Pathwords – Zynga’s Answer to Word Scramble

From the makers of Challenge Sudoku, Zynga, comes Pathwords, the latest in the word scramble puzzle genre. But don’t write this game off just yet – the developers have created some interesting new twists on the paradigm to make a different experience.

Instead of giving you a list of letters that you must rearrange to make words, you are presented with a grid of letters that you can circle (like those old word hunts you did as a kid) to create words. Each word you find, however, clears those letters from the grid and new letters drop down. This makes the game more challenging and means you can’t reuse those same letter icons for later words. So there’s an added strategy/Tetris feel to it as well. Do I go for the quick three letter word now or do I wait to clear some others and hope that you get the letter you need to get the really high-score word?

You can start a game with your friends and have them try to beat your score, try to beat your friends’ scores in Ladder Mode, host a game, or see your game profile. Yes, Pathwords has everything that most social games need to compete at this level, the only exception being “live” battles between you and your friend ala two player Dr. Mario or two-player Tetris. Still, it’s a solid attempt that will likely attract the vocab-loving crowd. While lacking some of the flashy polish that other apps enjoy, Pathwords is an understated word game that is not as straightforward as it seems.

Game play: 7

Development: 7

Of the previous word scramble games, how does it stack up: 6