notification of new Graffiti
  • Who can see your Graffiti Wall
  • Who can see the page of graffiti drawn by you

The Interface – Lets Draw with Graffiti

It’s simple, you have your canvas and below it are your drawing tools. There isn’t a lot of complexity to it which I like, it is in fact pretty intuitive. You get to use and choose from 216 available colors, about 9 different brush widths, and the option to choose the opacity of your strokes. There is a simple preview of your brush size and color so you know what you’re working with before you hit the canvas. Made a mistake? Well that’s okay too because they have an undo button that retains virtually the entire history of your strokes, allowing you to go back quite far if necessary, there will be no fait accompli here! If all else fails, you can simply start over with a click of a button.

Graffiti Canvas

Once you’re finished with your Graffiti piece you simply click Done and voilà! The coolest feature hasn’t even been unveiled! All things final, you can watch what you created in replay mode unveiling the work of art step by step before your very eyes. I don’t know about you but I love time lapsed viewing. Like what you see? Take one for the road, Graffitiprovides you with an option to print from the screen. Like all things great in Facebook you can always “share” it and post it to your profile.

There isn’t much missing from the bare bones aspect of the application. It gives you all the essentials you need to get in and start drawing. The developers stay very active with their users and are quick to discuss what they’re working on. Here are a few important features coming soon:

  • Save Button - presently there is no save so you create long pieces of work at your own risk, if for whatever reason you lose the page, you lose your work.
  • Comments – everyone loves to leave their own words behind wherever they go. Great way for users to offer praise, disapproval , or feedback. Don’t we all just love interaction and social contribution?

Features I’d Like to See

I would love to see an option for different brush shapes, and even a shape marquee would be interesting. While the native tools are probably more than enough for the more talented users the option to have pre-established shapes might prove useful for the less skilled. I’d also love to see a color wheel to have colors beyond the provided 216. Lastly, I’d love to see a type tool. While I know the idea is to draw your message or your picture, sometimes it would be nice to be able to have some type in there that looks better than a 2 year old writing with his left hand.

Community & Contests

With a Public Gallery generated from content submitted and rated by Graffiti users, not to mention sponsored prize winning contests, a community of contributors and artists alike have helped turn Graffitifrom just an app you install on your Facebook page to an app that comes with a large collection of talent, artwork, and collaboration. To me this is what interactive usability is all about.

With over 5,500 entries and 500,000 votes cast, Graffiti completed its first “Monsters” contest with prizes sponsored by Wacom. Among the community of Graffitiusers battles wage between those who draw with a mouse, and those who have aid via Pen and Tablet or Tablet PC’s. There’s even emergence of the touch-pad users who boast skill using an unconventional mouse solution for artists. Regardless of the methods used by the creators, the coveted grand prize was an Intuos3 Special Edition Tablet and several Wacom Bamboo Tablets for individual category winners.  Users voted for their top 150 entries and a panel of judges chose the final winners.

Graffiti Monsters Contest Overall Winner Graffiti Monsters Contest Scariest Winner Graffiti Monsters Contest Cutest Winner
Best Overall Scariest Cutest
Graffiti Monsters Contest Funniest Winner Graffiti Monsters Contest Creative Winner Graffiti Monsters Contest Most Teeth Winner
Funniest Creative Most Teeth

Among your friends or among strangers, the ability to share creations gives depth to the user-base and substance to the application beyond just number of installs. Take a look at some of the top rated submissions from Graffiti users

graffiti-top-1.pnggraffiti-top-2.pnggraffiti-top-3.pnggraffiti-top-4.pnggraffiti-top-5.pnggraffiti-top-6.pnggraffiti-top-7.pnggraffiti-top-8.png

Graffiti will be implementing a Wall of fame in addition to new contests. Nothing like incentivized participation to spark the creative engine in everyone for either a physical prize or bragging rights and notoriety. If you don’t have Graffiti installed yet, get to it and get your doodle on!

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Sponsor Me

Dec 03, 2007 in 5 Stars, Events, Facebook, Money

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Rating: ★★★★★

Raising the bar for Raising funds

Trying to raise some funds? It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to collect cash for a disaster relief fund, birthday present, community project, sponsored event, or to just line your pockets you still need a way to get the word out about your cause and a method for people to contribute. Sponsor Me, a remarkably well designed Facebook application by James Smith and Mat Clayton, is the perfect solution. The team of two claim to have written Sponsor Me in their free time and currently provide it as a free service. Now that’s charitable giving!

What garnered my attention at first with Sponsor Me was how well it was designed. The entire application seems well thought out and carefully implemented. The first thing you’ll notice with Sponsor Me is its friendly and informative landing page. Most applications force a redirect to their add application page for new visitors, but Sponsor Me provides a clean and informative landing page to help the user decide if the application is right for them or not and then provides a helpful link to their add application page.

Sponsor Me Landing Page

The design is clean and a model of usability. In the standard view there are three tabs that give you access to friends’ campaigns, past campaigns, and popular campaigns. This allows you to keep track of your own campaigns as well as those of any of your friends whose causes you may wish to contribute towards. The popular campaigns page shows the top sponsored campaigns currently running in Sponsor Me to help spread the word of greater causes. To have a campaign displayed on the popular campaigns page it must have a minimum of 10 sponsors.

If I was going to put Sponsor Me through a real test I needed a cause. Sure I could try to raise funds to cure cancer or shelter the orphans, but I had a greater calling. I set my mind on the noble cause of ending hunger, at least here in the office. I followed Sponsor Me’s simple two step process for creating a new campaign. You can enter a title, description, and set a number of options including an end date, currency, target amount to raise, and of course the PayPal account where the funds should be deposited.

Support What Apps
Like What Apps? Show your support for your favorite Facebook reviews and profiles blog by contributing to help keep our bloggers bellies full so they will keep writing! The less their stomachs growl the more reviews and news posts we get. Show your support. It doesn’t take much, just a $10 donation can go a long way.

The next step was to seed my campaign to a bunch of friends who would hopefully support it, contribute towards it, pass it on to their friends, and so on. I would be fine dining in no time! Thanks to Sponsor Me’s integration into Facebook this part was going to be easy. I selected a few friends hopefully not as poor as me and pressed the send button. Raising funds has never been this easy!

Sponsor Me News Feed

Honestly I didn’t think my campaign would have any takers. I let it age over a few days to see what would happen. Much to my surprise, day by day there was one, then two, then three sponsors. The sponsors kept trickling in. No one had opened their checkbook yet but they were at least rallying around my call! It was almost enough to make me shed a tear or two — almost.

The Result

Well to say the least, Sponsor Me hasn’t helped put any food in my belly or those of my fellow bloggers but it has shown me a level of quality in a Facebook application that has yet to be challenged. I continue to monitor my campaign through Sponsor Me by logging in everyday to see it progress towards the target amount and who’s supporting it. Soon I hope it will cross the magic threshold of 10 supporters to get listed publicly. Then the world is my oyster! Or is it oysters for lunch?

If you have a charitable fund or just looking to raise some extra cash you should definitely considering adding Sponsor Me to your profile. It’s incredibly easy to use. You’ll have your campaign up in a few minutes. With the viral nature of Facebook it’s only a matter of time before a noble cause strikes a chord in the heart of Facebook’s 50 million plus members.

Sponsor Me Help Our Friend Celina Pay For Cancer Treatment

The first reader to create a campaign for a non-profit charity contribution who invites me will receive a small donation.

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Truphone ‘Call Me’ Button

Nov 30, 2007 in 5 Stars, Facebook

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Rating: ★★★★★

Facebook - Truphone Logo Truphone by Alistair T Campbell and Dean Elwood offers a Call Me button on your Facebook profile. Anyone viewing your profile can call you directly via their computer. Your telephone number will be held confidential and they promise not to sell your number to telemarketers. Best of all it’s free*, as in not for long. December 31st it switches over to a premium service. Hurry up and get your free calls in to select countries! They do their best to hide how much the service will cost after December 31st. Personally, I hate this tactic.

My first impressions after installing the app is the nice presentation.

Facebook - Truphone Main Page

They clearly indicate how many steps are involved in the process and best of all, haven’t skimped on the documentation. Everything is explained in great detail (except for prices after Dec 31st!). I find that most Facebook applications fall short of helpful FAQs.

Entering your number(s) is easy, but their language wasn’t immediately obvious. I kept on entering my telephone number in the field where it said “Truphone Number” and it kept saying the number didn’t exist. After paying a little closer attention, I realized I needed to enter my number under “World Landline or US/Canadian Mobile.”

Facebook - Truphone Enter Number

They also have advanced options for adding your Grand Central, SIP, or Google Talk address.

At this point, it loads a Java applet and shortly thereafter you receive an automated phone call validating your telephone number. After pressing ’1′ it disconnects and you’re instructed to click the “Activate” link that appears on the current page.
Facebook - Truphone Progress

After completing the last step, I become concerned that something is wrong. The fancy progress bar hasn’t changed and I wait for it to update. After all, shouldn’t the little gray dots turn to green or some sort of validating color that each step has been completed? Well, don’t wait around. You’re done as soon as it shows one active telephone number.

Now, a button will appear on your profile that anyone can click to call you.

Facebook - Truphone Call Me Button

Of course, the review wouldn’t be complete without a test. I click the button and it takes me to an application page which immediately initiates a phone call. I answer it and everything sounds great.

The program couldn’t be much easier to use. If you are interested in receiving phone calls from your friends on Facebook, this is not a bad way to go. One caveat is that they never give you the option to restrict the hours/days of the week you wish to receive phone calls. Don’t be surprised if you receive an unexpected phone call at 4am. Cheers!

NOTE: If you are a lucky GrandCentral user, I suggest you try out their Call Me button since it’ll be free for much longer that December 31st. Don’t have an account yet? Try InviteShare to find an invitation. Sorry Truphone, I’m going to install their button instead.

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Scrabulous

Nov 27, 2007 in 5 Stars, Education, Facebook, Gaming

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Rating: ★★★★★ Scrabulous Logo

CAZIQUES, QUIXOTRY, BEZIQUE and MUZJIKS. Wait, those are words? Not only are they words but they are the record holding words played for:

  • Highest single play (SOWPODS) – CAZIQUES
  • Highest single play (OSPD) – QUIXOTRY
  • Highest opening move score (SOWPODS) – BEZIQUE
  • Highest opening move score possible (OSPD) – MUZJIKS

If you’re wondering what the heck SOWPODS and OSPD are, don’t fret I’ll get to that later. In the mean time if I haven’t destroyed your mind or your ocular sensory and have piqued your interest instead you will now promptly install Scrabulous on Facebook if you haven’t already.

Developed by Jayant Agarwalla and Rajat Agarwalla, Scrabulous (also found at scrabulous.com), for all intents and purposes, is Scrabble©. While its not technically Scrabble© (trademark ™ of Hasbro) it uses Scrabble© rules, official Scrabble© tournament dictionaries and the exact Scrabble© board. How they do it, I don’t know nor do I care, I just want to play.

Scoring and Play

The game uses a points system that combines numerical values assigned to each letter tile as well as point multipliers (2x letter, 2x word, 3x letter, 3x word) arranged throughout the 15×15 grid game board. If you can play all 7 of your tiles in a single turn you are awarded an additional 50 points on top of the word’s normal score! This is commonly referred to as a Bingo.

Scrabulous Scoring and Play

Scrabulous can be played with a minimum of 2 and maximum of 4 players. To start the game is simple but what lies within the world of Scrabulous is a game of mystery, deceit, trapping, blocking, theft, treachery, defense, offense, and.. The most important aspect, vocabulary! Don’t be fooled by words and words alone, Scrabulous is most definitely a game of strategy.

Words are formed left to right, top to bottom; similar to a crossword puzzle. No diagonal words or backwards spelling allowed, unless of course it’s a palindrome! Each word must consist of a minimum of 2 letters and must appear in the dictionary/wordlist your game is using. On each turn a player can choose to pass, exchange tiles, or play his tiles on the board. Click here for a more detailed explanation on the rules and game play.

Creating/Choosing Games

There are several ways to start games in Scrabulous. You may choose to Create a New game, Host a Table, Join a Table, Browse through your friend list to see who else has it installed or peruse a global directory of Scrabulous players. Regardless of which method you pick all games come with the same options that are chosen on creation.

Scrabulous Create Games

Opponents aside, you must choose type of Dictionary, Game Type, Game Speed, Requests Limit, Request Duration, and Notes.

Dictionary: English SOWPODS, English TWL, Italian, French. As promised here’s the explanation of SOWPODS and OSPD. Although for Scrabulous the only 2 dictionaries that apply are SOWPODS and TWL.

  • SOWPODS - The term was coined to cover the convergence of the two international Scrabble word sources. OSW and OSPD. It is an acronym derived from anagramming OSW and OSPD. Used in tournament Scrabble in all English-speaking countries except North America, Thailand and Israel
  • TWL also known as OWL – Official Tournament and Club Word List. This is an expanded version of the OSPD. The words that were included are mostly those which were considered offensive. It is used primarily in North America, Thailand and Israel.
  • OSPD - The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, a publication derived primarily from Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, but also includes words from four other major college dictionaries. OSPD is exclusively used in North America, Thailand and Israel
  • OSW - The Official Scrabble Words, a publication derived solely from the Chambers Dictionary, published in Scotland, OSW is exclusively used in the UK.

Scrabulous Game Options Game Type: Regular or Challenge. A Regular game removes the option to challenge your opponent and instead gives you an automatic word checker that will validate any word played upon submission and reject any word not in the dictionary. There is no penalty for invalid words and the player can continue until a word is accepted. Players may also use the dictionary tool in Regular games. Challenge games afford the players the opportunity to play any letter combination they want leaving the checking up to you. When you do challenge a player you feel is playing a fake or misspelled word, if you are right the player loses his turn and the points from that round. If you are wrong, you lose your turn. Players may not use the dictionary tool in Challenge games.

Game Speed: fast (users are online and want to play), medium (may take a while), and slow (will play whenever I have time).

Request Limit: You may also choose the number of requests the host can receive, for example if you select 3 your game request will expire once 3 challengers have joined your table.

Request Duration: How long your host request is available, anywhere from 15 – 90 minutes.

Notes: (Optional) Anything you want people to see when viewing your listing will appear here.

Features and Tools

Scrabulous comes loaded with built in cheats and tools. Not only can you play a game where the game itself does your spellchecking, you have a built in word list, a tile distribution breakdown, a dictionary lookup, refresh board, move list, delete/resign, and a quick help link.

Scrabulous Word ListWord List: A complete 2 letter Word list for both TWL and SOWPODS game play.

Scrabulous Tile DistributionTile Distribution: A complete list of how many tiles per letter exist. Use this to see whats been played and whats still either in your opponents tray or waiting to be picked up.

Scrabulous Dictionary LookupDictionary Lookup: Check to see if any word you want to play is valid! This option can only be used in Regular mode, does not function in Challenge mode.

Scrabulous RefreshRefresh Board: Refresh the board to see if there is new chat or if your opponent has played.

Scrabulous Move ListSee Move List: View complete move list history for your game including each turns point total and your overall total.

Scrabulous Delete/ResignDelete/Resign: If you don’t want to play a game you can delete or resign. Games with 3 or less moves are deleted and do not show up in your statistics or game history, however if there are 4 or more moves, you will resign and count it as a loss.

Scrabulous HelpHelp: Quick links to the game rules, faq, practice mode and feedback

There is also a shuffle button for your tiles, an alphabetical sort button for your tiles, and the ability to spell directly on the board so no drag and drop required. To help with the mathematically impaired, Scrabulous also shows you your score on your current play before you even commit which proves to be incredibly useful for placement comparison.

Under “Completed Games” you can access all your past wins and losses and view the boards as well as the play history per game. Under “My Stats” you can see your rating, how many games you’re playing, how many games you’ve completed, how many games you’ve won, lost, drawn and your best scoring Bingo as well as your Bingo History. If you want to see the overall Leaderboard simply click “Global Stats”. There are a few setting options that you can configure. You can choose to remove your profile from the Scrabulous Users page, select whether or not you want your board by default to show the numbered multipliers, enable a 2 minute auto refresh, and set your default dictionary and game type. If you dont want users to see your online status, not to worry you can adjust that as well.

Cheat Tools?? That’s Crap!

So why play at all? Because its fun! Don’t believe me? Ask the other 544,985 active daily users. There’s a reason why its one of the top performing apps on Facebook! Even with the built in cheats, the game is addictive. Its turn based play allows you to have as many simultaneous games as you choose, at any pace you want. Most importantly Scrabulous educates you. Don’t know the word your opponent just played? I bet you’re going to look it up and use it the next chance you get.

Some users feel the built in tools cheapen the game, but personally I love them. It allows me to be a little more creative in my strategy and encourages me to find new ways to play tricky combos. Unfortunately because it is turn based, with opponents behind a computer and on the internet, cheating is going to occur. While there are numerous Scrabble word builders available online it still doesn’t stop me from playing. The challenge exists regardless of what my opponents may or may not be using, Scrabulous itself challenges me as much as any player does, for every time I play I’m forced to rethink position and strategy to improve my own game. Whether I perform poorly or well, I learn something new every game. And no, for the 100th time, I’m not cheating. I know the word XYSTI because someone kicked my butt with it, and you bet your hiney im jotting down and utilizing words that have decimated my win/loss ratio! If you don’t like to lose and have trust issues, get off the internet.

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WarBook

Nov 22, 2007 in 5 Stars, Facebook, Gaming, Just For Fun

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Rating: ★★★★★

Warbook has over 137k daily active users, 22k+ topics in the discussion board and 11k+ reviews. It goes without saying it’s popular… but why?

If you haven’t already installed it, WarBook is a highly addictive multiplayer RPG. WarBook lets you create your Hero from one of 8 classes based on your preferences (attack, defense, magic, money, etc). You earn an hourly salary (seems to be typical for FaceBook games), build your army and attack others. All pretty standard stuff.

WarBook screenshot

The game play is pretty simple and limited in what you can do. You buy more land, earning you more gold… thus allowing you to build your army so you can attack. The game is played with standard html input boxes and buttons. So why am I so addicted?

I’m addicted because of the simplicity. I can log in, spend all my gold, upgrade my kingdom and maybe counter-attack a few people who attacked me, all within 2 minutes… then I’m on my way again checking in on my other Facebook apps or browsing the web.

You accumulate gold hourly, so there’s always a reason to come back in a few more minutes and ruin a few kingdoms.

The game isn’t without a few flaws. It’s full of griefing; you will constantly be attacked by kingdoms 3x the size of yours. Just get used to it, after a while you don’t even notice… and you can always pay someone even bigger or join an alliance to grief them for you ;)

All of those 137k+ users are trying to access WarBook at the same time, so expect a lot of blank pages and errors.

If you try to use their “search” feature to find a kingdom you can attack, you will be extremely disappointed. It has to be the worst search I’ve ever encountered. It’s almost completely worthless. But I guess that can be a good thing, because it’s hard for people to find you!

Attack me if you dare, I’ll put you in my black book ;)

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